ArticlesTrace Elements

Gallium, Germanium, Indium, and Iridium in Lunar Samples

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Science  30 Jan 1970:
Vol. 167, Issue 3918, pp. 503-505
DOI: 10.1126/science.167.3918.503


Neutron activation analyses of gallium, germanium, indium, and iridium in eight lunar samples and in meteorites and rocks (including four calciulnrich achondrites and five terrestrial basalts) with similar bulk compositions are reported. Lunar gallium concentrations are remarkably constant at about 5 parts per million, three times higher and four times lower than those in eucritic (calcium-rich) achondrites and terrestrial basalts, respectively. Lunar germanium concentrations range from ≤ 0.04 to 0.4 part per million. Basaltic achondrites have similar germanium concentrations, whereas those in terrestrial basalts are uniformly higher at about 1.4 parts per million. Concentrations of indium in Ilunar samples range from 3 to 60 parts per billion, whereas those in terrestrial basalts are 80 to 100 parts per billion, and those in basaltic achondrites 0.4 to 3 parts per billion. Lunar iridium concentrations appear to be in the 0.1 to 10 parts per billion range. The Tranquillitatis samples are distinctly different from calcium-rich achondrites and terrestrial basalts.