The petrology and geochemistry of Miller Range 05035: A new lunar gabbroic meteorite

Joy, K. H.; Crawford, I. A.; Anand, M.; Greenwood, R. C.; Franchi, I. A. and Russell, S. S. (2008). The petrology and geochemistry of Miller Range 05035: A new lunar gabbroic meteorite. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 72(15) pp. 3822–3844.



Miller Range (MIL) 05035 is a lunar gabbroic meteorite. The mineralogy, Fe/Mn ratios in olivine and pyroxene, bulk-rock chemical composition and the bulk oxygen isotope values (δ17O = 2.86–2.97‰ and δ18O = 5.47–5.71‰) are similar to those of other mare basalts, and are taken as supporting evidence for a lunar origin for this meteorite. The sample is dominated by pyroxene grains (54–61% by area mode of thin section) along with large plagioclase feldspar (25–36% by mode) and accessory quartz, ilmenite, spinel, apatite and troilite. The bulk-rock major element composition of MIL 05035 indicates that the sample has a very low-Ti (VLT) to low-Ti lunar heritage (we measure bulk TiO2 to be 0.9 Wt.%) and has low bulk incompatible trace element (ITE) concentrations, akin to samples from the VLT mare basalt suite. To account for these geochemical characteristics we hypothesize that MIL 05035’s parental melt was derived from a mantle region dominated by early cumulates of the magma ocean (comprised principally of olivine and orthopyroxene). MIL 05035 is likely launch paired with the Asuka-881757 and Yamato-793169 basaltic lunar meteorites and the basaltic regolith breccia MET 01210. This group of meteorites (Y/A/M/M) therefore may be a part of a stratigraphic column consisting of an upper regolith environment underlain by a coarsening downwards basalt lava flow.

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