The Hadley-Apennine KREEP basalt igneous province


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Abstract– We have studied 27 KREEP basalt fragments in six thin sections of samples collected from four Apollo 15 stations. Based on local geology and regional remote sensing data, these samples represent KREEP basalt lava flows that lie beneath the younger, local Apollo 15 mare basalts and under other mare flows north of the Apollo 15 site. Some of these rocks were deposited at the site as ejecta from the large craters Aristillus and Autolycus. KREEP basalts in this igneous province have a volume of 103–2 × 104 km3. Mineral and bulk compositional data indicate that the erupted magmas had Mg# [100 × molar Mg/(Mg + Fe)] up to 73, corresponding to orthopyroxene-rich interior source regions with Mg# up to 90. Minor element variations in the parent magmas of the KREEP basalts, inferred from compositions of the most magnesian pyroxene and most calcic plagioclase in each sample, indicate small but significant differences in the concentrations of minor elements and Mg#, reflecting variations in the composition of lower crustal or mantle source regions and/or different amounts of partial melting of those source regions.