The University of Arizona

The regolith portion of the lunar meteorite Sayh al Uhaymir 169

A. AL-KATHIRI, E. GNOS, B. A. HOFMANN

Abstract


Sayh al Uhaymir (SaU) 169 is a composite lunar meteorite from Oman that consists of polymict regolith breccia (8.44 ppm Th), adhering to impact-melt breccia (IMB; 32.7 ppm Th). In this contribution we consider the regolith breccia portion of SaU 169, and demonstrate that it is composed of two generations representing two formation stages, labeled II and III. The regolith breccia also contains the following clasts: Ti-poor to Ti-rich basalts, gabbros to granulites, and incorporated regolith breccias. The average SaU 169 regolith breccia bulk composition lies within the range of Apollo 12 and 14 soil and regolith breccias, with the closest correspondence being with that of Apollo 14, but Sc contents indicate a higher portion of mare basalts. This is supported by relations between Sm-Al2O3, FeO-Cr2O3-TiO2, Sm/Eu and Th-K2O. The composition can best be modeled as a mixture of high-K KREEP, mare basalt and norite/troctolite, consistent with the rareness of anorthositic rocks. The largest KREEP breccia clast in the regolith is identical in its chemical composition and total REE content to the incompatible trace-element (ITE)- rich high-K KREEP rocks of the Apollo 14 landing site, pointing to a similar source. In contrast to Apollo 14 soil, SaU 169 IMB and SaU 169 KREEP breccia clast, the SaU 169 regolith is not depleted in K/Th, indicating a low contribution of high-Th IMB such as the SaU 169 main lithology in the regolith. The data presented here indicate the SaU 169 regolith breccia is from the lunar front side, and has a strong Procellarum KREEP Terrane signature

Keywords


KREEP;lunar volcanism;regolith;SaU 169

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