Petrography, relationships, and petrogenesis of the gabbroic lithologies in Northwest Africa 773 clan members Northwest Africa 773, 2727, 3160, 3170, 7007, and 10656

S. N. Valencia, B. L. Jolliff, R. L. Korotev

Meteoritics & Planetary Science
First Published: 29 August 2019


“The Northwest Africa (NWA) 773 clan of lunar meteorite stones are coarse‐grained breccias that provide an opportunity to examine a lunar igneous system that includes inferred intrusive and extrusive lithologies, possibly related through a common liquid line of descent from a single source region. Such extensive sampling of a single very low‐Ti (VLT) magmatic system on the Moon is unprecedented among the lunar samples. This study focuses on the olivine gabbro (OG), anorthositic gabbro (AG), and ferroan gabbro (FG) lithologies variably contained in NWA 773, NWA 2727, NWA 3160, NWA 3170, NWA 7007, and NWA 10656. Mineral compositions in the three gabbros indicate the crystallization sequence OG → AG → FG. Petrologic modeling of these three lithologies, and an olivine phyric basalt that also occurs in the NWA 773 clan, however, suggests that the relationship among the lithologies is more complex. The OG and basalt can be modeled as originating from a VLT KREEP‐bearing parental melt similar to the Apollo 14 Green Glass b1 composition through mainly equilibrium crystallization. The AG and FG, however, do not fit this simple model and require either a more complex crystallization sequence involving fractional crystallization, magma chamber recharge, or perhaps heterogeneity in the source region.”