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Hf-W Chronometry of Lunar Metals and the Age and Early Differentiation of the Moon
- Kleine, Thorsten, Palme, Herbert, Mezger, Klaus, Halliday, Alex N.
- Science 2005 v.310 no.5754 pp. 1671-1674
- crystallization, isotopes, tungsten
- The use of hafnium-tungsten chronometry to date the Moon is hampered by cosmogenic tungsten-182 production mainly by neutron capture of tantalum-181 at the lunar surface. We report tungsten isotope data for lunar metals, which contain no ¹⁸¹Ta-derived cosmogenic ¹⁸²W. The data reveal differences in indigenous ¹⁸²W/¹⁸⁴W of lunar mantle reservoirs, indicating crystallization of the lunar magma ocean 4.527 ± 0.010 billion years ago. This age is consistent with the giant impact hypothesis and defines the completion of the major stage of Earth's accretion.