ArticlesAge Measurements

Uranium-Thorium-Lead Isotope Relations in Lunar Materials

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  30 Jan 1970:
Vol. 167, Issue 3918, pp. 468-471
DOI: 10.1126/science.167.3918.468

Abstract

The lead isotopic compositions and uranium, thorium, and lead concentrations have been measured on six samples of material from the Sea of Tranquillity. The leads are moderately to very radiogenic; the initial lead concentrations are very low; the uranium and thorium levels are 0.26 to 0.88 and 0.87 to 3.35 parts per million, respectively. The Th/U ratios cluster about a 3.6 value. Apparent ages calculated for four rocks are 4.1 to 4.2 x 109 years. Dust and breccia yield apparent ages of 4.60 to 4.63 x 109 years. The uranium-lead ages are concordant, or nearly so, in all cases. The lunar surface is an ancient region with an extended record of events in the early history of the solar system. discrepancy between the rock ages and dust ages poses a fundamental qusestion about rock genesis on the moon.