Petrogenesis of lunar highlands meteorites: Dhofar 025, Dhofar 081 Dar al Gani 262, and Dar al Gani 400
The petrogenesis of four lunar highlands meteorites, Dhofar 025 (Dho 025), Dhofar 081 (Dho 081), Dar al Gani 262 (DaG 262), and Dar al Gani 400 (DaG 400) were studied. For Dho 025, measured oxygen isotopic values and Fe-Mn ratios for mafic minerals provide corroboratory evidence that it originated on the Moon. Similarly, Fe-Mn ratios in the mafic minerals of Dho 081 indicate lunar origin. Lithologies in Dho 025 and Dho 081 include lithic clasts, granulites, and mineral fragments. A large number of lithic clasts have plagioclase AN# and coexisting mafic mineral Mg# that plot within the "gap" separating ferroan anorthosite suite (FAN) and high-magnesium suite (HMS) rocks. This is consistent with whole rock Ti-Sm ratios for Dho 025, Dho 081, and DaG 262, which are also intermediate compared to FAN and HMS lithologies. Although ion microprobe analyses performed on Dho 025, Dho 081, DaG 262, and DaG 400 clasts and minerals show far stronger FAN affinities than whole rock data suggest, most clasts indicate admixture of £12% HMS component based on geochemical modeling. In addition, coexisting plagioclase-pyroxene REE concentration ratios in several clasts were compared to experimentally determined plagioclase-pyroxene REE distribution coefficient ratios. Two Dho 025 clasts have concordant plagioclase-pyroxene profiles, indicating that equilibrium between these minerals has been sustained despite shock metamorphism. One clast has an intermediate FAN-HMS composition. These lunar meteorites appear to represent a type of highland terrain that differs substantially from the KREEP-signatured impact breccias that dominate the lunar database. From remote sensing data, it is inferred that the lunar far side appears to have appropriate geochemical signatures and lithologies to be the source regions for these rocks; although, the near side cannot be completely excluded as a possibility. If these rocks are, indeed, from the far side, their geochemical characteristics may have far-reaching implications for our current scientific understanding of the Moon.