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The Lunar Apatite Paradox

Science  20 Mar 2014:

DOI: 10.1126/science.1250398

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Abstract

Recent discoveries of water-rich lunar apatite are more consistent with the hydrous magmas of Earth than the otherwise volatile-depleted rocks of the Moon. Paradoxically, however, this requires H-rich minerals to form in rocks that are otherwise nearly anhydrous. We modeled existing data from the literature, finding that nominally anhydrous minerals do not sufficiently fractionate H from F and Cl to generate H-rich apatite. Hydrous apatites are explained as the products of apatite-induced low magmatic fluorine which increases the H/F ratio in melt and apatite. Mare basalts may contain hydrogen-rich apatite, but lunar magmas were most likely poor in hydrogen, in agreement with the volatile depletion that is both observed in lunar rocks and required for canonical giant impact models of the formation of the Moon.

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