• Alkali elemental and potassium isotopic compositions of Semarkona chondrules

      Alexander, C. M. O'D.; Grossman, J. N. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
      We report measurements of K isotope ratios in 28 Semarkona chondrules with a wide range of petrologic types and bulk compositions as well as the compositions of CPX-mesostasis pairs in 17 type I Semarkona chondrules, including two chondrules with radial alkali zonation and 19 type II chondrules. Despite the wide range in K/Al ratios, no systematic variations in K isotopic compositions were found. Semarkona chondrules do not record a simple history of Rayleigh-type loss of K. Experimentally determined evaporation rates suggest that considerable alkali evaporation would have occurred during chondrule formation. Nevertheless, based on Na CPX-mesostasis distribution coefficients, the alkali contents of the cores of most chondrules in Semarkona were probably established at the time of final crystallization. However, Na CPX-mesostasis distribution coefficients also show that alkali zonation in type I Semarkona chondrules was produced by entry of alkalis after solidification, probably during parent body alteration. This alkali metasomatism may have gone to completion in some chondrules. Our preferred explanation for the lack of systematic isotopic enrichments, even in alkali depleted type I chondrule cores, is that they exchanged with the ambient gas as they cooled.
    • Matching Martian crustal magnetization and magnetic properties of Martian meteorites

      Rochette, P.; Gattacceca, J.; Chevrier, V.; Hoffmann, V.; Lorand, J. P.; Funaki, M.; Hochleitner, R. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
      Magnetic properties of 26 (of 32) unpaired Martian meteorites (SNCs) are synthesized to further constrain the lithology carrying Martian magnetic crustal sources. Magnetic properties of ultramafic cumulates (i.e., Chassigny, Allan Hills [ALH] 84001) and lherzolitic shergottites (ALH 77005, Lewis Cliff [LEW] 88516) are one or two orders of magnitude too weak to account for the crustal magnetizations, assuming magnetization in an Earth-like field. Nakhlites and some basaltic shergottites, which are the most magnetic SNCs, show the right intensity. Titanomagnetite is the magnetic carrier in the nakhlites (7 meteorites), whereas in most basaltic shergottites (11 meteorites) it is pyrrhotite. Dhofar (Dho) 378, Los Angeles, and NWA 480/1460 and 2046 are anomalous basaltic shergottites, as their magnetism is mainly due to titanomagnetite. Pyrrhotite should be among the candidate minerals for the magnetized Noachian crust.
    • Density and magnetic susceptibility of rocks from the Lockne and Tvären marine impact structures

      Törnberg, R.; Sturkell, E. F. F. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
      The Lockne and Tvären impact craters in Sweden formed in a marine environment during the Ordovician. The contrast in density between the impact breccias and the surrounding target rock of these two craters is significantly lower than what has been found in craters formed in crystalline targets on land. Another marine-target structure, the Estonian Kärdla structure, demonstrates intermediate contrast in impact breccia and target rock, which we attribute to the interpreted shallowness of the sea at the Kärdla impact site. We conclude that the main cause for these low-density contrasts is pore and fracture filling of calcite with subordinate quartz and fluorite. Calcite is the most abundant cement, and its density differs most from that of fractured and brecciated bedrock with a low degree of cementation. Furthermore, from the studied cases, it is concluded that the target rock to impact rock contrast is generally the highest in craters formed on land in crystalline targets and the lowest in craters formed at sea, while craters formed on land in sedimentary targets are intermediate. The low density contrasts should decrease the negative gravity anomalies of marine craters.
    • Rumuruti chondrites: Noble gases, exposure ages, pairing, and parent body history

      Schultz, L.; Weber, H. W.; Franke, L. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
      In this paper, we present concentration and isotopic composition of the light noble gases He, Ne, and Ar as well as of 84Kr, 132Xe, and 129Xe in bulk samples of 33 Rumuruti (R) chondrites. Together with previously published data of six R chondrites, exposure ages are calculated and compared with those of ordinary chondrites. A number of pairings, especially between those from Northwest Africa (NWA), are suggested, so that only 23 individual falls are represented by the 39 R chondrites discussed here. Eleven of these meteorites, or almost 50%, contain solar gases and are thus regolithic breccias. This percentage is higher than that of ordinary chondrites, howardites, or aubrites. This may imply that the parent body of R chondrites has a relatively thick regolith. Concentrations of heavy noble gases, especially of Kr, are affected by the terrestrial atmospheric component, which resides in weathering products. Compared to ordinary chondrites, 129Xe/132Xe ratios of R chondrites are high.
    • 2004 Leonard Medal Citation for Michael J. Drake

      McSween, H. Y. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
    • Editorial

      Jull, A. J. T. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
    • Origin of water in the terrestrial planets

      Drake, Michael J. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
      I examine the origin of water in the terrestrial planets. Late-stage delivery of water from asteroidal and cometary sources appears to be ruled out by isotopic and molecular ratio considerations, unless either comets and asteroids currently sampled spectroscopically and by meteorites are unlike those falling to Earth 4.5 Ga ago, or our measurements are not representative of those bodies. However, the terrestrial planets were bathed in a gas of H, He, and O. The dominant gas phase species were H2, He, H2O, and CO. Thus, grains in the accretion disk must have been exposed to and adsorbed H2 and water. Here I conduct a preliminary analysis of the efficacy of nebular gas adsorption as a mechanism by which the terrestrial planets accreted "wet." A simple model suggests that grains accreted to Earth could have adsorbed 1-3 Earth oceans of water. The fraction of this water retained during accretion is unknown, but these results suggest that examining the role of adsorption of water vapor onto grains in the accretion disk bears further study.
    • Thermal histories of angrite meteorites: Trace element partitioning among silicate minerals in Angra dos Reis, Lewis Cliff 86010, and experimental analogs

      Fittipaldo, M. M.; Jones, R. H.; Shearer, C. K. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
      We measured rare earth element (REE) abundances in selected silicate phases in the angrites Angra dos Reis (AdoR) and Lewis Cliff (LEW) 86010 in order to further clarify the thermal history of AdoR. We also carried out a preliminary experimental study designed to examine apparent REE partitioning between silicates (fassaite, olivine, kirschsteinite, and melt) in synthetic analogs of angrites under disequilibrium conditions at liquidus temperatures. Silicates in AdoR are homogeneous with respect to major, minor, and trace elements, which is consistent with the interpretation that AdoR underwent extensive subsolidus equilibration. REE distributions in olivine and kirschsteinite in AdoR are similar to those in LEW 86010 and are consistent with the formation of kirschsteinite by exsolution from olivine during cooling and/or annealing. There is no evidence for a disequilibrium trace element signature that could have been inherited from rapid cooling at liquidus temperatures. This is supported by our petrographic observations of the occurrence of kirschsteinite within olivine aggregates in AdoR. Olivine/kirschsteinite pairs in AdoR record closure temperatures around 600-650 C.
    • The Dergaon (H5) chondrite: Fall, classification, petrological and chemical characteristics, cosmogenic effects, and noble gas records

      Shukla, P. N.; Shukla, A. D.; Rai, V. K.; Murty, S. V. S.; Bhandari, N.; Goswami, J. N.; Mazumdar, A. C.; Phukon, P.; Duorah, K.; Greenwood, R. E.; et al. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
      A multiple fall of a stony meteorite occurred near the town of Dergaon in Assam, India, on March 2, 2001. Several fragments weighing <2 kg and a single large fragment weighing ~10 kg were recovered from the strewn field, which extended over several tens of square kilometers. Chemical, petrographic, and oxygen isotopic studies indicate it to be, in most aspects, a typical H5 chondrite, except the unusually low K content of ~340 ppm. A cosmic ray exposure of 9.7 Ma is inferred from the cosmogenic noble gas records. Activities of eleven cosmogenic radionuclides were measured. 26Al and 22Na activities as well as the 22Na/26Al activity ratio are close to the values expected on the basis of solar modulation of galactic cosmic rays. The low 60Co activity (<1 dpm/kg) is indicative of a small preatmospheric size of the meteorite. Cosmic ray heavy nuclei track densities in olivine grains range from ~10^6 cm^(-2) in samples from the largest fragment to approximately (4-9) x 105 cm^(-2) in one of the smaller fragments. The combined track, radionuclide, and noble gas data suggest a preatmospheric radius of ~20 cm for the Dergaon meteorite.
    • Carbonates in Vigarano: Terrestrial, preterrestrial, or both?

      Abreu, N. M.; Brearley, A. J. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
      Studies of two separate stones of the CV3 chondrite Vigarano have revealed the presence of previously unreported occurrences of calcite. In the first stone, calcite occurs as thin veins in a type B CAI. In contrast, observations of the second stone, which was recovered one month after its fall, show three calcite occurrences: networks of veins, vesicle fillings in the fusion crust, and pseudomorphic replacement of augite associated with a porphyritic olivine chondrule. The most common occurrence is as veins ranging in thickness from <1 micrometer to 25 micrometers and extending for more than several hundred micrometers. Some veins crosscut the fusion crust and are connected to a carbonate coating on the exterior of the meteorite. Extensive minor element zoning occurs in carbonate masses, indicating variations in the fluid composition and/or redox potential during carbonate growth. Based on the textural evidence and a comparative study with carbonate veins in the CV3 chondrite Leoville, we conclude that the veins are terrestrial in origin. We propose a model for rapid carbonate formation in which calcite precipitation is driven by hydrolysis and oxidation in the meteorite interior that move the fluid composition to alkaline values. In addition, both stones also contain minor occurrences of carbonate that are not readily explained by terrestrial alteration. Minor carbonate in a type B CAI occurs in the first stone and calcite occurs as pseudomorphic replacement of augite in the second stone. Both of these occurrences appear to be preterrestrial, probably asteroidal in origin.
    • Book Review: The Origin of Chondrules and Chondrites, Derek Sears

      Scott, E. R. D. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
    • Laser argon dating of melt breccias from the Siljan impact structure, Sweden: Implications for a possible relationship to Late Devonian extinction events

      Reimold, W. U.; Kelley, S. P.; Sherlock, S. C.; Henkel, H.; Koeberl, C. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
      In earlier studies, the 65-75 km diameter Siljan impact structure in Sweden has been linked to the Late Devonian mass extinction event. The Siljan impact event has previously been dated by KAr and Ar-Ar chronology at 342-368 Ma, with the commonly quoted age being 362.7 +/- 2.2 Ma (2 sigma, recalculated using currently accepted decay constants). Until recently, the accepted age for the Frasnian/Famennian boundary and associated extinction event was 364 Ma, which is within error limits of this earlier Siljan age. Here we report new Ar-Ar ages extracted by laser spot and laser step heating techniques for several melt breccia samples from Siljan (interpreted to be impact melt breccia). The analytical results show some scatter, which is greater in samples with more extensive alteration; these samples generally yield younger ages. The two samples with the least alteration yield the most reproducible weighted mean ages: one yielded a laser spot age of 377.2 +/- 2.5 Ma (95% confidence limits) and the other yielded both a laser spot age of 376.1 +/- 2.8 Ma (95% confidence limits) and a laser stepped heating plateau age over 70.6% 39Ar release of 377.5 +/- 2.4 Ma (2 sigma). Our conservative estimate for the age of Siljan is 377 +/- 2 Ma (95% confidence limits), which is significantly different from both the previously accepted age for the Frasnian/Famennian (F/F) boundary and the previously quoted age of Siljan. However, the age of the F/F boundary has recently been revised to 374.5 +/- 2.6 Ma by the International Commission for Stratigraphy, which is, within error, the same as our new age. However, the currently available age data are not proof that there was a connection between the Siljan impact event and the F/F boundary extinction. This new result highlights the dual problems of dating meteorite impacts where fine-grained melt rocks are often all that can be isotopically dated, and constraining the absolute age of biostratigraphic boundaries, which can only be constrained by age extrapolation. Further work is required to develop and improve the terrestrial impact age record and test whether or not the terrestrial impact flux increased significantly at certain times, perhaps resulting in major extinction events in Earths biostratigraphic record.