Occurrence of chromian, hercynitic spinel ("pleonaste") in Apollo-14 samples and its petrologic implications

Earth and Planetary Science Letters
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Many isolated grains of a reddish pleonaste-type spinel occur in fines and metabreccia samples, particularly 14 319. Electron microprobe analyses (104) of spinels and their associated phases include 58 of pleonaste which show Mg/(Mg + Fe) 0.44-0.62 and Cr/(Cr + Al) 0.017-0.134 (atomic), plus minor amounts of other ions, and differ greatly from almost all previously recorded lunar spinels; almost no spinels of intermediate composition were found. Two types of compositional zoning exist: a diffuse primary one with cores lower in Ti, and a narrow secondary one from reaction with matrix yielding rims higher in Cr, Ti, and Mn. At contacts with breccia matrix there is a narrow corona of almost pure plagioclase (An80-An94), free of opaque minerals and pyroxene. Two types of solid inclusions found in the pleonaste are calcic plagioclase, and tiny spherical masses of nickel-rich sulfide. Similar pleonaste occurs in crystalline rock clasts, mainly with plagioclase; one clast (A) consists only of coarse olivine, plagioclase, and pleonaste, with granulated grain boundaries suggestive of deformation. From composition and texture, this clast is one possible candidate for the mafic cumulate counterpart of the "anorthositic" crust. Another clast (B), also made solely of olivine, plagioclase and pleonaste, is itself a breccia. These data suggest a two-stage brecciation process: 1) disruption (probably pre-Imbrian) of a deep-seated pleonaste-bearing source rock like A and reconsolidation to form a breccia without addition of pyroxene, ilmenite or other minerals; and 2) disruption of this breccia to yield breccia clast B which was then incorporated into the Fra Mauro formation. ?? 1972.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Occurrence of chromian, hercynitic spinel ("pleonaste") in Apollo-14 samples and its petrologic implications
Series title Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume 15
Issue 4
Year Published 1972
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Earth and Planetary Science Letters
First page 376
Last page 402
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