ArticlesTrace Elements

Abundances of 30 Elements in Lunar Rocks, Soil, and Core Samples

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Science  30 Jan 1970:
Vol. 167, Issue 3918, pp. 512-515
DOI: 10.1126/science.167.3918.512


Abundances of 30 elements in seven lunar rocks and soil were determined by instrumental and radiochemical activation analysis. Seven major and minor elements in chips from 27 rocks were determined by instrumental activation analysis. Abundances of ten bulk elements overlap for the breccia rocks and soil samples. All lunar rare earth elements distribution patterns resemble those found in terrestrial abyssal subalkaline basalt, but with Eu depleted by about 60 percent in all lunar samples compared to the adjacent rare earth elements. Precipitation of plagioclase and hypersthene achondritic-like minerals from a melt could account for Eu depletion and the observed distribution of rare earth elements. Abundances of Ti, Al, Ca, Na, and Mn determined by instrumental activation analysis in five core-tube soil samples indicate uniformity for Al and Mn and apparent differences (10 to 20 percent) for Ti, Ca, and Na at 7.8 and 10.5 centimeters as compared to 0to5.2 centimeter depths.