14321 (240) Clast-rich, Crystalline-matrix Breccia
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Fact sheet

14321 (240) Clast-rich, Crystalline-matrix Breccia

14321 is a clastic rock with a variety of lithic and microbreccia clasts. It contains 30% clasts. Because of its large size it has been affectionately been called "Big Bertha". The matrix of this sample is crystalline, moderately coherent and the result of sintering in hot ejecta blanket without digestion of clasts. Other authors attribute the recrystallisation of the matrix as due to “shock sintering”. The majority of the non-breccia clasts are aluminous basalts. Some are referred to as olivine vitrophyre. Only a small number of possibly-pristine plutonic rock fragments have been found and none of these are norite or ferroan anorthosite.

14321 weighed 8898 grams before analysis. The breccia matrix has not been well dated although 3.93 and 4.06 billion year ages are reported (Ar/Ar). Individual basalt clasts range from 3.84-3.94 billion years old.

Further details of this and other Apollo samples are here: http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/lunar/

About this collection

The Apollo 14 landing site was in a region formed by impact-basin debris.

Most of the 42 kilograms of rocks and soil collected on Apollo 14 are breccias (rocks that are composed of fragments of other, older rocks). In some cases, the rock fragments that form a breccia are themselves breccias. Such rocks obviously have experienced complex histories with multiple generations of impact events. Some breccias were heated enough that some of the material in the rock was melted. 

Apollo 14 was launched on 31 January 1971.

Sample details

Collection: Apollo 14
Rock-forming mineral
Accessory minerals
metallic iron
Category guide  
Category Guide
Refers to any word or phrase that appears in the individual rock names. Names are generally descriptive; they allow users to search for broad terms like ‘granite’ as well as more specific names such as ‘breccia’. However, the adjacent descriptions of the specimens captures a wider range of general words and phrases and is a more powerful search tool.
Refers to any word or phrase that appears anywhere in the descriptions of the specimens
Accessory minerals
Minerals that occur in very low abundance in a rock. They are usually not visible with the naked eye and contribute perhapssver, they often dominate the rare elements such as platinum group metals.
Rock-forming minerals
Minerals that make up the bulk of all rock samples and are also the ones used in rock classi?cation.
Selecting one or more period, for example 'Jurassic'.
A term used to group together related samples that are not already gathered into a single Collection. For instance, there is a ‘SW England granites’ theme that includes such rock types as granite, hydrothermal breccia, skarn and vein samples.
A general term used to label a rock sample. It is a useful way of grouping similar samples throughout a collection. Category names are often, but not exclusively, common rock names (e.g. granite, basalt, dolerite, gabbro, greisen, skarn, gneiss, amphibolite, limestone, sandstone).
The owner of the sample that appears in the collection. For example, NASA owns all the samples that appear in the Moon Rocks collection
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