Discovery of moganite in a lunar meteorite as a trace of H2O ice in the Moon’s regolithOPEN ACCESS 

Masahiro Kayama, Naotaka Tomioka, Eiji Ohtani, Yusuke Seto, Hiroshi Nagaoka, Jens Götze, Akira Miyake, Shin Ozawa, Toshimori Sekine, Masaaki Miyahara, Kazushige Tomeoka, Megumi Matsumoto, Naoki Shoda, Naohisa Hirao, Takamichi Kobayashi

Science Advances 02 May 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 5, eaar4378
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aar4378


“Moganite, a monoclinic SiO2 phase, has been discovered in a lunar meteorite. Silica micrograins occur as nanocrystalline aggregates of mostly moganite and occasionally coesite and stishovite in the KREEP (high potassium, rare-earth element, and phosphorus)–like gabbroic-basaltic breccia NWA 2727, although these grains are seemingly absent in other lunar meteorites. We interpret the origin of these grains as follows: alkaline water delivery to the Moon via carbonaceous chondrite collisions, fluid capture during impact-induced brecciation, moganite precipitation from the captured H2O at pH 9.5 to 10.5 and 363 to 399 K on the sunlit surface, and meteorite launch from the Moon caused by an impact at 8 to 22 GPa and >673 K. On the subsurface, this captured H2O may still remain as ice at estimated bulk content of >0.6 weight %. This indicates the possibility of the presence of abundant available water resources underneath local sites of the host bodies within the Procellarum KREEP and South Pole Aitken terranes.”