An analog of the Apollo 12 olivine vitrophyres has been crystallized in a 1-atm gas-mixing furnace at cooling rates ranging between 1250 and 0.7 C/hr and isothermally at degrees of supercooling ranging from 10 C to 325 C. Mineral chemistry, crystal shapes, grain sizes and textures are systematically related to cooling rate and degree of supercooling. At linear cooling rates not exceeding 40 C/hr the texture is porphyritic - large olivine crystals are set in a groundmass of finer-grained pyroxene, plagioclase, and ilmenite; a later generation of olivine never crystallizes. There are three shapes of olivine crystals in the Apollo 12 olivine vitrophyres: glomerocrysts of subhedral crystals, large subequant skeletons, and highly elongate skeletons. These result from three generations of nucleation and a two-stage cooling history - a slow preeruption stage and a rapid continuously increasing posteruption stage. It seems likely that the Apollo 12 olivine basalt magmas were erupted with olivine crystals in suspension. The nucleation temperature of olivine in cooling-rate experiments is dependent on the experimental technique, and hence results of cooling experiments should be applied with caution.
Lunar and Planetary Science Conference Proceedings
- Pub Date:
- Apollo 12 Flight;
- Lunar Temperature;
- Lunar Evolution;
- Metamorphism (Geology);
- Lunar and Planetary Exploration