Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Crystal/liquid partition coefficients for Cr, V, Mn, and Fe have been determined experimentally between olivine, orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene and silicate melt possesing the composition of a primitive lunar green glass, at oxygen fugacities appropriate to the lunar interior. These species all behave essentially as compatible elements and possess crystal/liquid partition coefficients mostly between 0.3 and 0.9. Partition coefficients for Cr, V, and Mn are generally similar to those of Fe. This implies that crystal/liquid fractionation processes in the lunar interior which do not involve the participation of spinels would not have been effective in fractionating MnO, CrO, and VO from FeO. The well-known constancy of FeO/MnO ratios in nearly all lunar rocks is a reflection of this behaviour. It is shown that comparably strong correlations between CrO-;FeO and VO-;FeO exist for lunar highland breccias and soils from all sites and that these correlations extend to primitive lunar volcanic glasses associated with mare volcanism, strongly suggesting that the CrO/FeO and VO/FeO ratios so derived are of global importance. The observed ratios characterizing ‘differentiated’ regions of the Moon can be combined with the corresponding ratios for residual refractory portions of the Moon, using measured partition coefficients for Fe, Mg, Cr, V, and Mn between olivine, orthopyroxene and liquid. Bulk Moon abundances for Cr and V have been calculated for a range of reasonable assumptions concerning the petrogenetic relationships between differentiated portions of the Moon and complementary refractory residua consisting of olivine and orthopyroxene mineralogies. Because of the small differences in crystal liquid partition coefficients between FeO, CrO, and VO, these estimates are insensitive to large variations in the models. The bulk Moon is accordingly estimated to contain 2190–2463 ppm Cr and 79–95 ppm V. These values are very similar to the Cr and V contents of the Earth's mantle, estimated as 3010 ppm Cr and 81 ppm V by Sun (1982). The geochemical implications of these similarities are discussed.
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