Neutron capture effects on samarium, europium, and gadolinium in Apollo 15 deep drill-core samples

Hiroshi Hidaka*, Mitsuru Ebihara, Shigekazu Yoneda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The isotopic compositions of Sm and Gd in seven lunar samples from the Apollo 15 deep drill core were determined to discuss the effects of neutron capture near the lunar surface. Large isotopic deviations of 150Sm/149Sm, 156Gd/155Gd, and 158Gd/157Gd derived from neutron capture effects were observed in all samples. Although neutron capture products in lunar samples were investigated extensively in the 1970s, our precise isotopic measurements resulted in several new findings. The neutron fluence in the Apollo 15 drill core is a function of depth with a symmetric peak at 190 g/cm2 depth from the surface, confirming the results of earlier investigations. Neutron fluence values calculated from the isotopic shifts by comparison to artificially irradiated standard reagents were (5.16-7.49) x 1016 n/cm2. These values are 1.3 to 1.4x larger than those previously reported. Variations of ε(Sm)/ε(Gd) with depth are interpreted as being due to variations in the neutron energy spectrum. Here ε(Sm) and ε(Gd) are defined as in previous studies of lunar neutron stratigraphy. Our data suggest that the neutron is more thermalized at the lower layers than it is at the upper layers. In addition to large isotopic shifts for 149Sm, 150Sm, 155Gd, 156Gd, 157Gd, and 158Gd, isotopic enrichments of 152Gd and 154Gd derived from neutron capture for 151Eu and 153Eu, respectively, were also observed in all samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-589
Number of pages9
JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000 May
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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