The University of Arizona

Labile trace elements in basaltic achondrites: Can they distinguish between meteorites from the Moon, Mars, and V-type asteroids?

S. F. WOLF, M.-S. WANG, M. E. LIPSCHUTZ

Abstract


We report data for 14 mainly labile trace elements (Ag, Au, Bi, Cd, Cs, Ga, In, Rb, Sb, Se, Te, Tl, U, and Zn) in eight whole-rock lunar meteorites (Asuka [A-] 881757, Dar al Gani [DaG] 262, Elephant Moraine [EET] 87521, Queen Alexandra Range [QUE] 93069, QUE 94269, QUE 94281, Yamato [Y-] 793169, and Y-981031), and Martian meteorite (DaG 476) and incorporate these into a comparative study of basaltic meteorites from the Moon, Mars, and V-type asteroids. Multivariate cluster analysis of data for these elements in 14 lunar, 13 Martian, and 34 howardite, eucrite, and diogenite (HED) meteorites demonstrate that materials from these three parents are distinguishable using these markers of late, low-temperature episodes. This distinguishability is essentially as complete as that based on markers of high-temperature igneous processes. Concentrations of these elements in 14 lunar meteorites are essentially lognormally distributed and generally more homogeneous than in Martian and HED meteorites. Mean siderophile and labile element concentrations in the 14 lunar meteorites indicate the presence of a CI-equivalent micrometeorite admixture of 2.6%. When only feldspathic samples are considered, our data show a slightly higher value of 3.4% consistent with an increasing micrometeorite content in regolith samples of higher maturity. Concentrations of labile elements in the 8 feldspathic samples hint at the presence of a fractionated highly labile element component, possibly volcanic in origin, at a level comparable to the micrometeorite component. Apparently, the process(es) that contributed to establishing lunar meteorite siderophile and labile trace element contents occurred in a system open to highly labile element transport.

Keywords


Volatile element (s) ;lunar Meteorite(s); SNC Meteorite(s);HED meteorite(s)

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