Feldspathic clasts in Yamato-86032: Remnants of the lunar crust with implications for its formation and impact history

L. Nyquist*, D. Bogard, A. Yamaguchi, C. Y. Shih, Y. Karouji, M. Ebihara, Y. Reese, D. Garrison, G. McKay, H. Takeda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


Low concentrations of Th and Fe in the Yamato (Y)-86032 bulk meteorite support earlier suggestions that Y-86032 comes from a region of the moon far distant from the Procellarum KREEP Terrain (PKT), probably from the lunar farside. 39Ar-40Ar, Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, and Sm-isotopic studies characterize the chronology of Y-86032 and its precursors in the mega regolith. One of the rock types present in a light gray breccia lithology is an anorthosite characterized by plagioclase with An ∼93, i.e., more sodic than lunar FANs, but with very low 87Rb/86Sr and 87Sr/86Sr similar to those of FANs. (FAN stands for Ferroan Anorthosite). This "An93 anorthosite" has Nd-isotopic systematics similar to those of nearside norites. A FAN-like "An97 anorthosite" is present in a second light-colored feldspathic breccia clast and has a more negative εNd value consistent with residence in a LREE-enriched environment as would be provided by an early plagioclase flotation crust on the Lunar Magma Ocean (LMO). This result contrasts with generally positive values of εNd for Apollo 16 FANs suggesting the possibility of assymetric development of the LMO. Other possible explanations for the dichotomy in εNd values are advanced in the text. The Y-86032 protolith formed at least 4.43 ± 0.03 Ga ago as determined from a Sm-Nd isochron for mineral fragments from the breccia clast composed predominantly of An93 anorthosite and a second clast of more varied composition. We interpret the mineral fragments as being predominatly from a cogenetic rock suite. An 39Ar-40Ar age of 4.36-4.41 ± 0.035 Ga for a third clast composed predominantly of An97 anorthosite supports an old age for the protolith. Initial 143Nd/144Nd in that clast was -0.64 ± 0.13 ε-units below 143Nd/144Nd in reservoirs having chondritic Sm/Nd ratios, consistent with prior fractionation of mafic cumulates from the LMO. A maximum in the 39Ar-40Ar age spectrum of 4.23 ± 0.03 Ga for a second sample of the same feldspathic breccia clast probably reflects some diffusive 40Ar loss. Lack of solar wind and lunar atmosphere implanted Ar in the light gray breccia clast allows determination of an 39Ar/40Ar age of 4.10 ± 0.02 Ga, which is interpreted as the time of initial brecciation of this litholgy. After correction for implanted lunar atmosphere 40Ar, impact melt and dark regolith clasts give Ar ages of 3.8 ± 0.1 Ga implying melt formation and final breccia assembly ∼3.8 Ga ago. Some breccia lithologies were exposed to thermal neutron fluences of ∼2 × 1015 n/cm2, only about 1% of the fluence experienced by some other lunar highlands meteorites. Other lithologies experienced neutron fluences of ∼1 × 1015 n/cm2. Thus, Y-86032 spent most of the time following final brecciation deeply buried in the megaregolith. The neutron fluence data are consistent with cosmogenic 38Arcos cosmic ray exposure ages of ∼10 Ma. Variations among differing lithologies in the amount of several regolith exposure indicators, including cosmogenic noble gas abundances, neutron capture induced variations in Sm isotopic abundances, and Ir contents, are consistent with a period of early (>∼3.8 Ga ago) lunar regolith exposure, subsequent deep burial at >∼5 m depth, and ejection from the moon ∼7-10 Ma ago.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5990-6015
Number of pages26
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Dec 15
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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