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Origin of the Moon: Constraints from volatile elementsSupporting arguments for the lunar fusion hypothesis include the low density of the Moon corresponding to the density of the Earth's mantle and the low volatile content of the lunar rocks vs. those of terrestrial origin. Vapor pressures of the alkali elements and their oxides increase in the following order: Na, K, Rb and Cs. The Moon should, therefore, be more depleted in Cs relative to Rb, Rb relative to K, and K relative to Na than the Earth if the fission model is correct. Analyses of lunar mare basalts and terrestrial mid-ocean ridge and other young basalts indicate that this behavior is not observed. It is possible that monovalent alkali elements might be lost from silicate materials in a different order than that inferred from elemental and oxide vapor pressures, as a result of differences in the way they are bound in silicate materials. To test this hypothesis a series of experiments was conducted to investigate alkali loss at high temperatures. Analyses indicate that the behavior of volatiles dissolved in a silicate melt is similar to that inferred from elemental and oxide vapor pressures. It is concluded that alkali element ratios in the Earth and Moon are not readily interpreted in terms of the fission hypothesis.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Kreutzberger, M. E. (Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Drake, M. J. (Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Jones, J. H. (Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1984
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar Planetary Inst. Conf. on the Origin of the Moon
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19850005400Analytic PrimaryConference on the Origin of the Moon