Major Element Variation and Possible Source Materials of Apollo 12 Crystalline Rocks

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Science  26 Mar 1971:
Vol. 171, Issue 3977, pp. 1235-1237
DOI: 10.1126/science.171.3977.1235


Nine different crystalline rocks of the Apollo 12 samples have been analyzed with conventional chemical rock analysis methods. Five of the rocks have normative quartz, whereas the others have normative olivine and hypersthene. The rocks show a wide range in the ratio of iron to magnesium, and their compositions fall on relatively smooth curves in the oxide variation diagram. It is suggested that these rocks, with one exception, represent different parts of a differentiated magmatic body, in which magmatic differentiation by crystallization and settling of olivine was most effective. The source material of the original magma may be peridotite with or without minor amounts of plagioclase or spinel or garnet, with the presence or absence of these minerals dependent on the depth of magma generation.