Hydrothermal alteration experiments of enstatite: Implications for aqueous alteration of carbonaceous chondrites
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CitationOhnishi, I., & Tomeoka, K. (2007). Hydrothermal alteration experiments of enstatite: implications for aqueous alteration of carbonaceous chondrites. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 42(1), 49-61.
PublisherThe Meteoritical Society
JournalMeteoritics & Planetary Science
AbstractEnstatite is one of the major constituent minerals in carbonaceous chondrites. Hydrothermal alteration experiments (26 in total) of enstatite were carried out at pH 0, 6, 7, 12, 13, and 14, at temperatures of 100, 200, and 300 degrees C, and for run durations of 24, 72, 168, and 336 h in order to provide constraints on the aqueous-alteration conditions of the meteorites. The recovered samples were studied in detail by using powder X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).Under acidic and mildly acidic conditions (pH 0, 6), no significant alteration occurred, whereas under neutral to alkaline conditions (pH 7-14), serpentine and saponite formed in various proportions by replacing enstatite. At 300 degrees C for 168 h, serpentine formed under neutral to moderately alkaline conditions (pH 7, 12), and serpentine and saponite formed as unit cell-scale coherent intergrowths under highly alkaline conditions (pH 13, 14). The amounts of phyllosilicates have a tendency to increase with increasing pH, temperature, and run duration. There is also a tendency for saponite to form at higher pH and temperature and under longer run-durations than serpentine.The results indicate that alteration of enstatite is strongly dependent on the experimental conditions, especially pH. They suggest that CM chondrites experienced aqueous alteration under neutral to alkaline conditions, whereas CV and CI chondrites experienced aqueous alteration under more alkaline conditions. The results also suggest that aqueous alteration in CI chondrites occurred at higher temperatures than in CM chondrites, and aqueous alteration in CV chondrites occurred at even higher temperatures than in CI chondrites.