Estimation of trace element concentrations in the lunar magma ocean using mineral- and metal-silicate melt partition coefficients

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doi: 10.1111/maps.12396


Abstract–This study uses experimentally determined plagioclase-melt D values to estimate the trace element concentrations of Sr, Hf, Ga, W, Mo, Ru, Pd, Au, Ni, and Co in a crystallizing lunar magma ocean at the point of plagioclase flotation. Similarly, experimentally determined metal-silicate partition experiments combined with a composition model for the Moon are used to constrain the concentrations of W, Mo, Ru, Pd, Au, Ni, and Co in the lunar magma ocean at the time of core formation. The metal-silicate derived lunar mantle estimates are generally consistent with previous estimates for the concentration of these elements in the lunar mantle. Plagioclase-melt derived concentrations for Sr, Ga, Ru, Pd, Au, Ni, and Co are also consistent with prior estimates. Estimates for Hf, W, and Mo, however, are higher. These elements may be concentrated in the residual liquid during fractional crystallization due to their incompatibility. Alternatively, the apparent enrichment could reflect the inappropriate use of bulk anorthosite data, rather than data for plagioclase separates.