** Progress in Earth and Planetary Science is the official journal of the Japan Geoscience Union, published in collaboration with its 50 society members.

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    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
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    Progress in Earth and Planetary Science

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    Space and planetary sciences


    Formation of ferroan dacite by lunar silicic volcanism recorded in a meteorite from the Moon

    Nagaoka H, Fagan T, Kayama M, Karouji Y, Hasebe N, Ebihara M

    Moon, Mineralogy, Petrology, Volcanology, Silicic volcanism

    An igneous clast from the Northwest Africa 773 (NWA 773) clan of lunar meteorites formed by silicic volcanism on the Moon. The clast was identified in Northwest Africa 2727 (NWA 2727), which is included in the NWA 773 clan. Over 80 mode% of the clast consists of silica + plagioclase + K-Ba-feldspar. The silica phases cristobalite, tridymite, and quartz are all present in the clast, indicating rapid cooling at low pressure in agreement with a volcanic setting. This clast is characterized as a dacite on the basis of mineral modes and whole-rock chemical composition. Olivine and pyroxene in the clast have high Fe/Mg ratios (olivine Fe# > 99, pyroxene Fe# > 99; with Fe# = molar Fe/(Fe + Mg) × 100), suggesting crystallization from a residual liquid after fractionation of more magnesian silicates. The clast is similar in some respects to ferroan gabbro alkaline-phase-ferroan (FG/ARFe) clasts that are inferred to be co-magmatic with olivine gabbro (OG) and other mafic lithologies of the NWA 773 clan. However, the high silica concentration and dominance of apatite as the main Ca-phosphate (no merrillite was identified) are distinct from the FG/ARFe clasts. Thus, the dacite clast probably crystallized in a magmatic setting that was independent of the OG and FG/ARFe lithologies. The mafic major element composition, young age, and high KREEP-content of the NWA 773 clan have been used previously to infer an origin from the Procellarum-KREEP terrane (PKT) on the nearside of the Moon. Several candidates for silicic volcanism/plutonism have been identified in the PKT (e.g., Gruithuisen Domes, Hansteen alpha, Lassell Massif). The presence of the dacite lithology provides additional support for an origin in or around PKT for meteorites of the NWA 773 clan, and for complex igneous activity in PKT region.