Encyclopedia of Lunar Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Brian Cudnik

Origin and Evolution of the Moon: Tungsten Isotopic Constraints

  • Thomas S. KruijerEmail author
  • Thorsten Kleine
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-05546-6_81-1


The Moon most likely formed as the result of a collision between the proto-Earth and a differentiated body possibly the size of Mars (Cameron and Benz 1991; Hartmann and Davis 1975). The enormous amount of energy released by this giant impact caused widespread melting on the proto-Earth and the ejection of material into Earth’s orbit from which the Moon subsequently accreted. Upon accretion of the Moon, the lunar mantle underwent global silicate differentiation most likely facilitated by a lunar magma ocean (e.g., Wood et al. 1970). Magma ocean crystallization likely produced the wide diversity of lunar source rocks and involved the successive crystallization of mafic cumulates consisting of olivine and pyroxene, followed by crystallization of plagioclase which floated to the lunar surface to form the lunar crust consisting of ferroan anorthosites (FAN). Finally, the residual liquid of the lunar magma ocean represents a separate component within the Moon termed KREEP...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für PlanetologieUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany
  2. 2.Nuclear and Chemical Sciences DivisionLawrence Livermore National LaboratoryLivermoreUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Edgar Sikko Steenstra
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Earth and Life SciencesVrije UniversiteitAmsterdamThe Netherlands