The University of Arizona

Petrography and geochemistry of the LaPaz Icefield basaltic lunar meteorite and source crater pairing with Northwest Africa 032

R. A. Zeigler, R. L. Korotev, B. L. Jolliff, L. A. Haskin


We report on the bulk composition and petrography of four new basaltic meteorites found in AntarcticaLAP (LaPaz Icefield) 02205, LAP 02224, LAP 02226, and LAP 02436--and compare the LAP meteorites to other lunar mare basalts. The LAP meteorites are coarse-grained (up to 1.5 mm), subophitic low-Ti basalts composed predominantly of pyroxene and plagioclase, with minor amounts of olivine, ilmenite, and a groundmass dominated by fayalite and cristobalite. All of our observations and results support the hypothesis that the LAP stones are mutually paired with each other. In detail, the geochemistry of LAP is unlike those of any previously studied lunar basalt except lunar meteorite NWA (Northwest Africa) 032. The similarities between LAP and NWA 032 are so strong that the two meteorites are almost certainly source crater paired and could be two different samples of a single basalt flow. Petrogenetic modeling suggests that the parent melt of LAP (and NWA 032) is generally similar to Apollo 15 low-Ti, yellow picritic glass beads, and that the source region for LAP comes from a similar region of the lunar mantle as previously analyzed lunar basalts.


mare Basalt;Lunar geochemistry;Moon

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