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Direct measurement of hydroxyl in the lunar regolith and the origin of lunar surface water

Liu, Yang and Guan, Yunbin and Zhang, Youxue and Rossman, George R. and Eiler, John M. and Taylor, Lawrence A. (2012) Direct measurement of hydroxyl in the lunar regolith and the origin of lunar surface water. Nature Geoscience, 5 (11). pp. 779-782. ISSN 1752-0894. doi:10.1038/NGEO1601.

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Remote sensing discoveries of hydroxyl and water on the lunar surface have reshaped our view of the distribution of water and related compounds on airless bodies such as the Moon. The origin of this surface water is unclear, but it has been suggested that hydroxyl in the lunar regolith can result from the implantation of hydrogen ions by the solar wind. Here we present Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and secondary ion mass spectrometry analyses of Apollo samples that reveal the presence of significant amounts of hydroxyl in glasses formed in the lunar regolith by micrometeorite impacts. Hydrogen isotope compositions of these glasses suggest that some of the observed hydroxyl is derived from solar wind sources. Our findings imply that ice in polar cold traps could contain hydrogen atoms ultimately derived from the solar wind, as predicted by early theoretical models of water stability on the lunar surface. We suggest that a similar mechanism may contribute to hydroxyl on the surfaces of other airless terrestrial bodies where the solar wind directly interacts with the surface, such as Mercury and the asteroid 4-Vesta.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Guan, Yunbin0000-0002-7636-3735
Zhang, Youxue0000-0002-7439-0086
Rossman, George R.0000-0002-4571-6884
Additional Information:© 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Received 1 May 2012; accepted 12 September 2012; published online 14 October 2012. This work is supported in part by NASA Cosmochemistry grants NNX11AG58G (L.A.T.), NNX10AH74G (Y.Z.), the support from the Moore Foundation to the Caltech Microanalysis Center (J.M.E.), and NSF grant EAR-0947956 (G.R.R.). A portion of this study was also supported by the Planetary Geosciences Institute at UTK. We thank Z. Xu for her assistance with FTIR analyses at UM, M. L. Voyer for kindly providing glass standards, and J. Mosenfelder for providing the dry olivine standard. Author contributions: Y.L. led the project from the sample preparation, the FTIR and SIMS measurements, to the paper writing. Y.G. set up the SIMS instrument and assisted in the formulation of the analytical protocol. Y.Z. assisted in the infrared analyses for all agglutinates. G.R.R. assisted in the preliminary infrared analyses of three agglutinates. L.A.T. initialized the search for water in agglutinates with G.R.R. ~20 yr ago, has championed this endeavor since, and was allocated the lunar soil samples by NASA. All authors participated in the data interpretation and paper writing. The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
University of Tennessee, KnoxvilleUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Geochemistry; Planetary science; Geomorphology
Issue or Number:11
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130107-154912166
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Official Citation:Liu, Y., Y. Guan, et al. (2012). "Direct measurement of hydroxyl in the lunar regolith and the origin of lunar surface water." Nature Geosci 5(11): 779-782.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:36215
Deposited By: Aucoeur Ngo
Deposited On:08 Jan 2013 00:16
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:20

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