• Macroscopic subdivision of silica aerogel collectors for sample return missions

      Ishii, H. A.; Bradley, J. P. (The Meteoritical Society, 2006-01-01)
      Silica aerogel collector tiles have been employed for the collection of particles in low Earth orbit and, more recently, for the capture of cometary particles by NASA's Stardust mission. Reliable, reproducible methods for cutting these and future collector tiles from sample return missions are necessary to maximize the science output from the extremely valuable embedded particles. We present a means of macroscopic subdivision of collector tiles by generating large-scale cuts over several centimeters in silica aerogel with almost no material loss. The cut surfaces are smooth and optically clear allowing visual location of particles for analysis and extraction. This capability is complementary to the smaller-scale cutting capabilities previously described (Westphal 2004; Ishii 2005a, 2005b) for removing individual impacts and particulate debris in tiny aerogel extractions. Macroscopic cuts enable division and storage or distribution of portions of aerogel tiles for immediate analysis of samples by certain techniques in situ or further extraction of samples suited for other methods of analysis. The capability has been implemented in the Stardust Laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Center as one of a suite of aerogel cutting methods to be used in Stardust sample curation.
    • Magma ocean fractional crystallization and cumulate overturn in terrestrial planets: Implications for Mars

      Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Parmentier, E. M.; Hess, P. C. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
      Crystallization of a magma ocean on a large terrestrial planet that is significantly melted by the energy of accretion may lead to an unstable cumulate density stratification, which may overturn to a stable configuration. Overturn of the initially unstable stratification may produce an early basaltic crust and differentiated mantle reservoirs. Such a stable compositional stratification can have important implications for the planet's subsequent evolution by delaying or suppressing thermal convection and by influencing the distribution of radiogenic heat sources. We use simple models for fractional crystallization of a martian magma ocean, and calculate the densities of the resulting cumulates. While the simple models presented do not include all relevant physical processes, they are able to describe to first order a number of aspects of martian evolution. The models describe the creation of magma source regions that differentiated early in the history of Mars, and present the possibility of an early, brief magnetic field initiated by cold overturned cumulates falling to the core- mantle boundary. In a model that includes the density inversion at about 7.5 GPa, where olivine and pyroxene float in the remaining magma ocean liquids while garnet sinks, cumulate overturn sequesters alumina in the deep martian interior. The ages and compositions of source regions are consistent with SNC meteorite data.
    • Magmatic cristobalite and quartz in the NWA 856 Martian meteorite

      Leroux, Hugues; Cordier, Patrick (The Meteoritical Society, 2006-01-01)
      Silica-rich late-stage crystallization pockets in the Martian meteorite Northwest Africa (NWA) 856 were investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The pockets occur as wedges between maskelynite laths or between maskelynite and pyroxene. They consist of elongated grains of cristobalite and quartz embedded in a silica-rich glass. Interstitial to the amorphous phase and silica minerals, a number of small accessory minerals have been identified, typical for late-stage crystallization products. They are ilmenite, tranquillityite, fayalite, troilite, baddeleyite, apatite, and chloroapatite. Cristobalite and quartz are shocked, as revealed by the occurrence of numerous amorphous lamellae. This assemblage suggests metastable dendritic crystallization under hydrous conditions. Cristobalite crystallization was probably facilitated by the presence of impurities such as Na or H2O. Our observations show that silica minerals can be formed under magmatic conditions on Mars.
    • Magnetic characterization of Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary sediments

      Villasante-Marcos, V.; Martínez-Ruiz, F.; Osete, M. L.; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J. (The Meteoritical Society, 2007-01-01)
      Rock magnetic properties across several K-T boundary sections have been investigated to reveal any possible magnetic signature associated with the remains of the impact event at the end of the Cretaceous. Studied sections locations vary in distance to the Chicxulub structure from distal (Agost and Caravaca, Spain), through closer (ODP Hole 1049A, Blake Nose, North Atlantic), to proximal (El Mimbral and La Lajilla, Mexico). A clear magnetic signature is associated with the fireball layer in the most distal sections, consisting of a sharp increase in susceptibility and saturation isothermal remanent magnetization (SIRM), and a decrease in remanence coercivity. Magnetic properties in these sections point to a distinctive ferrimagnetic phase, probably corresponding to the reported Mg- and Ni-rich, highly oxidized spinels of meteoritic origin. At closer and proximal sections magnetic properties are different. Although there is an increase in susceptibility and SIRM associated with a rusty layer placed on top of the siliciclastic deposit in proximal sections, and with a similar limonitic layer on top of the spherule bed that defines the boundary at Blake Nose, the magnetic properties indicate a mixture of iron oxyhydroxides dominated by fine-grained goethite. Based on previous geochemical studies at Blake Nose and new geochemical and PGE abundance measurements performed in this work at El Mimbral, this goethite-rich layer can be interpreted as an effect of diagenetic remobilization and precipitation of Fe. There is not enough evidence to assert that this Fe concentration layer at proximal sections is directly related to deposition of fine meteoritic material. Magnetic, geochemical, and iridium data reject it as a primary meteoritic phase.
    • Magnetic classification of stony meteorites: 1. Ordinary chondrites

      Rochette, P.; Sagnotti, L.; Bourot-Denise, M.; Consolmagno, G.; Folco, L.; Gattacceca, J.; Osete, M. L.; Pesonen, L. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
      We present a database of magnetic susceptibility measurements on 971 ordinary chondrites. It demonstrates that this parameter can besuccessfully used to characterize and classify ordinary chondrite meteorites. In ordinary chondrites, this rapid and non-destructive measurement essentially determines the amount of metal in the sample, which occurs in a very narrow range for each chondrite class (though terrestrial weathering can result in a variable decrease in susceptibility, especially in finds). This technique is particularly useful not only for a rapid classification of new meteorites, but also as a check against curation errors in large collections (i.e., unweathered meteorites, the measured susceptibility of which lies outside the expected range, may well be misclassified or misidentified samples). Magnetic remanence, related to magnetic field measurements around asteroids, is also discussed.
    • Magnetic classification of stony meteorites: 2. Non-ordinary chondrites

      Rochette, Pierre; Gattacceca, Jérôme; Bonal, Lydie; Bourot-Denise, Michèle; Chevrier, Vincent; Clerc, Jean-Pierre; Consolmagno, Guy; Folco, Luigi; Gounelle, Matthieu; Kohout, Tomas; et al. (The Meteoritical Society, 2008-01-01)
      A database of magnetic susceptibility (Chi) measurements on different non-ordinary chondrites (C, E, R, and ungrouped) populations is presented and compared to our previous similar work on ordinary chondrites. It provides an exhaustive study of the amount of iron-nickel magnetic phases (essentially metal and magnetite) in these meteorites. In contrast with all the other classes, CM and C show a wide range of magnetic material content, with a two orders of magnitude variation of Chi. Whether this is due to primary parent body differences, metamorphism or alteration, remains unclear. C3-4 and C2 yield similar Chi values to the ones shown by CK and CM, respectively. By order of increasing Chi, the classes with well-grouped Chi are: R << CO < CK is approximately equal to CI < Kak < CR < E is approximately equal to CH < CB. Based on magnetism, EH and EL classes have indistinguishable metal content. Outliers that we suggest may need to have their classifications reconsidered are Acfer 202 (CO), Elephant Moraine (EET) 96026 (C4-5), Meteorite Hills (MET) 01149, and Northwest Africa (NWA) 521 (CK), Asuka (A(+)-88198, LaPaz Icefield (LAP) 031156, and Sahara 98248 (R). Chi values can also be used to define affinities of ungrouped chondrites, and propose pairing, particularly in the case of CM and CV meteorites.
    • Magnetic classification of stony meteorites: 3. Achondrites

      Rochette, P.; Gattacceca, J.; Bourot-Denise, M.; Consolmagno, G.; Folco, L.; Kohout, T.; Pesonen, L.; Sagnotti, L. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
      A database of magnetic susceptibility measurements of stony achondrites (acapulcoitelodranite clan, winonaites, ureilites, angrites, aubrites, brachinites, howardite-eucrite-diogenite (HED) clan, and Martian meteorites, except lunar meteorites) is presented and compared to our previous work on chondrites. This database provides an exhaustive study of the amount of iron-nickel magnetic phases (essentially metal and more rarely pyrrhotite and titanomagnetite) in these meteorites. Except for ureilites, achondrites appear much more heterogeneous than chondrites in metal content, both at the meteorite scale and at the parent body scale. We propose a model to explain the lack of or inefficient metal segregation in a low gravity context. The relationship between grain density and magnetic susceptibility is discussed. Saturation remanence appears quite weak in most metal-bearing achondrites (HED and aubrites) compared to Martian meteorites. Ureilites are a notable exception and can carry a strong remanence, similar to most chondrites.
    • Magnetic fields of lunar multi-ring impact basins

      Halekas, J. S.; Lin, R. P.; Mitchell, D. L. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
      We survey the magnetic fields of lunar multi-ring impact basins using data from the electron reflectometer instrument on the Lunar Prospector spacecraft. As for smaller lunar craters, the primary signature is a magnetic low that extends to ~1.5-2 basin radii, suggesting shock demagnetization of relatively soft crustal magnetization. A secondary signature, as for large terrestrial basins, is the presence of central magnetic anomalies, which may be due to thermal remanence in impact melt rocks and/or shock remanence in the central uplift. The radial extent of the anomalies may argue for the former possibility, but the latter or a combination of the two are also possible. Central anomaly fields are absent for the oldest pre-Nectarian basins, increase to a peak in early Nectarian basins, and decrease to a low level for Imbrian basins. If basin-associated anomalies provide a good indication of ambient magnetic fields when the basins formed, this suggests the existence of a "magnetic era" (possibly due to a lunar core dynamo) similar to that implied by paleointensity results from returned lunar samples. However, the central basin anomalies suggest that the fields peaked in early Nectarian times and were low in Imbrian times, while samples provide evidence for high fields in Nectarian and early Imbrian times.
    • Magnetic mineralogy of the Yaxcopoil-1 core, Chicxulub

      Pilkington, M.; Ames, D. E.; Hildebrand, A. R. (The Meteoritical Society, 2004-01-01)
      Core from the Yaxcopoil-1 (Yax-1) hole, drilled as a result of the Chicxulub Scientific Drilling Project (CSDP), has been analyzed to investigate the relationship between opaque mineralogy and rock magnetic properties. Twenty one samples of suevite recovered from the depth range 818-894 m are generally paramagnetic, with an average susceptibility of 2000 x 10^(-6) SI and have weak remanent magnetization intensities (average 0.1 A/m). The predominant magnetic phase is secondary magnetite formed as a result of low temperature (<150 degrees C) alteration. It occurs in a variety of forms, including vesicle infillings associated with quartz and clay minerals and fine aggregates between plagioclase/diopside laths in the melt. Exceptional magnetic properties are found in a basement clast (metamorphosed quartz gabbro), which has a susceptibility of >45000 x 10^(-6) SI and a remanent magnetization of 77.5 A/m. Magnetic mafic basement clasts are a common component in the Yax-1 impactite sequence. The high susceptibility and remanence in the mafic basement clasts are caused by the replacement of amphiboles and pyroxenes by an assemblage with fine <1 micrometer magnetite, ilmenite, K-feldspar, and stilpnomelane. Replacement of the mafic minerals by the magnetic alteration assemblage occurred before impact. Similar alteration mechanisms, if operative within the melt sheet, could explain the presence of the high amplitude magnetic anomalies observed at Chicxulub.
    • Magnetic remanence in the Murchison meteorite

      Kletetschka, G.; Kohout, T.; Wasilewski, P. J. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
      The Murchison meteorite is a carbonaceous chondrite containing a small amount of chondrules, various inclusions, and matrix with occasional porphyroblasts of olivine and/or pyroxene. It also contains amino acids that may have served as the necessary components for the origin of life. Magnetic analyses of Murchison identify an ultrasoft magnetic component due to superparamagnetism as a significant part of the magnetic remanence. The rest of the remanence may be due to electric discharge in the form of lightning bolts that may have formed the amino acids. The level of magnetic remanence does not support this possibility and points to a minimum ambient field of the remanence acquisition. We support our observation by showing that normalized mineral magnetic acquisition properties establish a calibration curve suitable for rough paleofield determination. When using this approach, 1-2% of the natural remanence left in terrestrial rocks with TRM and/or CRM determines the geomagnetic field intensity irrespective of grain size or type of magnetic mineral (with the exception of hematite). The same method is applied to the Murchison meteorite where the measured meteorite remanence determines the paleofield minimum intensity of 200-2000 nT during and/or after the formation of the parent body.
    • Magnetic study of magnetite in the Tagish Lake meteorite

      Thorpe, A. N.; Senftle, F. E.; Grant, J. R. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
      The saturation magnetization, saturation remanent magnetization, the coercive, and remanent coercive force were determined at room and liquid nitrogen temperatures for three pieces of the Tagish Lake meteorite. The results are compared to similar data for four other chondrites (Allende, Murray, Orgueil, and Murchison). The data suggests that the Tagish Lake meteorite is magnetically homogeneous, and is not as magnetically hard as the comparison chondrites. The magnetization measurements indicate that it contains about 10-11% multi-domain magnetite. Magnetic susceptibility measurements on all the samples from 77 K to room temperature showed a Verwey transition for all the samples which contain a significant amount of multi-domain magnetite. The coercive force data further indicate that the magnetite in Tagish Lake is multi-domain and that the grain size is small and approximately 4-9 micrometers.
    • Magnetic zones of Mars: Deformation-controlled origin of magnetic anomalies

      Kletetschka, G.; Lillis, R.; Ness, N. F.; Acuña, M. H.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Wasilewski, P. J. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
      Intense magnetic anomalies over Martian surface suggest preservation of large volumes of very old crust (>3 Gyr) that formed in the presence of a global magnetic field. The global distribution of the magnetic intensities observed above the Martian crust suggests a division into three zones. Zone 1 is where the magnetic signature is negligible or of relatively low intensity at Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) satellite mapping altitude (400 km). Zone 2 is the region of intermediate crustal magnetic amplitudes and zone 3 is where the highest magnetic intensities are measured. Crater demagnetization near zone 3 reveals the presence of rocks with both high magnetic intensity and coercivity. Magnetic analyses of terrestrial rocks show that compositional banding in orogenic zones significantly enhances both magnetic coercivity and thermal remanent magnetization (TRM) efficiency. Such enhancement offers a novel explanation for the anomalously large intensities inferred of magnetic sources on Mars. We propose that both large magnetic coercivity and intensity near the South Pole is indicative of the presence of a large degree of deformation. Associated compositional zoning creates conditions for large scale magnetic anisotropy allowing magnetic minerals to acquire magnetization more efficiently, thereby causing the distinct magnetic signatures in zone 3, expressed by intense magnetic anomalies. We use a simple model to verify the magnetic enhancement. We hypothesize that magnetically enhanced zone would reside over the down welling plume at the time of magnetization acquisition.
    • Magnetite in ALH 84001: An origin by shock-induced thermal decomposition of iron carbonate

      Brearley, Adrian J. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
      In martian orthopyroxenite ALH 84001, pockets of feldspathic glass frequently contain carbonate masses that have been disrupted and dispersed within feldspathic shock melt as a result of impact(s). Transmission electron microscope studies of carbonate fragments embedded within feldspathic glass show that the fragments contain myriad, nanometer-sized magnetite particles with cuboid, irregular, and teardrop morphologies, frequently associated with voids. The fragments of carbonate must have been incorporated into the melt at temperatures of ~900 degrees C, well above the upper thermal stability of siderite (FeCO3), which decomposes to produce magnetite and CO2 below ~450 degrees C. These observations suggest that most, if not all, of the fine-grained magnetite associated with Fe-bearing carbonate in ALH 84001 could have been formed as result of the thermal decomposition of the siderite (FeCO3) component of the carbonate and is not due to biological activity.
    • Magnetometer survey of the proposed Sirente meteorite crater field, central Italy: Evidence for uplifted crater rims and buried meteorites

      Ormö, Jens; Gomez-Ortiz, David; McGuire, Patrick C.; Henkel, Herbert; Komatsu, Goro; Rossi, Angelo Pio (The Meteoritical Society, 2007-01-01)
      The Sirente crater field consists of a 120 m wide, rimmed main depression flanked to the northwest by about 30 smaller depressions. It has been dated to the first centuries A.D. An impact origin is suggested, but not confirmed. The small size combined with the properties of the target material (carbonate mud) would neither allow shock features diagnostic of impact, nor projectile vaporization. Consequently, a meteoritic component in the sediments would be very localized. At impacts of this size the projectile most likely is an iron meteorite. Any iron meteorites on the ground surface would, in Iron Age Europe, have been removed shortly after the event. However, if the depressions are of impact origin they should contain meteorites at great depth in analogy with known craters. The magnetic properties of iron meteorites differ distinctly from the very low magnetic sediments and sedimentary rocks of the Sirente area. We have used a proton precession magnetometer/gradiometer to produce magnetic anomaly maps over four of the smaller depressions (~8 m diameter), as well as two crossing profiles over a fifth depression (~22 m diameter). All show distinct magnetic anomalies of about 20 nT, the larger depression up to 100 nT. Magnetic modeling shows a best fit for structures with upturned strata below their rims, excluding a karstic origin but supporting an explosive formation. The 100 nT anomaly can only be explained by highly-magnetic objects at a few meters depth. All together, the magnetic data provides a strong indication for an impact origin of the crater field.
    • Magnetostratigraphy of the impact breccias and post-impact carbonates from borehole Yaxcopoil-1, Chicxulub impact crater, Yucatán, Mexico

      Rebolledo-Vieyra, M.; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J. (The Meteoritical Society, 2004-01-01)
      We report the magnetostratigraphy of the sedimentary sequence between the impact breccias and the post-impact carbonate sequence conducted on samples recovered by Yaxcopoil-1 (Yax-1). Samples of impact breccias show reverse polarities that span up to ~56 cm into the postimpact carbonate lithologies. We correlate these breccias to those of PEMEX boreholes Yucatán-6 and Chicxulub-1, from which we tied our magnetostratigraphy to the radiometric age from a melt sample from the Yucatán-6 borehole. Thin section analyses of the carbonate samples showed a significant amount of dark minerals and glass shards that we identified as the magnetic carriers; therefore, we propose that the mechanism of magnetic acquisition within the carbonate rocks for the interval studied is detrital remanent magnetism (DRM). With these samples, we constructed the scale of geomagnetic polarities where we find two polarities within the sequence, a reverse polarity event within the impact breccias and the base of the post-impact carbonate sequence (up to 794.07 m), and a normal polarity event in the last ~20 cm of the interval studied. The polarities recorded in the sequence analyzed are interpreted to span from chron 29r to 29n, and we propose that the reverse polarity event lies within the 29r chron. The magnetostratigraphy of the sequence studied shows that the horizon at 794.11 m deep, interpreted as the K/T boundary, lies within the geomagnetic chron 29r, which contains the K/T boundary.
    • Major and trace element characteristics of impactites from the Yaxcopoil-1 borehole, Chicxulub structure, Mexico

      Tuchscherer, M. G.; Reimold, W. U.; Koeberl, C.; Gibson, R. L. (The Meteoritical Society, 2004-01-01)
      Approximately 100 m of impactites were retrieved from the ICDP borehole Yaxcopoil-1 (Yax-1), located ~60 km south-southwest from the center of the Chicxulub impact crater on the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. Here, we characterize and discuss this impact breccia interval according to its geochemical characteristics. Chemical analysis of samples from all five recognized breccia units reveals that the impactites are of heterogeneous composition with regard to both major and trace elements at the single sample (816 cm3) scale. This is primarily due to a strong mixing relationship between carbonate and silicate fractions. However, averaged compositions for suevitic units 1 to 3 are similar, and the silicate fraction (after removal of the carbonate component) indicates thorough mixing and homogenization. Analysis of the green melt breccia horizon, unit 4, indicates that it contains a distinct mafic component. Large brown melt particles (in units 2, 3, and 4) represent a mixture of feldspathic and mafic components, with high CaO abundances. Unit 5 shows the greatest compositional diversity, with highly variable abundances of SiO2, CaO, and MgO. Inter-sample heterogeneity is the result of small sample size combined with inherent heterogeneous lithological compositions, highly variable particle size of melt and lithic components, and post-depositional alteration. In contrast to samples from the Y6 borehole from closer to the center of the structure, Yax-1 impactites have a strong carbonate component. Elevated loss on ignition, Rb, and Cs contents in the upper two impactite units indicate strong interaction with seawater. The contents of the siderophile elements, including Ni, Co, Ir, and Cr, do not indicate the presence of a significant extraterrestrial component in the Yax-1 impactites.
    • Major and trace element compositions of melt particles and associated phases from the Yaxcopoil-1 drill core, Chicxulub impact structure, Mexico

      Tuchscherer, Martin G.; Reimold, W. Uwe; Gibson, Roger L.; de Bruin, Deon; Späth, Andreas (The Meteoritical Society, 2006-01-01)
      Melt particles found at various depths in impactites from the Yaxcopoil-1 borehole into the Chicxulub impact structure (Yucatán) have been analyzed for their major and trace element abundances. A total of 176 electron microprobe and 45 LA-ICP-MS analyses from eight different melt particles were investigated. The main purpose of this work was to constrain the compositions of precursor materials and secondary alteration characteristics of these melt particles. Individual melt particles are highly heterogeneous, which makes compositional categorization extremely difficult. Melt particles from the uppermost part of the impactite sequence are Ca- and Na-depleted and show negative Ce anomalies, which is likely a result of seawater interaction. Various compositional groupings of melt particles are determined with ternary and binary element ratio plots involving major and trace elements. This helps distinguish the degree of alteration versus primary heterogeneity of melt phases. Comparison of the trace element ratios Sc/Zr, Y/Zr, Ba/Zr, Ba/Rb, and Sr/Rb with compositions of known target rocks provides some constraints on protolith compositions; however, the melt compositions analyzed exceed the known compositional diversity of possible target rocks. Normalized REE patterns are unique for each melt particle, likely reflecting precursor mineral or rock compositions. The various discrimination techniques indicate that the highly variable compositions are the products of melting of individual minerals or of mixtures of several minerals. Small, angular shards that are particularly abundant in units 2 and 3 represent rapidly quenched melts, whereas larger particles (>0.5 mm) that contain microlites and have fluidal, schlieric textures cooled over a protracted period. Angular, shard-like particles with microlites in unit 5 likely crystallized below the glass transition temperature or underwent fragmentation during or after deposition.
    • Major element and primary sulfur concentrations in Apollo 12 mare basalts: The view from melt inclusions

      Bombardieri, D. J.; Norman, M. D.; Kamenetsky, V. S.; Danyushevsky, L. V. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
      Major element and sulfur concentrations have been determined in experimentally heated olivine-hosted melt inclusions from a suite of Apollo 12 picritic basalts (samples 12009, 12075, 12020, 12018, 12040, 12035). These lunar basalts are likely to be genetically related by olivine accumulation (Walker et al. 1976a, b). Our results show that major element compositions of melt inclusions from samples 12009, 12075, and 12020 follow model crystallization trends from a parental liquid similar in composition to whole rock sample 12009, thereby partially confirming the olivine accumulation hypothesis. In contrast, the compositions of melt inclusions from samples 12018, 12040, and 12035 fall away from model crystallization trends, suggesting that these samples crystallized from melts compositionally distinct from the 12009 parent liquid and therefore may not be strictly cogenetic with other members of the Apollo 12 picritic basalt suite. Sulfur concentrations in melt inclusions hosted in early crystallized olivine (Fo75) are consistent with a primary magmatic composition of 1050 ppm S, or about a factor of 2 greater than whole rock compositions with 400 600 ppm S. The Apollo 12 picritic basalt parental magma apparently experienced outgassing and loss of S during transport and eruption on the lunar surface. Even with the higher estimates of primary magmatic sulfur concentrations provided by the melt inclusions, the Apollo 12 picritic basalt magmas would have been undersaturated in sulfide in their mantle source regions and capable of transporting chalcophile elements from the lunar mantle to the surface. Therefore, the measured low concentration of chalcophile elements (e.g., Cu, Au, PGEs) in these lavas must be a primary feature of the lunar mantle and is not related to residual sulfide remaining in the mantle during melting. We estimate the sulfur concentration of the Apollo 12 mare basalt source regions to be ~75 ppm, which is significantly lower than that of the terrestrial mantle.
    • Major element fractionation in chondrites by distillation in the accretion disk of a T Tauri Sun?

      Hutchison, R. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
      Redistribution or loss of batches of condensate from a cooling protosolar nebula is generally thought to have led to the formation of the chemical groups of chondrites. This demands a nebula hot enough for silicate vaporization over 1-3 AU, the region where chondrites formed. Alternatively, heating of a protosolar accretion disk may have been confined to an annular zone at its inner edge, ~0.06 AU from the protosun. Most infalling matter was accreted by the protosun, but a proportion was heated and carried outwards by an x‐wind. Shu et al. (1996, 1997) proposed that larger objects such as chondrules and calcium‐aluminum‐rich inclusions (CAIs) were returned to the disk at asteroidal distances by sedimentation from the x‐wind. Fine dust and gas were lost to space. The model implies that solids were not lost from the cold disk. The chemical compositions of the chondrite groups were produced by mixing different proportions of CAIs and chondrules with disk solids of CI composition. Heating at the inner edge of the disk was accompanied by particle irradiation, which synthesized nuclides including 26Al. The x‐wind model can produce CAIs, not chondrules, and allows survival of presolar grains >0.06 AU from the protosun. Normalization to Al and CI indicates that non‐carbonaceous chondrites may be disk material that gained a Si‐ and Mg‐enriched fraction. Carbonaceous chondrites are different; they appear to be CI that lost lithophile elements more volatile than Ca. Five carbonaceous chondrite groups also lost Ni and Fe but the CH group gained siderophiles. Elemental loss from CI is incompatible with the x‐wind model. Silicon and CI normalization confirms that the CM, CO, CK and CV groups may be CI that gained refractories as CAIs. The Si‐, Mg‐rich fraction may have formed by selective vaporization followed by precipitation on grains in the x‐wind. This fractional distillation mechanism can account for lithophile element abundances in non‐carbonaceous chondrite groups, but an additional process is required for the loss of Ca and Mn in the EL group and for fractionated siderophile abundances in the H, L and LL groups. Heated and recycled fractions were not homogenized across the disk so the chondrite groups were established in a single cycle of enhanced protosolar activity in <10^4 years, the time for a millimeter‐sized particle to drift into the Sun from 2 to 3 AU, due to gas‐drag.
    • MALDI analysis of presolar nanodiamonds: Mass spectrometric determination of the mass distribution of nanodiamonds from meteorites and a technique to manipulate individual nanodiamonds

      Lyon, Ian C. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
      This paper describes the use of matrix-assisted laser desorption and ionization (MALDI) to measure the mass distribution of nanodiamonds extracted from meteorites. The techniques used to prepare and mass analyze nanodiamond samples from the Murchison (CM2) and Allende (CV3) meteorites are described. The mass spectra of nanodiamonds (peaking at between 1 x 10^(4)-1.5 x 10^4 Daltons) are compared with size distributions obtained by point-counting transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images obtained elsewhere and reasonable agreement is found. The implications of the ability to produce and mass analyze a beam of nanodiamonds are explored.