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Graphite solubility and co-vesiculation in basalt-like melts at one-ATMThe identity and source of the vapor phase that caused lunar lava-fountaining and vesiculation in lunar basalts continues to be of interest because of its implications for the composition and state of the lunar interior and because of its implications for lunar resources. In light of the apparent near-absence of H2O on the Moon, it has been suggested that the vapor phase may be CO2-CO. This premise is supported by the presence of carbon on the surface of volcanic glass beads. However, although the rapid exsolution of CO2 from a melt during decompression may be consistent with firefountaining, it fails to provide a satisfying explanation for vesiculation in mare basalt where exsolution of the gas phase would more reasonably be related to cooling/crystallization at low pressure rather than decompression from high pressure. Also, geochemical trends in lunar volcanic glasses suggest that their source has an oxygen fugacity more reducing than the iron-wustite buffer, an oxygen fugacity that is inconsistent with presence of dissolved CO2-CO at depth. The results of experiments in which a vesicular 'basalt' is produced from a melt equilibrated with graphite and pure CO gas at one atmosphere pressure are reported. The vesiculation is apparently related to exsolution of CO or a CO species during cooling of the melt or growth of quench crystals. Additionally, particulate carbon dispersed through the quenched sample suggests that elemental carbon is either in solution in the melt prior to quenching or tends to go into suspension perhaps as colloid-like particles. These two observations may provide insight into the nature of fire-fountaining and vesiculation on the Moon.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Colson, R. O.
(Washington Univ. Saint Louis, MO, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 1: A-F
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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