Enigmatic cathodoluminescent objects in the Dhofar 025 lunar meteorite: Origin and sources

March 2017, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 139–149


Original Russian Text © S.I. Demidova, M.A. Nazarov, K.M. Ryazantsev, M.O. Anosova, T. Ntaflos, F. Brandstätter, 2017, published in Petrologiya, 2017, Vol. 25, No. 2, pp. 123–134.

“Dhofar 025 is a lunar highland breccia consisting mainly of anorthositic, with less common noritic, gabbronoritic, and troctolitic material. Rare fragments of low-Ti basalts are present as well, but no KREEP (component enriched in incompatible elements) was found in the meteorite. The cathodoluminescence study of this meteorite showed that its impact–melt matrix contains unusual cathodoluminescent (CL) objects of feldspathic composition, which frequently contain microlites of Fe-Mg spinel (pleonaste). They were presumably formed by impact mixing and melting of olivine and plagioclase with subsequent rapid quenching of the impact melts. Such mixing could happen either during assimilation of anorthosites by picritic/troctolitic magmas or during impact melting of troctolites. The enrichment of CL objects of Dhofar 025 in incompatible trace elements suggests that the mafic component of the impact mixture may be related to the high-magnesium suite rocks, which are frequently enriched in KREEP component. The depletion of CL objects in alkalis indicates their possible relation with residual glasses formed by evaporation. However, the presence of FeO in most objects points to the insignificant extent of evaporation. Thus, evaporation cannot explain the enrichment of the CL objects in Al2O3 and other refractory components, although this process definitely took place in their formation. Their similarity to the lunar pink spinel anorthosites, whose existence was predicted from orbital data, serves as an argument in support of the possible formation of the latters by impact mixing.”