Moganite, a monoclinic SiO 2 phase, has been discovered in a lunar meteorite. Silica micrograins occur as nanocrystalline aggregates of mostly moganite and occasionally coesite and stishovite in the KREEP (high potassium, rare-earth element, and phosphorus)–like gabbroic-basaltic breccia NWA 2727, although these grains are seemingly absent in other lunar meteorites. We interpret the origin of these grains as follows: alkaline water delivery to the Moon via carbonaceous chondrite collisions, fluid capture during impact-induced brecciation, moganite precipitation from the captured H 2 O at pH 9.5 to 10.5 and 363 to 399 K on the sunlit surface, and meteorite launch from the Moon caused by an impact at 8 to 22 GPa and 〉673 K. On the subsurface, this captured H 2 O may still remain as ice at estimated bulk content of 〉0.6 weight %. This indicates the possibility of the presence of abundant available water resources underneath local sites of the host bodies within the Procellarum KREEP and South Pole Aitken terranes.
Natural Sciences in General