A Numerical Approach to Modeling the Geochemical Evolution of the Lunar Magma Ocean

Master's Thesis


In this thesis, I will explore the processes and mechanisms that took place to form, crystallize, and solidify the lunar magma ocean (LMO). It is generally accepted that the lunar crust and at least the uppermost (500 km) mantle was formed by crystallization of a magma ocean. The conditions under which the magma ocean cooled and crystallized, however, are still under debate. These conditions, among others, are the bulk composition, lunar magma ocean (LMO) crystallization (fractional vs. equilibrium), depth of the LMO, and time for LMO solidification (effects of tidal heating mechanisms, insulating crustal lid, etc.). Lunar magma ocean theory has undergone extensive analysis and discussion throughout the past 40 years, ranging from observations by numerical modeling, lunar petrology and geochronology, to laboratory experiments. This study is a reexamination of the LMO crystallization model proposed by Snyder et al. (1992) and the incorporation of recent studies using numerical modeling of the LMO, geochronology of the anorthosite highlands, and experimentally derived LMO crystallization scenarios. We combine all of these factors into a new hybrid model.

NOTE: Relevant code files are included in the Programs.zip archive for ease of access.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-09132013-203604

Author Jesse David Davenport
Advisor Clive Neal
Contributor Diogo Bolster, Committee Member
Contributor Jeremy Fein, Committee Member
Contributor Clive Neal, Committee Chair
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences
Degree Name Master of Science in Geological Sciences
Defense Date
  • 2013-08-09

Submission Date 2013-09-13
  • United States of America

  • lunar magma ocean

  • geochemistry

  • igneous petrology

  • Moon

  • modeling

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units

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