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Conference Papers Year : 2016

Zinc and volatile element loss during planetary magma ocean phases


Zinc is a moderately volatile element and a key tracer of volatile depletion on planetary bodies due to lack of significant isotopic fractionation under high-temperature processes. Terrestrial basalts have δ66Zn values similar to some chondrites (+ 0.15 to 0.3‰ where [{66Zn/64Znsample/66Zn/64ZnJMC-Lyon-1} × 1000]) and elevated Zn concentrations (100 ppm). Lunar mare basalts yield a mean δ66Zn value of +1.4 ± 0.5‰ and have low Zn concentrations (~2 ppm). Late-stage lunar magmatic products, such as ferroan anorthosite, Mg-suite and Alkali suite rocks exhibit heavier δ66Zn values (+3 to +6‰). The heavy δ66Zn lunar signature is thought to reflect evaporative loss and fractionation of zinc, either during a giant impact or in a magma ocean phase.We explore conditions of volatile element loss within a lunar magma ocean (LMO) using models of Zn isotopic fractionation that are widely applicable to planetary magma oceans. For the Moon, our objective was to identify conditions that would yield a δ66Zn signature of ~ +1.4‰ within the mantle, assuming a terrestrial mantle zinc starting composition.We examine two cases of zinc evaporative fractionation: (1) lunar surface zinc fractionation that was completed prior to LMO crystallization and (2) lunar surface zinc fractionation that was concurrent with LMO crystallization. The first case resulted in a homogeneous lunar mantle and the second case yielded a stratified lunar mantle, with the greatest zinc isotopic enrichment in late-stage crystallization products. This latter case reproduces the distribution of zinc isotope compositions in lunar materials quite well.We find that hydrodynamic escape was not a dominant process in losing Zn, but that erosion of a nascent lunar atmosphere, or separation of condensates into a proto-lunar crust are possible. While lunar volatile depletion is still possible as a consequence of the giant impact, this process cannot reproduce the variable δ66Zn found in the Moon. Outgassing during magma ocean phases would have led to volatile-depleted planetesimal feed-stocks that would have profoundly affected the ultimate volatile inventories of larger planetary bodies.
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insu-03581291 , version 1 (19-02-2022)



Jasmeet K. Dhaliwal, James M. D. Day, Frédéric Moynier. Zinc and volatile element loss during planetary magma ocean phases. American Astronomical Society, 0000, à renseigner, Unknown Region. p. 196-207. ⟨insu-03581291⟩
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