Dhofar 280 recorded a complex history on the Moon revealed by high-resolution 40Ar-39Ar dating. Thermal resetting occurred less than 1 Ga ago, and the rock was exposed to several impact events before and afterwards. The cosmic ray exposure (CRE) age spectrum indicates a 400 ± 40 Ma CRE on the lunar surface. A unique feature of this lunar sample is a partial loss of cosmogenic 38Ar, resulting in a (low-temperature) CRE age plateau of about 1 Ma. This was likely caused by the same recent impact event that reset the (low-temperature) 40Ar-39Ar age spectrum and preceded the short transit phase to Earth of ≤1 Ma. Dhofar 280 may be derived from KREEP-rich lunar frontside terrains, possibly associated with the Copernicus crater or with a recent impact event on the deposits of the South Pole–Aitken basin. Although Dhofar 280 is paired with Dhofar 081, their irradiation and thermal histories on the Moon were different. An important trapped Ar component in Dhofar 280 is “orphan” Ar with a low 40Ar/36Ar ratio. It is apparently a mixture of two components, one endmember with 40Ar/36Ar = 17.5 ± 0.2 and a second less well-constrained endmember with 40Ar/36Ar ≤10. The presence of two endmembers of trapped Ar, their compositions, and the breccia ages seem to be incompatible with a previously suggested correlation between age or antiquity and the (40Ar/36Ar)trapped ratio (Eugster et al. 2001; Joy et al. 2011a). Alternatively, “orphan” Ar of this impact melt breccia may have an impact origin.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Space and Planetary Science