ArticlesSpecial Mineral Studies

Silicate Liquid Immiscibility in Lunar Magmas, Evidenced by Melt Inclusions in Lunar Rocks

Science  30 Jan 1970:
Vol. 167, Issue 3918, pp. 641-644
DOI: 10.1126/science.167.3918.641


Examination of multiphase melt inclusions in 91 sections of 26 lunar rocks revealed abundant evidence of late-stage immiscibility in all crystalline rock sections and in soil fragments and most breccias. The two individual immiscible silicate melts (now glasses) vary in composition, but are essentially potassic granite and pyroxenite. This immiscibility may be important in the formation of the lunar highlands and tektites. Other inclusions yield the following temperatures at which the several minerals first appear on cooling the original magma: ilmenite (?) liquidus, 1210°C; pyroxene, 1140°C; plagioclase, 1105°C; solidus, 1075°C. The glasses also place some limitations on maximum and minimum cooling rates.