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Geologic implications of the Apollo 14 Fra Mauro breccias and comparison with ejecta from the Ries Crater, Germany

January 1, 1973

On the basis of petrographic and laboratory and active seismic data for the Fra Mauro breccias, and by comparison with the nature and distribution of the ejecta from the Ries crater, Germany, some tentative conclusions regarding the geologic significance of the Fra Mauro Formation on the moon can be drawn. The Fra Mauro Formation, as a whole, consists of unwcldcd, porous ejecta, slightly less porous than the regolith. It contains hand-specimen and larger size clasts of strongly annealed complex breccias, partly to slightly annealed breccias, basalts, and perhaps spherule-rich breccias. These clasts are embedded in a matrix of porous aggregate dominated by mineral and breccia fragments and probably largely free of undevitrified glass. All strongly annealed hand-specimen-size breccias are clasts in the Fra Mauro Formation. To account for the porous, unwelded state of the Fra Mauro Formation, the ejecta must have been deposited at a temperature below that required for welding and annealing. Large boulders probably compacted by the Cone crater event occur near the rim of the crater. They probably consist of a similar suite of fragments, but are probably less porous than the formation. The geochronologic clocks of fragments in the Fra Mauro Formation, with textures ranging from unannealed to strongly annealed, were not reset or strongly modified by the Imbrian event. Strongly annealed breccia clasts and basalt clasts are pre-Imbrian, and probably existed as ejecta mixed with basalt flows in the Imbrium Basin prior to the Imbrian event. The Imbrian event probably occurred between 3.90 or 3.88 and 3.65 b.y. ago.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1973
Title Geologic implications of the Apollo 14 Fra Mauro breccias and comparison with ejecta from the Ries Crater, Germany
DOI
Authors E. C. T. Chao
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Research of the U.S. Geological Survey
Series Number
Index ID 70159640
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization