Investigating the crystallization history of Apollo 15 mare basalts using quantitative textural analysisOPEN ACCESS 

S. K. Bell, K. H. Joy, J. F. Pernet-Fisher, M. E. Hartley

Version of Record online: 23 June 2023


“Mare basalts collected at the Apollo 15 landing site are classified as belonging to either the quartz-normative suite or the olivine-normative suite, based on differences in whole-rock major element chemistry. A wide range of textures are displayed within samples from both suites, which provide insight into eruption processes on the Moon. Here we use crystal size distribution (CSD) analysis and spatial distribution pattern (SDP) analysis of pyroxene, olivine, and plagioclase crystals in eight Apollo 15 mare basalt samples to investigate the crystallization and emplacement of the quartz-normative and olivine-normative suites. In general, our results show similarities between the CSDs and SDPs for both mare basalt suites. However, we also report two distinct groups of pyroxene CSD trends that likely represent samples with common cooling histories, originating from comparable depths within respective olivine-normative and quartz-normative lava flows. We use our results to determine the relative depths of samples within the lava flows at the Apollo 15 landing site.”