Report

Hydrogen Isotopes in Lunar Volcanic Glasses and Melt Inclusions Reveal a Carbonaceous Chondrite Heritage

Science  14 Jun 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6138, pp. 1317-1320
DOI: 10.1126/science.1235142

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text
As a service to the community, AAAS/Science has made this article free with registration.

Common Water

The Moon has been traditionally considered bone-dry, but in recent years a number of studies have shown that during mantle melting, the lunar mantle had as much water as Earth's upper mantle. Saal et al. (p. 1317, published online 9 May; see the cover) measured the isotopic composition of hydrogen dissolved in volcanic glass and olivine-hosted melt inclusions recovered from the Moon by the Apollo 15 and 17 missions. Lunar magmatic water was indistinguishable from the bulk water in carbonaceous chondrites and similar to terrestrial water, implying a common origin for the water contained in the interiors of Earth and the Moon.

Abstract

Water is perhaps the most important molecule in the solar system, and determining its origin and distribution in planetary interiors has important implications for understanding the evolution of planetary bodies. Here we report in situ measurements of the isotopic composition of hydrogen dissolved in primitive volcanic glass and olivine-hosted melt inclusions recovered from the Moon by the Apollo 15 and 17 missions. After consideration of cosmic-ray spallation and degassing processes, our results demonstrate that lunar magmatic water has an isotopic composition that is indistinguishable from that of the bulk water in carbonaceous chondrites and similar to that of terrestrial water, implying a common origin for the water contained in the interiors of Earth and the Moon.

View Full Text