The University of Arizona

40Ar-39Ar age determinations of lunar basalt meteorites Asuka 881757, Yamato 793169, Miller Range 05035, LaPaz Icefield 02205, Northwest Africa 479, and basaltic breccia Elephant Moraine 96008

V. A. FERNANDES, R. BURGESS, A. MORRIS

Abstract


40Ar-39Ar data are presented for the unbrecciated lunar basaltic meteorites Asuka (A-) 881757, Yamato (Y-) 793169, Miller Range (MIL) 05035, LaPaz Icefield (LAP) 02205, Northwest Africa (NWA) 479 (paired with NWA 032), and basaltic fragmental breccia Elephant Moraine (EET) 96008. Stepped heating 40Ar-39Ar analyses of several bulk fragments of related meteorites A-881757, Y-793169 and MIL 05035 give crystallization ages of 3.763 ± 0.046 Ga, 3.811 0.098 Ga and 3.845 0.014 Ga, which are comparable with previous age determinations by Sm-Nd, U-Pb Th-Pb, Pb-Pb, and Rb-Sr methods. These three meteorites differ in the degree of secondary 40Ar loss with Y-793169 showing relatively high Ar loss probably during an impact event ~200 Ma ago, lower Ar loss in MIL 05035 and no loss in A-881757. Bulk and impact melt glass-bearing samples of LAP 02205 gave similar ages (2.985 ± 0.016 Ga and 2.874 ± 0.056 Ga) and are consistent with ages previously determined using other isotope pairs. The basaltic portion of EET 96008 gives an age of 2.650 ± 0.086 Ga which is considered to be the crystallization age of the basalt in this meteorite. The Ar release for fragmental basaltic breccia EET 96008 shows evidence of an impact event at 631 ± 20 Ma. The crystallization age of 2.721 ± 0.040 Ga determined for NWA 479 is indistinguishable from the weighted mean age obtained from three samples of NWA 032 supporting the proposal that these meteorites are paired. The similarity of 40Ar-39Ar ages with ages determined by other isotopic systems for multiple meteorites suggests that the K-Ar isotopic system is robust for meteorites that have experienced a significant shock event and not a prolonged heating regime.

Keywords


Chronology;lunar basalts;Ar-Ar dating;Cosmic-ray exposure ages

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