ArticlesGeneral Mineralogy

Petrographic, Mineralogic, and X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis of Lunar Igneous-Type Rocks and Spherules

Science  30 Jan 1970:
Vol. 167, Issue 3918, pp. 599-601
DOI: 10.1126/science.167.3918.599


Three lunar rocks show almost identical mineralogy but grain sizes that vary from basaltic to gabbroic. Clinopyroxene is zoned from augite to subcalcic ferroaugite compositions and is accompanied by decrease in Cr, Al, and Ti. Plagioclase is zoned from 93 to 78 percent anorthite. Olivine (68 percent forsterite) is present in one rock and apatite is rare. Cristobalite, ilmenite with Ti-rich lamellae, ulvöspinel (often Cr-rich), troilite, and kamacite are low in trace elements. Glassy spherules are of basaltic or feldspathic (92 percent anorthite) composition but contain abundant iron spheres of taenite composition (13 percent Ni). Four rock analyses by x-ray fluorescence show affinity with terrestrial basalts but with anomalous amounts of Ti, Na, Cr, Zr, Y, Rb, Nb, Ni, Cu, and Zn.