Meteoritics & Planetary Science is an international monthly journal of the Meteoritical Society—a scholarly organization promoting research and education in planetary science. Topics include the origin and history of the solar system, planets and natural satellites, interplanetary dust and interstellar medium, lunar samples, meteors and meteorites, asteroids, comets, craters, and tektites.

Meteoritics & Planetary Science was first published in 1935 under the title Contributions of the Society for Research on Meteorites. In 1947, the publication became known as Contributions of the Meteoritical Society and continued through 1951. From 1953 to 1995, the publication was known as Meteoritics, and in 1996, the journal's name was changed to Meteoritics & Planetary Science or MAPS. The journal was not published in 1952 and from 1957 to 1964.

This archive provides access to Meteoritics & Planetary Science Volumes 37-44 (2002-2009).

Visit Wiley Online Library for new and retrospective Meteoritics & Planetary Science content (1935-present).

ISSN: 1086-9379


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Recent Submissions

  • Systematic study of universal-stage measurements of planar deformation features in shocked quartz: Implications for statistical significance and representation of results

    Ferrière, L.; Morrow, J. R.; Amgaa, T.; Koeberl, C. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
    The presence of shocked quartz is one of the key lines of evidence for the impact origin of rocks. Crystallographic orientations of planar deformation feature (PDF) sets in shocked quartz have been used to constrain the peak shock pressure that these grains have experienced. So far no systematic and comparative studies of the various orientation measurement methods and their biases are available. Therefore, three shocked-quartz-bearing thin sections from a meta-greywacke clast in breccia, a biotite-gneiss, and a sandstone, respectively, were independently analyzed by three operators (two experienced and one inexperienced) using a four-axis universal-stage (U-stage), in order to evaluate the quality, precision, repeatability, and representativeness of U-stage measurements. Based on the indexing of PDF sets using a new version of the commonly used stereographic projection template, the study of 1751 PDF set orientations in 666 quartz grains in three different shocked rocks shows that differences in abundance and orientation of various PDF sets, as measured by the three separate operators, are rather limited. The precision of U-stage measurements depends mainly on the number of PDF sets investigated, as the ability level of the operator (experienced versus inexperienced) is only responsible for minor deviations in the number of unindexed planes. The frequency percent of dominant PDF planes may vary by up to 20 percentage points (pp) or 81% for a given crystallographic orientation when only 25 sets are measured. When 100 PDF sets are measured, however, this deviation in dominant orientations is reduced to about 7 pp or 28%. We recommend the use of a new stereographic projection template, which plots the pole positions of five additional, commonly occurring PDF orientations, as it can allow indexing of up to 12 pp more PDF planes; these are planes that would previously be considered unindexed and potentially regarded as errors of measurement. Our results suggest that by following a strict measurement procedure, the reproducibility of Ustage measurements is good and the results of different studies can be readily compared. However, it is critical that published PDF orientation histograms clearly define what type of frequency measurement is used, whether or not unindexed PDF sets are included in the frequency calculations, the numbers of grains and sets analyzed, and the relative proportions of each PDF set population that are combined in the histograms. This information appears to be essential for effectively comparing datasets from different studies.
  • 39Ar-40Ar "ages" and origin of excess 40Ar in Martian shergottites

    Bogard, D.; Park, J.; Garrison, D. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
    We report new 39Ar-40Ar measurements on 15 plagioclase, pyroxene, and/or whole rock samples of 8 Martian shergottites. All age spectra suggest ages older than the meteorite formation ages, as defined by Sm-Nd and Rb-Sr isochrons. Employing isochron plots, only Los Angeles plagioclase and possibly Northwest Africa (NWA) 3171 plagioclase give ages in agreement with their formation ages. Isochrons for all shergottite samples reveal the presence of trapped Martian 40Ar(40Arxs), which exists in variable amounts in different lattice locations. Some 40Arxs is uniformly distributed throughout the lattice, resulting in a positive isochron intercept, and other 40Arxs occurs in association with K-bearing minerals and increases the isochron slope. These samples demonstrate situations where linear Ar isochrons give false ages that are too old. After subtracting 40Ar* that would accumulate by 40K decay since meteorite formation and small amounts of terrestrial 40Ar, all young age samples give similar 40Arxs concentrations of ~1-2 x 10^(-6) cm^3/g, but a variation in K content by a factor of ~80. Previously reported NASA Johnson Space Center data for Zagami, Shergotty, Yamato (Y-) 000097, Y-793605, and Queen Alexandra Range (QUE) 94201 shergottites show similar concentrations of 40Arxs to the new meteorite data reported here. Similar 40Arxs in different minerals and meteorites cannot be explained as arising from Martian atmosphere carried in strongly shocked phases such as melt veins. We invoke the explanation given by Bogard and Park (2008) for Zagami, that this 40Arxs in shergottites was acquired from the magma. Similarity in 40Arxs among shergottites may reveal common magma sources and/or similar magma generation and emplacement processes.
  • The plausible sources of 26Al in the early solar system: A massive star or the X-wind irradiation scenario?

    Sahijpal, S.; Gupta, G. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
    A quantitative analysis is presented for the irradiation contributions of the short-lived nuclides, specifically 26Al, by the X-wind scenario in the early solar system. The analysis is based on the comprehensive numerical simulations of the scenario that involves thermal processing of protoCAIs during the decades long X-wind cycle. It would be difficult to explain the canonical value of 26Al/27Al in Ca-Al-rich inclusions on the basis of its inferred irradiation yields. Hence, the bulk inventory of 26Al in the early solar system was not produced by the X-wind scenario. We suggest the predominant occurrence of gradual flares compared to impulsive flares in the early solar system as in the case of the modern solar flares. One tenth of the bulk 26Al was only produced by irradiation in case the entire solar inventory of 10Be was produced by local irradiation. The bulk 26Al inventory along with 60Fe was probably synthesized by a massive star. We present a qualitative model of the astrophysical settings for the formation of the solar system on the basis of a survey of the presently active star forming regions. We hypothesize that the formation of the solar system could have occurred almost contemporaneously with the formation of the massive star within a single stellar cluster. As the massive star eventually exploded as supernova Ib/c subsequent to Wolf-Rayet stages, the short-lived nuclides were probably injected into the solar proto-planetary disc. The dynamically evolving stellar cluster eventually dispersed within the initial ~10 million years prior to the major planetary formation episodes.
  • Labile trace elements in basaltic achondrites: Can they distinguish between meteorites from the Moon, Mars, and V-type asteroids?

    Wolf, S. F.; Wang, M.-S.; Lipschutz, M. E. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
    We report data for 14 mainly labile trace elements (Ag, Au, Bi, Cd, Cs, Ga, In, Rb, Sb, Se, Te, Tl, U, and Zn) in eight whole-rock lunar meteorites (Asuka [A-] 881757, Dar al Gani [DaG] 262, Elephant Moraine [EET] 87521, Queen Alexandra Range [QUE] 93069, QUE 94269, QUE 94281, Yamato [Y-] 793169, and Y-981031), and Martian meteorite (DaG 476) and incorporate these into a comparative study of basaltic meteorites from the Moon, Mars, and V-type asteroids. Multivariate cluster analysis of data for these elements in 14 lunar, 13 Martian, and 34 howardite, eucrite, and diogenite (HED) meteorites demonstrate that materials from these three parents are distinguishable using these markers of late, low-temperature episodes. This distinguishability is essentially as complete as that based on markers of high-temperature igneous processes. Concentrations of these elements in 14 lunar meteorites are essentially lognormally distributed and generally more homogeneous than in Martian and HED meteorites. Mean siderophile and labile element concentrations in the 14 lunar meteorites indicate the presence of a CI-equivalent micrometeorite admixture of 2.6%. When only feldspathic samples are considered, our data show a slightly higher value of 3.4% consistent with an increasing micrometeorite content in regolith samples of higher maturity. Concentrations of labile elements in the 8 feldspathic samples hint at the presence of a fractionated highly labile element component, possibly volcanic in origin, at a level comparable to the micrometeorite component. Apparently, the process(es) that contributed to establishing lunar meteorite siderophile and labile trace element contents occurred in a system open to highly labile element transport.
  • Meteorite fusion crust variability

    Thaisen, K. G.; Taylor, L. A. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
    Two assumptions commonly employed in meteorite interpretation are that fusion crust compositions represent the bulk-rock chemistry of the interior meteorite and that the vesicles within the fusion crust result from the release of implanted solar wind volatiles. Electron microprobe analyses of thin sections from lunar meteorite Miller Range (MIL) 05035 and eucrite Bates Nunataks (BTN) 00300 were performed to determine if the chemical compositions of the fusion crust varied and/or represented the published bulk rock composition. It was determined that fusion crust compositions are significantly influenced by the incorporation of fragments from the substrate, and by the composition and grain size of those minerals. Because of compositional heterogeneities throughout the meteorite, one cannot assume that fusion crust composition represents the bulk rock composition. If the compositional variability within the fusion crust and mineralogical differences among thin sections goes unnoticed, then the perceived composition and petrogenetic models of formation will be incorrect. The formation of vesicles within these fusion crusts were also compared to current theories attributing vesicles to a solar wind origin. Previous work from the STONE-5 experiment, where terrestrial rocks were exposed on the exterior of a spacecraft heatshield, produced a vesicular fusion crust without prolonged exposure to solar wind suggesting that the high temperatures experienced by a meteorite during passage through the Earths atmosphere are sufficient to cause boiling of the melt. Therefore, the assumption that all vesicles found within a fusion crust are due to the release of implanted volatiles of solar wind may not be justified.
  • Apollo 17 regolith, 71501,262: A record of impact events and mare volcanism in lunar glasses

    Zellner, N. E. B.; Delano, J. W.; Swindle, T. D.; Barra, F.; Olsen, E.; Whittet, D. C. B. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
    Thirteen glasses from Apollo 17 regolith 71501,262 have been chemically analyzed by electron microprobe and isotopically dated with the 40Ar/39Ar dating method. We report here the first isotopic age obtained for the Apollo 17 very low titanium (VLT) volcanic glasses, 3630 +/- 40 Ma. Twelve impact glasses that span a wide compositional range have been found to record ages ranging from 102 +/- 20 Ma to 3740 +/- 50 Ma. The compositions of these impact glasses show that some have been produced by impact events within the Apollo 17 region, whereas others appear to be exotic to the landing site. As the data sets that include compositions and ages of lunar impact glasses increase, the impact history in the Earth-Moon system will become better constrained.
  • The Fountain Hills unique CB chondrite: Insights into thermal processes on the CB parent body

    Lauretta, D. S.; Goreva, J. S.; Hill, D. H.; Killgore, M.; La Blue, A. R.; Campbell, A.; Greenwood, R. C.; Verchovsky, A. B.; Franchi, I. A. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
    We report the results of an extensive study of the Fountain Hills chondritic meteorite. This meteorite is closely related to the CBa class. Mineral compositions and O-isotopic ratios are indistinguishable from other members of this group. However, many features of Fountain Hills are distinct from the other CB chondrites. Fountain Hills contains 23 volume percent metal, significantly lower than other members of this class. In addition, Fountain Hills contains porphyritic chondrules, which are extremely rare in other CBa chondrites. Fountain Hills does not appear to have experienced the extensive shock seen in other CB chondrites. The chondrule textures and lack of fine-grained matrix suggests that Fountain Hills formed in a dust-poor region of the early solar system by melting of solid precursors. Refractory siderophiles and lithophile elements are present in near-CI abundances (within a factor of two, related to the enhancement of metal). Moderately volatile and highly volatile elements are significantly depleted in Fountain Hills. The abundances of refractory siderophile trace elements in metal grains are consistent with condensation from a gas that is reduced relative to solar composition and at relatively high pressures (10^(-3) bars). Fountain Hills experienced significant thermal metamorphism on its parent asteroid. Combining results from the chemical gradients in an isolated spinel grain with olivine-spinel geothermometry suggests a peak temperature of metamorphism between 535 degrees C and 878 degrees degrees C, similar to type-4 ordinary chondrites.
  • Linking the Chassigny meteorite and the Martian surface rock Backstay: Insights into igneous crustal differentiation processes on Mars

    Nekvasil, H.; McCubbin, F. M.; Harrington, A.; Elardo, S.; Lindsley, D. H. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
    In order to use igneous surface lithologies to constrain Martian mantle characteristics, secondary processes that lead to compositional modification of primary mantle melts must be considered. Crystal fractionation of a mantle-derived magma at the base of the crust followed by separation and ascent of residual liquids to the surface is common in continental hotspot regions on Earth. The possibility that this process also takes place on Mars was investigated by experimentally determining whether a surface rock, specifically the hawaiite Backstay analyzed by the MER Spirit could produce a known cumulate lithology with a deep origin (namely the assemblages of the Chassigny meteorite) if trapped at the base of the Martian crust. Both the major cumulus and melt inclusion mineral assemblages of the Chassigny meteorite were produced experimentally by a liquid of Backstay composition within the pressure range 9.3 to 6.8 kbar with bulk water contents between 1.5 and 2.6 wt%. Experiments at 4.3 and 2.8 kbar did not produce the requisite assemblages. This agreement suggests that just as on Earth, Martian mantle-derived melts may rise to the surface or remain trapped at the base of the crust, fractionate, and lose their residual liquids. Efficient removal of these residual liquids at depth would yield a deep low-silica cumulate layer for higher magmatic water content; at lower magmatic water content this cumulate layer would be basaltic with shergottitic affinity.
  • Refractory inclusions and aluminum-rich chondrules in Sayh al Uhaymir 290 CH chondrite: Petrography and mineralogy

    Zhang, A.; Hsu, W. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
    Here we report the petrography, mineralogy, and bulk compositions of Ca,Al-rich inclusions(CAIs), amoeboid olivine aggregate (AOA), and Al-rich chondrules (ARCs) in Sayh al Uhaymir (SaU) 290 CH chondrite. Eighty-two CAIs (0.1% of the section surface area) were found. They are hibonite-rich (9%), grossite-rich (18%), melilite +/- spinel-rich (48%), fassaite +/- spinel-rich (15%), and fassaite-anorthite-rich (10%) refractory inclusions. Most CAIs are rounded in shape and small in size (average = 40 micrometers). They are more refractory than those of other groups of chondrites. CAIs in SaU 290 might have experienced higher peak heating temperatures, which could be due to the formation region closer to the center of protoplanetary disk or have formed earlier than those of other groups of chondrites. In SaU 290, refractory inclusions with a layered texture could have formed by gas-solid condensation from the solar nebula and those with an igneous texture could have crystallized from melt droplets or experienced subsequent melting of pre-existing condensates from the solar nebula. One refractory inclusion represents an evaporation product of pre-existing refractory solid on the basis of its layered texture and melting temperature of constituting minerals. Only one AOA is observed (75 micrometers across). It consists of olivine, Al-diopside, anorthite, and minor spinel with a layered texture. CAIs and AOA show no significant low-temperature aqueous alteration. ARCs in SaU 290 consist of diopside, forsterite, anorthite, Al-enstatite, spinel, and mesostasis or glass. They can be divided into diopsiderich, Al-enstatite-rich, glass-rich, and anorthite-rich chondrules. Bulk compositions of most ARCs are consistent with a mixture origin of CAIs and ferromagnesian chondrules. Anorthite and Al-enstatite do not coexist in a given ARC, implying a kinetic effect on their formation.
  • 40Ar-39Ar age determinations of lunar basalt meteorites Asuka 881757, Yamato 793169, Miller Range 05035, La Paz Icefield 02205, Northwest Africa 479, and basaltic breccia Elephant Moraine 96008

    Fernandes, V. A.; Burgess, R.; Morris, A. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
    40Ar-39Ar data are presented for the unbrecciated lunar basalatic meteorites Asuka (A-) 881757, Yamato (Y-) 793169, Miller Range (MIL) 05035, LaPaz Icefield (LAP) 02205, Northwest Africa (NWA) 479 (paired with NWA 032), and basaltic fragmental breccia Elephant Moraine (EET) 96008. Stepped heating 40Ar-39Ar analyses of several bulk fragments of related meteorites A-881757, Y-793169 and MIL 05035 give crystallization ages of 3.763 +/- 0.046 Ga, 3.811 +/- 0.098 Ga and 3.845 +/- 0.014 Ga, which are comparable with previous age determinations by Sm-Nd, U-Pb Th-Pb, Pb-Pb, and Rb-Sr methods. These three meteorites differ in the degree of secondary 40Ar loss with Y-793169 showing relatively high Ar loss probably during an impact event ~200 Ma ago, lower Ar loss in MIL 05035 and no loss in A-881757. Bulk and impact melt glass-bearing sapmles of LAP 02205 gave similar ages (2.985 +/- 0.016 Ga and 2.874 +/- 0.056 Ga) and are consistent with ages previously determined using other isotope pairs. The basaltic portion of EET 96008 gives an age of 2.650 +/- 0.086 Ga which is considered to be the crystallization age of the basalt in this meteorite. The Ar release for fragmental basaltic breccia EET 96008 shows evidence of an impact event at 631 +/- 20 Ma. The crystallization age of 2.721 +/- 0.040 Ga determined for NWA 479 is indistinguishable from the weighted mean age obtained from three samples of NWA 032 supporting the proposal that these meteorites are paired. The similarity of 40Ar-39Ar ages with ages determined by other isotopic systems for multiple meteorites suggests that the K-Ar isotopic system is robust for meteorites that have experienced a significant shock event and not a prolonged heating regime.