NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
U-Pb isotopic systematics of ferroan anorthosite 60025Preliminary U-Pb isotopic data from separates of ferroan anorthosite 60025 confirm its antiquity at approximately 4.42 Ga. Three Pb-Pb isochron ages involving different sets of mineral separates vary by only 20 million years, but indicate derivation of the sets from isotopically distinct magma sources. If this anorthosite was a monomict cumulate product formed during the Moon's early primary differentiation stage, then residual liquids of crystallizing magmas were evolving isotopically, even at the cm-scale, over the duration of the crystallization period. Another explanation is that this sample is simply a polymict breccia and that the Pb isotopic results are a result of subsequent mechanical mixing of mineral assemblages from various cumulate piles formed coevally at approximately 4.42 Ga from isotopically distinct magma sources. In our ongoing search for early lunar Pb isotopic compositions, we have analyzed Apollo 16 anorthosites 67075 and 62337 and Apollo 17 high-Mg suite cumulates (troctolite 76535, norite 78235, and dunite 72415). The U-Pb isotopic systematics have been better behaved in the high-Mg suite rocks than in the anorthosites that have shown evidence of mineral assemblages of mixed parentage. Our aim in analyzing anorthosite 60025 was to avoid or minimize this problem as it had been considered essentially monomict, although recent work has shown that not only is 60025 polymict, but shows textual evidence of at least two episodes of deformation. Of five splits studied by James, Lindstrom and McGee, the four mineral splits appeared monomict, whereas the whole-rock split was considered polymict. Previous isotopic work indicate that this anorthosite was quite primitive, a claim that was apparently confirmed by the U-Pb isotopic age of 4.51 +/- .01 Ga on three plagioclase separates. However, a Sm-Nd internal isochron age of 4.44 +/- 0.02 Ga was determined using plagioclase, olivine, and mafic mineral separates, creating some doubt about the anorthosite's true age. It was pointed out that the use of slightly evolved initial Pb values (corresponding to a source-micron value of approximately 35) to correct the U-Pb data can result in an U-Pb age of 4.44 Ga. The need to resolve the age and isotopic nature of this anorthosite is paramount to furthering our understanding of processes of ferroan anorthosite formation as well as the magmatic history of the early Moon.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Premo, W. R. (Geological Survey Denver, CO, United States)
Tatsumoto, M. (Geological Survey Denver, CO, 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 3: N-Z
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

Related Records

IDRelationTitle19940015909Analytic PrimaryWorkshop on the Martian Northern Plains: Sedimentological, Periglacial, and Paleoclimatic Evolution19940016163Analytic PrimaryTwenty-Fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 3: N-Z