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Geochemical Constraints on the Origin of the Moon and Preservation of Ancient Terrestrial Heterogeneities

Lock, Simon J. and Bermingham, Katherine R. and Parai, Rita and Boyet, Maud (2020) Geochemical Constraints on the Origin of the Moon and Preservation of Ancient Terrestrial Heterogeneities. Space Science Reviews, 216 (6). Art. No. 109. ISSN 0038-6308. doi:10.1007/s11214-020-00729-z.

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The Moon forming giant impact marks the end of the main stage of Earth’s accretion and sets the stage for the subsequent evolution of our planet. The giant impact theory has been the accepted model of lunar origin for 40 years, but the parameters of the impact and the mechanisms that led to the formation of the Moon are still hotly debated. Here we review the principal geochemical observations that constrain the timing and parameters of the impact, the mechanisms of lunar formation, and the contemporaneous evolution of Earth. We discuss how chemical and isotopic studies on lunar, terrestrial and meteorite samples relate to physical models and how they can be used to differentiate between lunar origin models. In particular, we argue that the efficiency of mixing during the collision is a key test of giant impact models. A high degree of intra-impact mixing is required to explain the isotopic similarity between the Earth and Moon but, at the same time, the impact did not homogenize the whole terrestrial mantle, as isotopic signatures of pre-impact heterogeneity are preserved. We summarize the outlook for the field and highlight the key advances in both measurements and modeling needed to advance our understanding of lunar origin.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Lock, Simon J.0000-0001-5365-9616
Bermingham, Katherine R.0000-0002-2226-8580
Parai, Rita0000-0002-9754-7349
Boyet, Maud0000-0002-8945-2470
Additional Information:© 2020 Springer. Received 26 November 2019; Accepted 26 August 2020; Published 10 September 2020. This paper was instigated at the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) workshop ‘Reading Terrestrial Planet Evolution in Isotopes and Element Measurements’ and the authors would like to thank ISSI and Europlanet for their support. We would also like to thank Paolo Sossi and an anonymous reviewer for comments that helped improve the clarity and completeness of the manuscript, and Helmut Lammer for editorial handling. We thank Jessica Barnes for providing their Cl isotope database. SJL acknowledges funding from NSF (awards EAR-1947614 and EAR-1725349) and the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at the California Institute of Technology. KRB acknowledges funding from NASA Emerging Worlds grants 80NSSC18K0496 and NNX16AN07G, NASA SSERVI grant NNA14AB07A, and support from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University. RP acknowledges support from Washington University. MB received funding from the European Research Council (ERC Grant agreement No. 682778 - ISOREE).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary SciencesUNSPECIFIED
Rutgers UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Washington UniversityUNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)682778-ISOREE
Subject Keywords:Earth; Moon; Impacts; Formation; Geochemistry; Isotopes
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200916-074454605
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Official Citation:Lock, S.J., Bermingham, K.R., Parai, R. et al. Geochemical Constraints on the Origin of the Moon and Preservation of Ancient Terrestrial Heterogeneities. Space Sci Rev 216, 109 (2020).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:105397
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 Sep 2020 15:26
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:42

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