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

  • Book Review: Basics of the Solar Wind, Nicole Meyer-Vernet

    Lal, D. (The Meteoritical Society, 2008-01-01)
  • The loss of K, REE, Th, and U from a Martian and a terrestrial basalt by acidic leaching

    Dreibus, G.; Haubold, R.; Huisl, W.; Spettel, B. (The Meteoritical Society, 2008-01-01)
    The mobilization of K, rare earth elements (REE), Th, and U from Martian surface material upon contact with acidic solutions probably occurred extensively on Mars about 4 to 3.5 Ga ago and seems to have occurred locally in more recent times. We have studied the dissolution of these elements by leaching the basaltic shergottite Zagami and the terrestrial basalt BE-N at constant pH values ranging from 5 to 1 in the absence and presence of added salts. Potassium is nearly immobile in Zagami and mobilized readily from BE-N. The REE reside mostly in calcium phosphates and dissolve readily, with those in whitlockite of Zagami reacting slightly better than those in apatite of BE-N. Thorium and U also reside mostly in calcium phosphates. Both dissolve similarly for both basalts and less readily than the REE. The experiments indicate the extent of the mobilization of K, REE, Th, and U, when acidic water leached the surface of Mars. Potassium was released slowly and in a small relative amount. The REE, and particularly the LREE, became mobile readily and were possibly distributed over large areas before immobilization. Thorium and U dissolved more slowly than the REE and were distributed less widely.
  • Modal abundances of CAIs: Implications for bulk chondrite element abundances and fractionations

    Hezel, D. C.; Russell, S. S.; Ross, A. J.; Kearsley, A. T. (The Meteoritical Society, 2008-01-01)
    Modal abundances of Ca,Al-rich inclusions (CAIs) are poorly known and reported data scatter across large ranges. CAIs are Poisson distributed, and if only small areas (<1000 mm2) are studied, the data are probably not representative of the true CAI modal abundances, explaining the irreported large scatter in a single chondrite group. We combine reported CAI modal abundances and our own set, and present a complete list of CAI modal abundances in carbonaceous chondrites. This includes (in area%): CV: 2.98, CM: 1.21, Acfer 094: 1.12, CO: 0.99, CK/CV (Ningqiang and Dar al Gani [DaG] 055): 0.77, CK: 0.2, CR: 0.12 and CB: 0.1. CAIs are Poisson distributed and if only small areas are studied, the data are probably not representative of the true CAI modal abundances. Carbonaceous chondrites have excess bulk Al concentrations when compared to the CI-chondritic value. We find a correlation between this excess and CAI modal abundances and conclude that the excess Al was delivered by CAIs. The excess Al is only a minor fraction (usually ~10 rel%, but 25 rel% in case of CVs) of the bulk chondrite Al and cannot have contributed much 26Al to heat the chondrite parent body. Ordinary, enstatite, R and K chondrites have an Al deficit relative to CIchondrites and only very low CAI modal abundances, if any are present at all. Carbonaceous chondrites also had an initial Al deficit if the contribution of Al delivered by CAIs is subtracted. Therefore all chondrites probably lost a refractory rich high-T component. Only minor amounts of CAIs are present in the matrix or have been present in the chondrule precursor aggregates. Most CAI size distributions contain more than one size population, indicating that CAIs from within a single meteorite group had different origins.
  • Helium loss from Martian meteorites mainly induced by shock metamorphism: Evidence from new data and a literature compilation

    Schwenzer, S. P.; Fritz, J.; Stöffler, D.; Trieloff, M.; Amini, M.; Greshake, A.; Herrmann, S.; Herwig, K.; Jochum, K. P.; Mohapatra, R. K.; et al. (The Meteoritical Society, 2008-01-01)
    Noble gas data from Martian meteorites have provided key constraints about their origin and evolution, and their parent body. These meteorites have witnessed varying shock metamorphic overprinting (at least 5 to 14 GPa for the nakhlites and up to 45-55 GPa (e.g., the lherzolitic shergottite Allan Hills [ALH] A77005), solar heating, cosmic-ray exposure, and weathering both on Mars and Earth. Influences on the helium budgets of Martian meteorites were evaluated by using a new data set and literature data. Concentrations of 3He, 4He, U, and Th are measured and shock pressures for same sample aliquots of 13 Martian meteorites were determined to asses a possible relationship between shock pressure and helium concentration. Partitioning of 4He into cosmogenic and radiogenic components was performed using the lowest 4He/3He ratio we measured on mineral separates (4He/3He = 4.1, pyroxene of ALHA77005). Our study revealed significant losses of radiogenic 4He. Systematics of cosmogenic 3He and neon led to the conclusion that solar radiation heating during transfer from Mars to Earth and terrestrial weathering can be ruled out as major causes of the observed losses of radiogenic helium in bulk meteorites. For bulk rock we observed a correlation of shock pressure and radiogenic 4He loss, ranging between ~20% for Chassigny and other moderately shocked Martian meteorites up to total loss for meteorites shocked above 40 GPa. A steep increase of loss occurs around 30 GPa, the pressure at which plagioclase transforms to maskelynite. This correlation suggests significant 4He loss induced by shock metamorphism. Noble gas loss in rocks is seen as diffusion due to (1) the temperature increase during shock loading (shock temperature) and (2) the remaining waste heat after adiabatic unloading (post shock temperature). Modeling of 4He diffusion in the main U,Th carrier phase apatite showed that post-shock temperatures of ~300 degrees C are necessary to explain observed losses. This temperature corresponds to the post-shock temperature calculated for bulk rocks shocked at about 40 GPa. From our investigation, data survey, and modeling, we conclude that the shock event during launch of the meteorites is the principal cause for 4He loss.
  • A refractory inclusion returned by Stardust from comet 81P/Wild 2

    Simon, S. B.; Joswiak, D. J.; Ishii, H. A.; Bradley, J. P.; Chi, M.; Grossman, L.; Aléon, J.; Brownlee, D. E.; Fallon, S.; Hutcheon, I. D.; et al. (The Meteoritical Society, 2008-01-01)
    Among the samples returned from comet 81P/Wild 2 by the Stardust spacecraft is a suite of particles from one impact track (Track 25) that are Ca-, Al-rich and FeO-free. We studied three particles from this track that range in size from 5.3 x 3.2 micrometers to 15 x 10 micrometers. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy show that they consist of very fine-grained (typically from ~0.5 to ~2 micrometers) Al-rich, Ti-bearing and Ti-free clinopyroxene, Mg-Al spinel and anorthite, with trace amounts of fine perovskite, FeNi metal and osbornite (TiN) grains. In addition to these phases, the terminal particle, named Inti, also contains melilite. All of these phases, with the exception of osbornite, are common in refractory inclusions and are predicted to condense at high temperature from a gas of solar composition. Osbornite, though very rare, has also been found in meteoritic refractory inclusions, and could have formed in a region of the nebula where carbon became enriched relative to oxygen compared to solar composition. Compositions of Ti-pyroxene in Inti are similar, but not identical, to those of fassaite from Allende inclusions. Electron energy loss spectroscopy shows that Ti-rich pyroxene in Inti has Ti3+/Ti4+ within the range of typical meteoritic fassaite, consistent with formation under reducing conditions comparable to those of a system of solar composition. Inti is 16O-rich, with delta-18O approximately equal to delta-17O approximately equal to -40 per mil, like unaltered phases in refractory inclusions and refractory IDPs. With grain sizes, mineralogy, mineral chemistry, and an oxygen isotopic composition like those of refractory inclusions, we conclude that Inti is a refractory inclusion that formed in the inner solar nebula. Identification of a particle that formed in the inner solar system among the comet samples demonstrates that there was transport of materials from the inner to the outer nebula, probably either in a bipolar outflow or by turbulence.
  • Noble gases in presolar diamonds III: Implications of ion implantation experiments with synthetic nanodiamonds

    Huss, G. R.; Ott, U.; Koscheev, A. P. (The Meteoritical Society, 2008-01-01)
    A series of experiments carried out by Koscheev et al. (1998, 2001, 2004, 2005) showed that the bimodal release of heavy noble gases from meteoritic nanodiamonds can be reproduced by a single implanted component. This paper investigates the implications of this result for interpreting the noble gas compositions of meteoritic nanodiamonds and for their origin and history. If the bimodal release exhibited by meteorite diamonds reflects release of the P3 noble gas component, then the composition inferred for the pure Xe-HL end member changes slightly, the excesses of heavy krypton isotopes that define Kr-H become less extreme, evidence appears for a Kr-L component, and the nucleosynthetic contribution to argon becomes much smaller. After correction for cosmogenic neon inherited from the host meteorites, the neon in presolar diamonds shows evidence for pre-irradiation, perhaps in interstellar space, and a nucleosynthetic component perhaps consistent with a supernova source. After a similar correction, helium also shows evidence for presolar irradiation and/or a nucleosynthetic component. For the case of presolar irradiation, due to the small size of the diamonds, a large entity must have been irradiated and recoiling product nuclei collected by the nanodiamonds. The high 3He/21Ne ratio (~43) calls for a target with a (C + O)/heavier-element ratio higher than in chondritic abundances. Bulk gas + dust (cosmic abundances) meet this criteria, as would solids enriched in carbonaceous material. The long recoil range of cosmogenic 3He argues against a specific phase. The excess 3He in presolar diamonds may represent trapped cosmic rays rather than cosmogenic 3He produced in the vicinity of the diamond crystals.
  • Evidence for a meteoritic origin of the September 15, 2007, Carancas crater

    Le Pichon, A.; Antier, K.; Cansi, Y.; Hernandez, B.; Minaya, E.; Burgoa, B.; Drob, D.; Evers, L. G.; Vaubaillon, J. (The Meteoritical Society, 2008-01-01)
    On September 15th, 2007, around 11:45 local time in Peru, near the Bolivian border, the atmospheric entry of a meteoroid produced bright lights in the sky and intense detonations. Soon after, a crater was discovered south of Lake Titicaca. These events have been detected by the Bolivian seismic network and two infrasound arrays operating for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, situated at about 80 and 1620 km from the crater. The localization and origin time computed with the seismic records are consistent with the reported impact. The entry elevation and azimuthal angles of the trajectory are estimated from the observed signal time sequences and backazimuths. From the crater diameter and the airwave amplitudes, the kinetic energy, mass and explosive energy are calculated. Using the estimated velocity of the meteoroid and similarity criteria between orbital elements, an association with possible parent asteroids is attempted. The favorable setting of this event provides a unique opportunity to evaluate physical and kinematic parameters of the object that generated the first actual terrestrial meteorite impact seismically recorded.
  • Post-impact alteration of surficial suevites in Ries crater, Germany: Hydrothermal modification or weathering processes?

    Muttik, N.; Kirsimäe, K.; Somelar, P.; Osinski, G. R. (The Meteoritical Society, 2008-01-01)
    Alteration of surficial suevites at Ries crater, Germany was studied by means of X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. Here, we discuss the origin of hydrous silicate (clay) phases in these suevites that have been previously interpreted as resulting from post-impact hydrothermal processes. The results of this study indicate that the dominant alteration phases are dioctahedral Al-Fe montmorillonite and halloysite, which are typical low temperature clay minerals. We suggest that the surficial suevites are not altered by hydrothermal processes and that alteration occurred by low temperature subsurface weathering processes. If the surficial suevites were indeed hydrothermally modified during the early stages of post-impact cooling, then the alteration was of limited character and is completely masked by later weathering.
  • Petrology and mineralogy of the angrite Northwest Africa 1670

    Jambon, A.; Boudouma, O.; Fonteilles, M.; Le Guillou, C.; Badia, D.; Barrat, J.-A. (The Meteoritical Society, 2008-01-01)
    Northwest Africa (NWA) 1670, contains olivines of up to 5 mm in size representing about 30% of the studied section. With subordinate clinopyroxene and chrome-spinel microphenocrysts (0.2-0.5 mm), they represent a xenocrystic association. Phenocrysts are surrounded by a groundmass, predominantly comprising bundles of plagioclase and clinopyroxene (typically 20 x 200 m crystals). Olivine and kirschsteinite are present in the groundmass in lesser amounts. The olivine xenocrysts (Fo90) are significantly fractured and show mosaicism for their major part, the remaining showing faint undulatory extinction. They are surrounded with a rim of 100-200 micrometers zoned down to Fo80 and overgrown with serrated olivine, Fo80 to Fo60 (about 100 micrometers). Olivine in the groundmass is zoned from Mg# 0.55 to 0.15; its CaO content ranges 2.0 to 8.4%. Subcalcic kirschsteinite is zoned from Mg# 0.13 to 0.03, CaO increasing from 15.8 to 21.3%. Pyroxenes xenocrysts (Mg# = 0.77) are superseded in the groundmass by less magnesian pyroxenes, Mg# 0.61 to 0.17, with an average FeO/ MnO of 98. Their compositions range from En30Fs22Wo27Al-Ts28Ti-Ts2 to En2Fs37Wo22Al-Ts40Ti- Ts1. Anorthite microcrysts (An99-100) are restricted to the groundmass. Accessories are pyrrhotite, kamacite, Ca-phosphate, titanomagnetite, hercynite and Ca-carbonate. The bulk chemical composition confirms that NWA 1670 corresponds to a normal angrite melt that incorporated olivine. High Mg olivine xenocrysts and the associated mineralogy are typical of angrites. We suggest that it is an impact melt with relict phenocrysts. The strong silica undersaturation, the presence of Fo90 olivine xenocrysts and carbonate support their derivation as melilite-like melts in the presence of carbonate.
  • Archaeabacterial lipids in drill core samples from the Bosumtwi impact structure, Ghana

    Escala, M.; Rosell-Melé, A.; Fietz, S.; Koeberl, C. (The Meteoritical Society, 2008-01-01)
    Meteorite impacts are associated with locally profound effects for microorganisms living at the terrestrial surface and the subsurface of the impact zone. The Bosumtwi crater in Ghana (West Africa) is a relatively young (1.07 Myr) structure with a rim-to-rim diameter of about 10.5 km. In a preliminary study targeting the subsurface microbial life in the impact structure, seven samples of the impact breccia from the central uplift of the Bosumtwi crater were analyzed for the presence of typical archaeal membrane-lipids (GDGTs). These have been detected in four of the samples, at a maximum depth of 382 m below the lake surface, which is equivalent to 309 m below the surface sediment. The concentration of the GDGTs does not show a trend with depth, and their distribution is dominated by GDGT-0. Possible origins of these lipids could be related to the soils or rocks predating the impact event, the hydrothermal system generated after the impact, or due to more recent underground water transport.
  • Geochemistry of diogenites: Still more diversity in their parental melts

    Barrat, J. A.; Yamaguchi, A.; Greenwood, R. C.; Benoit, M.; Cotten, J.; Bohn, M.; Franchi, I. A. (The Meteoritical Society, 2008-01-01)
    We report on the major and trace element abundances of 18 diogenites, and O-isotopes for 3 of them. Our analyses extend significantly the diogenite compositional range, both in respect of Mg-rich (e.g., Meteorite Hills [MET] 00425, MgO = 31.5 wt%) and Mg-poor varieties (e.g., Dhofar 700, MgO = 23 wt%). The wide ranges of siderophile and chalcophile element abundances are well explained by the presence of inhomogeneously distributed sulfide or metal grains within the analyzed chips. The behavior of incompatible elements in diogenites is more complex, as exemplified by the diversity of their REE patterns. Apart from a few diogenite samples that contain minute amounts of phosphate, and whose incompatible element abundances are unlike the orthopyroxene ones, the range of incompatible element abundances, and particularly the range of Dy/Yb ratios in diogenites is best explained by the diversity of their parental melts. We estimate that the FeO/MgO ratios of the diogenite parental melts range from about 1.4 to 3.5 and therefore largely overlap the values obtained for non-cumulate eucrites. Our results rule out the often accepted view that all the diogenites formed from parental melts more primitive than eucrites during the crystallization of a magma ocean. Instead, they point to a more complex history, and suggest that diogenites were derived from liquids produced by the remelting of cumulates formed from the magma ocean.