Lunar and martian silica

Masahiro Kayama, Hiroshi Nagaoka, Takafumi Niihara

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Silica polymorphs, such as quartz, tridymite, cristobalite, coesite, stishovite, seifertite, baddeleyite-type SiO2, high-pressure silica glass, moganite, and opal, have been found in lunar and/or martian rocks by macro-microanalyses of the samples and remote-sensing observations on the celestial bodies. Because each silica polymorph is stable or metastable at different pressure and temperature conditions, its appearance is variable depending on the occurrence of the lunar and martian rocks. In other words, types of silica polymorphs provide valuable information on the igneous process (e.g., crystallization temperature and cooling rate), shock metamorphism (e.g., shock pressure and temperature), and hydrothermal fluid activity (e.g., pH and water content), implying their importance in planetary science. Therefore, this article focused on reviewing and summarizing the representative and important investigations of lunar and martian silica from the viewpoints of its discovery from lunar and martian materials, the formation processes, the implications for planetary science, and the future prospects in the field of “micro-mineralogy”.

Original languageEnglish
Article number267
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul


  • Apollo samples
  • Hydrothermal fluid activity
  • Igneous process
  • Lunar and martian meteorites
  • Mars
  • Moon
  • Remote-sensing observation
  • Shock metamorphism
  • Silica

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology


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