Abstract

We report the occurrence of a previously unidentified mineral in lunar samples: a Cl-,F-,REE-rich silico-phosphate identified as Cl-bearing fluorcalciobritholite. This mineral is found in late-stage crystallization assemblages of slowly cooled high-Ti basalts 10044, 10047, 75035, and 75055. It occurs as rims on fluorapatite or as a solid-solution between fluorapatite and Cl-fluorcalciobritholite. The Cl-fluorcalciobritholite appears to be nominally anhydrous. The Cl and Fe2+ of the lunar Cl fluorcalciobritholite distinguishes it from its terrestrial analog. The textures and chemistry of the Clfluorcalciobritholite argue for growth during the last stages of igneous crystallization, rather than by later alteration/replacement by Cl-, REE-bearing metasomatic agents in the lunar crust. The igneous growth of this Cl- and F-bearing and OH-poor mineral after apatite in the samples we have studied suggests that the Lunar Apatite Paradox model (Boyce et al. 2014) may be inapplicable for high-Ti lunar magmas. This new volatile-bearing mineral has important potential as a geochemical tool for understanding Cl isotopes and REE chemistry of lunar samples.

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