Skip to main content

Water Formation in the Lunar Regolith


This study shows that oxygen atoms can be released from a crystal lattice of silicon dioxide in the lunar regolith as parts of silver hydroxide molecules. In turn, silver hydroxide can relatively easily react with hydrogen to generate water and silver. This means that the formation of water molecules involved in near-surface lunar soil is possible. The presence of water molecules in lunar soil can affect the photoelectric properties of the lunar regolith and the parameters of the dusty plasma system over the Moon.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 3.


  1. Popel, S.I. and Zelenyi, L.M., Future lunar missions and investigation of dusty plasma processes on the Moon, J. Plasma Phys., 2013, vol. 79, no. 4, pp. 405–411.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  2. Popel, S.I., Dust and dusty plasma in the solar system, Priroda, 2015, no. 9, pp. 48–56.

  3. Mitrofanov, I.G., Sanin, A.B., Boynton, W.V., et al., Hydrogen mapping of the lunar south pole using the LRO neutron detector experiment LEND, Science, 2010, vol. 330, pp. 483–486.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  4. Starukhina, L., Water detection on atmosphereless celestial bodies: Alternative explanations of the observations, J. Geophys. Res., 2001, vol. 106, no. E7, pp. 14701–14710.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  5. Chen, Y., Zhang, Y., Liu, Y., et al., Water, fluorine, and sulfur concentrations in the lunar mantle, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 2015, vol. 427, pp. 37–46.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  6. Hauri, E.H., Saal, A.E., Rutherford, M.J., and Van Orman, J.A., Water in the Moon’s interior: Truth and consequences, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 2015, vol. 409, pp. 252–264.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  7. McCubbin, F.M., Van der Kaaden, K.E., Tartèse, R., et al., Magmatic volatiles (H, C, N, F, S, Cl) in the lunar mantle, crust, and regolith: Abundances, distributions, processes, and reservoirs, Am. Mineral., 2015, vol. 100, pp. 1668–1707.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  8. Barnes, J.J., Kring, D.A., Tartèse, R., et al., An asteroidal origin for water in the Moon, Nature Commun., 2016, vol. 7, р. 11 684.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Starukhina, L.V., On the origin of excess hydrogen at the lunar poles, Sol. Syst. Res., 2000, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 215–219.

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  10. Schultz, P.H., Hermalyn, B., Colaprete, A., et al., The Lcross Cratering Experiment, Science, 2010, vol. 330, pp. 468–472.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  11. Bogatikov, O.A., Gorshkov, A.I., Mokhov, A.V., Ashikhmina, N.A., and Magazina, L.O., The first finding of native molybdenum, silver sulfide, and iron–tin alloy in the lunar regolith, Geochem. Int., 2001, vol. 39, no. 6, pp. 604–608.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Bogatikov, O.A., Gorshkov, A.I., Mokhov, A.V., Ashikhmina, N.A., and Magazina, L.O., New finds of ore minerals in lunar regolith from the Sea of Crises, Dokl. Earth Sci., 2001, vol. 378, no. 4, pp. 449–451.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Mokhov, A.V., Kartashev, P.M., and Bogatikov, O.A., Luna pod mikroskopom: novye dannye po mineralogii Luny: atlas (The Moon Seen through Microscope: New Data on Lunar Mineralogy: An Atlas), Moscow: Nauka, 2007.

  14. Golub’, A.P., Dol’nikov, G.G., Zakharov, A.V., et al., Dusty plasma system in the surface layer of the illuminated part of the Moon, JETP Lett., 2012, vol. 95, no. 4, pp. 182–187.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  15. Bogatikov, O.A., Mokhov, A.V., Kartashev, P.M., et al., Microparticles of ore minerals in the lunar regolith from Mare Fecundidatis: (Cu, Au, Ag)4Zn, Ag, Au, Sn, Pb, Sb, Re, MoS2, CdS, AuS, and RhI3, Dokl. Earth Sci., 2004, vol. 395, no. 3, pp. 448–452.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Popel, S.I., Kopnin, S.I., Golub’, A.P., et al., Dusty plasma at the surface of the Moon, Sol. Syst. Res., 2013, vol. 47, no. 6, pp. 419–429.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to S. I. Popel.

Additional information

Translated by V. Arutyunyan

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Dubinskii, A.Y., Popel, S.I. Water Formation in the Lunar Regolith. Cosmic Res 57, 79–84 (2019).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: