Opendata, web and dolomites


Investigating the formation and early evolution of the Moon with a combined experimental and analytical approach

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "MoonDiff" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: DE BOELELAAN 1105
postcode: 1081 HV

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Total cost 165˙598 €
 EC max contribution 165˙598 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2017
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-06-01   to  2020-05-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    STICHTING VU NL (AMSTERDAM) coordinator 165˙598.00


 Project objective

The project aims to investigate one of the fundamental events in the early evolution of the solar system; the timing of the formation and initial differentiation of the Moon, by combining isotopic analyses of lunar samples with new experimental constraints on the partitioning behaviour of key radiogenic parent-daughter elements. Previous isotope analyses of lunar samples provided model ages interpreted to represent key processes in the Moon’s early geologic evolution, although these interpretations remain speculative and are often conflicting. In particular, recent work by the experienced researcher (ER) has provided new insight into the Pb isotope systematics of lunar rocks and the framework for a model of magmatic evolution in the Moon, but uncertainties associated with the partitioning behaviour of U and Pb, severely hinder data interpretations. Hence, the ER will perform a series of experiments replicating the temperature and pressure conditions during lunar core formation and in the hypothesised Lunar Magma Ocean (LMO). These experiments will be performed in the Vrije Universiteit high-pressure laboratory (Work Package (WP) 1), building on their recent studies. Experimental run products will be subjected to comprehensive analysis (WP 2); e.g. scanning electron microscope imaging to characterise phase assemblages while major, minor and trace element concentrations will be determined using electron microprobe and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in order to determine partition coefficients. These partition coefficients will then be incorporated into new models of lunar differentiation and LMO crystallisation (WP 3). Finally, the ER plans to test these models with secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) measurements of Pb isotope systematics in a range of lunar basalts collected during the Apollo missions and lunar meteorites (WP 4).


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Joshua F. Snape, Alexander A. Nemchin, Martin J. Whitehouse, Renaud E. Merle, Thomas Hopkinson, Mahesh Anand
The timing of basaltic volcanism at the Apollo landing sites
published pages: 29-53, ISSN: 0016-7037, DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2019.07.042
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 266 2020-04-01
2020 J.J. Bellucci, M.J. Whitehouse, A.A. Nemchin, J.F. Snape, G.G. Kenny, R.E. Merle, P.A. Bland, G.K. Benedix
Tracing martian surface interactions with the triple O isotope compositions of meteoritic phosphates
published pages: 115977, ISSN: 0012-821X, DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2019.115977
Earth and Planetary Science Letters 531 2020-04-01
2019 F. Thiessen, A. A. Nemchin, J. F. Snape, M. J. Whitehouse
U‐Pb SIMS ages of Apollo 14 zircon: Identifying distinct magmatic episodes
published pages: 1720-1736, ISSN: 1086-9379, DOI: 10.1111/maps.13310
Meteoritics & Planetary Science 54/8 2020-04-01
2019 N. M. Curran, K. H. Joy, J. F. Snape, J. F. Pernet‐Fisher, J. D. Gilmour, A. A. Nemchin, M. J. Whitehouse, R. Burgess
The early geological history of the Moon inferred from ancient lunar meteorite Miller Range 13317
published pages: 1401-1430, ISSN: 1086-9379, DOI: 10.1111/maps.13295
Meteoritics & Planetary Science 54/7 2020-04-01
2019 Romain Tartèse, Mahesh Anand, Jérôme Gattacceca, Katherine H. Joy, James I. Mortimer, John F. Pernet-Fisher, Sara Russell, Joshua F. Snape, Benjamin P. Weiss
Constraining the Evolutionary History of the Moon and the Inner Solar System: A Case for New Returned Lunar Samples
published pages: , ISSN: 0038-6308, DOI: 10.1007/s11214-019-0622-x
Space Science Reviews 215/8 2020-04-01
2019 J.J. Bellucci, A.A. Nemchin, M. Grange, K.L. Robinson, G. Collins, M.J. Whitehouse, J.F. Snape, M.D. Norman, D.A. Kring
Terrestrial-like zircon in a clast from an Apollo 14 breccia
published pages: 173-185, ISSN: 0012-821X, DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2019.01.010
Earth and Planetary Science Letters 510 2020-04-01
2018 Joshua F. Snape, Natalie M. Curran, Martin J. Whitehouse, Alexander A. Nemchin, Katherine H. Joy, Tom Hopkinson, Mahesh Anand, Jeremy J. Bellucci, Gavin G. Kenny
Ancient volcanism on the Moon: Insights from Pb isotopes in the MIL 13317 and Kalahari 009 lunar meteorites
published pages: 84-95, ISSN: 0012-821X, DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2018.08.035
Earth and Planetary Science Letters 502 2019-05-08

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