Lunar meteorite Northwest Africa 11962: A regolith breccia containing various examples of titanium-rich lunar volcanism and the high alkali suite.

Bechtold, Andreas; Brandstatter, Franz; Pitarello, Lidia; Greenwood, Richard and Koeberl, Christian (2021). Lunar meteorite Northwest Africa 11962: A regolith breccia containing various examples of titanium-rich lunar volcanism and the high alkali suite. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 56(5) pp. 971–991.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/maps.13659

Abstract

The meteorite Northwest Africa (NWA) 11962 has been recently classified as a lunar regolith breccia. For the present study, the clasts and the matrix of NWA 11962 have been characterized by optical and electron microscopy along with electron microprobe analyses. The meteorite has a glassy impact melt matrix, which accounts for 35% of the surface area in the thin sections examined, and which contains a very large variety of different lithic clasts, monomineralic clasts, and glass fragments. Lithic clasts include numerous fragments of quartz monzogabbro and lunar felsite, which are quite rare lithologies in the lunar alkali suite. However, the most abundant component in the breccia are gabbroic clasts. The mineral chemistry of the pyroxenes in these gabbroic clasts and the chemistry of various types of glasses in the breccia indicate an origin of the regolith from an area with low-Ti to high-Ti mare basalt volcanism. In addition to the peculiar petrographic characteristics of NWA 11962, the possible pairing relation with the NWA 4472/4485 group of lunar meteorites is discussed.

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