2010 Annual Science Report
University of Hawaii, Manoa Reporting | SEP 2009 – AUG 2010
Lunar Water, Volatiles, and Differentiation
Recent discoveries of water in the Moon have important implications for how and when water was delivered to Earth. One way of investigating this is to determine how much water the Moon had when it formed. We do this by searching for water in rocks rich in trace elements that behave somewhat like water does in magmas. It turns out that this problem cannot be separated from study of lunar differentiation, so we also try to figure out how the major types of lunar rocks formed.
We have just begun this project in earnest, although we have been actively studying the genesis of KREEP basalts (rich in incompatible elements, but apparently with low water contents). One project is to study the thermal history of lunar felsites (granite-like rocks) to understand their formation and thermal history. This relates to recent measurements by the LRO mission that some volcano-like features might be composed of silicic rocks.