Carbon and nitrogen in carbonaceous chondrites: Elemental abundances and stable isotopic compositions
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CitationPearson, V. K., Sephton, M. A., Franchi, I. A., Gibson, J. M., & Gilmour, I. (2006). Carbon and nitrogen in carbonaceous chondrites: Elemental abundances and stable isotopic compositions. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 41(12), 1899-1918.
PublisherThe Meteoritical Society
JournalMeteoritics & Planetary Science
AbstractWe have undertaken a comprehensive study of carbon and nitrogen elemental abundances and isotopic compositions of bulk carbonaceous chondrites. A strategy of multiple analyses has enabled the investigation of hitherto unconstrained small-scale heterogeneities. No systematic differences are observed between meteorite falls and finds, suggesting that terrestrial processing has a minimal effect on bulk carbon and nitrogen chemistry. The changes in elemental abundance and isotopic composition over the petrologic range may reflect variations in primary accreted materials, but strong evidence exists of the alteration of components during secondary thermal and aqueous processing. These changes are reflected within the CM2 and CO3 groups and follow the published alteration scales for those groups. The nitrogen isotope system appears to be controlled by an organic host, which loses a 15N-rich component with progressive alteration. This study recommends caution, however, over the use of bulk carbon and nitrogen information for classification purposes; variance in relative abundance of different components in carbonaceous chondrites is significant and reflects intrameteorite heterogeneities.