Bulk mineralogical changes of hydrous micrometeorites during heating in the upper atmosphere at temperatures below 1000 °C
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CitationNozaki, W., Nakamura, T., & Noguchi, T. (2006). Bulk mineralogical changes of hydrous micrometeorites during heating in the upper atmosphere at temperatures below 1000 °C. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 41(7), 1095-1114.
PublisherThe Meteoritical Society
JournalMeteoritics & Planetary Science
AbstractSmall particles 200 micrometers in diameter from the hydrous carbonaceous chondrites Orgueil CI, Murchison CM2, and Tagish Lake were experimentally heated for short durations at subsolidus temperatures under controlled ambient pressures in order to examine the bulk mineralogical changes of hydrous micrometeorites during atmospheric entry. The three primitive meteorites consist mainly of various phyllosilicates and carbonates that are subject to decomposition at low temperatures, and thus the brief heating up to 1000 degrees C drastically changed the mineralogy. Changes included shrinkage of interlayer spacing of saponite due to loss of molecular water at 400-600 degrees C, serpentine and saponite decomposition to amorphous phases at 600 and 700 degrees C, respectively, decomposition of Mg- Fe carbonate at 600 degrees C, recrystallization of secondary olivine and Fe oxide or metal at 700-800 degrees C, and recrystallization of secondary low-Ca pyroxene at 800 degrees C. The ambient atmospheric pressures controlled species of secondary Fe phase: taenite at pressures lower than 10^(-2) torr, magnesiowstite from 10^(-3) to 10^(-1) torr, and magnetite from 10^(-2) to 1 torr. The abundance of secondary low-Ca pyroxene increases in the order of Murchison, Orgueil, and Tagish Lake, and the order corresponds to saponite abundance in samples prior to heating. Mineralogy of the three unmelted micrometeorites F96CI024, kw740052, and kw740054 were investigated in detail in order to estimate heating conditions. The results showed that they might have come from different parental objects, carbonaterich Tagish Lake type, carbonate-poor Tagish Lake or CI type, and CM type, respectively, and experienced different peak temperatures, 600, 700, and 800~900 degrees C, respectively, at 60-80 km altitude upon atmospheric entry.