• Zoned chondrules in Semarkona: Evidence for high- and low-temperature processing

      Grossman, Jeffrey N.; Alexander, Conel M. O'D.; Wang, Jianhua; Brearley, Adrian J. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
      At least 15% of the low-FeO chondrules in Semarkona (LL3.0) have mesostases that are concentrically zoned in Na, with enrichments near the outer margins. We have studied zoned chondrules using electron microprobe methods (x-ray mapping plus quantitative analysis), ion microprobe analysis for trace elements and hydrogen isotopes, cathodoluminescence imaging, and transmission electron microscopy in order to determine what these objects can tell us about the environment in which chondrules formed and evolved. Mesostases in these chondrules are strongly zoned in all moderately volatile elements and H (interpreted as water). Calcium is depleted in areas of volatile enrichment. Titanium and Cr generally decrease toward the chondrule surfaces, whereas Al and Si may either increase or decrease, generally in opposite directions to one another; Mn follows Na in some chondrules but not in others; Fe and Mg are unzoned. D/H ratios increase in the water-rich areas of zoned chondrules. Mesostasis shows cathodoluminescence zoning in most zoned chondrules, with the brightest yellow color near the outside. Mesostasis in zoned chondrules appears to be glassy, with no evidence for devitrification. Systematic variations in zoning patterns among pyroxene- and olivine-rich chondrules may indicate that fractionation of low- and high-Ca pyroxene played some role in Ti, Cr, Mn, Si, Al, and some Ca zoning. But direct condensation of elements into hot chondrules, secondary melting of late condensates into the outer portions of chondrules, and subsolidus diffusion of elements into warm chondrules cannot account for the sub-parallel zoning profiles of many elements, the presence of H2O, or elemental abundance patterns. Zoning of moderately volatile elements and Ca may have been produced by hydration of chondrule glass without devitrification during aqueous alteration on the parent asteroid. This could have induced structural changes in the glass allowing rapid diffusion and exchange of elements between altered glass and surrounding matrix and rim material. Calcium was mainly lost during this process, and other nonvolatile elements may have been mobile as well. Some unzoned, low-FeO chondrules appear to have fully altered mesostasis.
    • Zoning patterns of Fe and V in spinel from a type B Ca-Al-rich inclusion: Constraints on subsolidus thermal history

      Paque, J. M.; Burnett, D. S.; Beckett, J. R. (The Meteoritical Society, 2007-01-01)
      We obtained two-dimensional concentration maps for the minor elements Fe and V in 21 spinel crystals in the Allende type B1 inclusion TS-34 with a 4-5 micrometer resolution. Locally high concentrations of Fe occur along at least one edge of the spinels and decrease toward the center of the grains. Enrichment in V can also occur along edges or at corners. In general, there is no overall correlation of the Fe and V distributions, but in local regions of two grains, the V and Fe distributions are correlated, strongly suggesting a local source for both elements. In these two grains, opaque assemblages are present that appear to locally control the V distributions. This, coupled with previous work, suggests that prior to alteration, TS-34 contained V-rich metal. Oxidation of this metal during alteration can account for the edge/corner V enrichments, but provide only minor FeO contributions, explaining the overall lack of correlation between Fe and V. Most of the FeO appears to have been externally introduced along spinel boundaries during alteration. These alteration phases served as sources for diffusion of FeO into spinel. FeO distributions in spinel lead to a mean attenuation length of ~8 micrometer and, using literature diffusion coefficients in isothermal and exponential cooling approximations for peak temperatures in the range 600-700 degrees C, this leads to a time scale for calciumaluminum- rich inclusion (CAI) alteration in the range of decades to centuries.