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Abstract

The Chinese spacecraft Chang'e-5 (CE-5) landed on the northern Ocean Procellarum and returned 1,731 grams of regolith. The CE-5 regolith is composed mostly of fragments of basalt, impact glass, agglutinates, and mineral fragments. The basalts could be classified as of a low-Ti and highly fractionated type based on their TiO content of ∼5.3 wt% and Mg# of ∼28. Independent of petrographic texture, the CE-5 basalts have a uniform eruption age of 2,030 ± 4 Ma, demonstrating that the Moon remained volcanically active until at least ∼2.0 Ga. Although the CE-5 landing site lies within the so-called Procellarum KREEP [potassium (K), rare earth elements (REE), and phosphorus (P)] Terrane, neither the CE-5 basalts nor the mantle source regions of those basalts were enriched in KREEP components, such as incompatible elements, water, sulfur, or chlorine. Therefore, it would be a new and stimulating task in the future to look for the triggering mechanism of the young volcanism on the Moon.

  • ▪  The CE-5 spacecraft returned 1,731 grams of lunar regolith in December 2020. It was the first new lunar sample since the last collection in August 1976.
  • ▪  CE-5 regolith is basaltic in chemical composition, with only ∼1% highland materials of anorthosite, Mg suite, alkali suite, and KREEP.
  • ▪  The CE-5 basalt is low Ti and highly differentiated. It was extruded at ∼2.0 Ga, being the youngest lunar basalt identified so far from the Moon.
  • ▪  The triggering mechanism of the ∼2.0 Ga lunar volcanism is not clearly understood because its mantle source was dry and contained low abundances of KREEP elements.

Expected final online publication date for the , Volume 52 is May 2024. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-earth-040722-100453
2024-01-02
2024-04-19
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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