High Precision U-Pb Chronology of Lunar Impact Melts: New Constraints of the Impact History of the Moon

Project: Research project

Description

The objective of the proposed research is to test the lunar cataclysm hypothesis by investigating the chronology of large impact events on the surface of the Moon. This will be achieved by dating crystalline impact melt clasts from lunar impact melt breccias using high precision U-Pb and Pb-Pb dating. Specifically, we propose to measure the U-Pb isotopic composition of minerals in crystalline impact melt clasts from carefully selected samples of the Apollo and lunar meteorite sample suites which have been previously investigated using the Ar-Ar technique. The precise U-Pb dates will be compared to the previously determined Ar-Ar ages of the impact melts and will provide constraints on the impact history of the Moon's surface. The expected significance of these new constraints on the early impact history of the Moon lies not only in the implications they would have for understanding the formation and evolution of the
lunar crust, but also for understanding the flux of impactors in the inner Solar System during the critical time when life is thought to have originated on Earth.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date9/5/149/4/17

Funding

  • NASA: Goddard Space Flight Center: $122,659.00

Fingerprint

Moon
chronology
melt
history
clast
lunar meteorite
solar system
isotopic composition
crust
mineral
dating