Thermal histories of IVA iron meteorites from transmission electron microscopy of the cloudy zone microstructure
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CitationGoldstein, J. I., Yang, J., Kotula, P. G., Michael, J. R., & Scott, E. R. D. (2009). Thermal histories of IVA iron meteorites from transmission electron microscopy of the cloudy zone microstructure. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 44(3), 343-358.
PublisherThe Meteoritical Society
JournalMeteoritics & Planetary Science
AbstractWe have measured the size of the high-Ni particles in the cloudy zone and the width of the outer taenite rim in eight low shocked and eight moderately to heavily shocked IVA irons using a transmission electron microscope (TEM). Thin sections for TEM analysis were produced by a focused ion beam instrument. Use of the TEM allowed us to avoid potential artifacts which may be introduced during specimen preparation for SEM analysis of high Ni particles <30 nm in size and to identify microchemical and microstructural changes due to the effects of shock induced reheating. No cloudy zone was observed in five of the eight moderately to highly shocked >13 GPa) IVA irons that were examined in the TEM. Shock induced reheating has allowed for diffusion from 20 nm to 400 nm across kamacite/taenite boundaries, recrystallization of kamacite, and the formation, in Jamestown, of taenite grain boundaries. In the eleven IVA irons with cloudy zone microstructures, the size of the high-Ni particles in the cloudy zone increases directly with increasing bulk Ni content. Our data and the inverse correlation between cooling rate and high-Ni particle size for irons and stony-irons show that IVA cooling rates at 350-200 degrees C are inversely correlated with bulk Ni concentration and vary by a factor of about 15. This cooling rate variation is incompatible with cooling in a metallic core that was insulated with a silicate mantle, but is compatible with cooling in a metallic body of radius 150 +/- 50 km. The widths of the tetrataenite regions next to the cloudy zone correlate directly with high-Ni particle size providing another method to measure low temperature cooling rates.