Kosmochloric Ca-rich pyroxenes and FeO-rich olivines (Kool grains) and associated phases in Stardust tracks and chondritic porous interplanetary dust particles: Possible precursors to FeO-rich type II chondrules in ordinary chondrites
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CitationJoswiak, D. J., Brownlee, D. E., Matrajt, G., Westphal, A. J., & Snead, C. J. (2009). Kosmochloric Ca‐rich pyroxenes and FeO‐rich olivines (Kool grains) and associated phases in Stardust tracks and chondritic porous interplanetary dust particles: Possible precursors to FeO‐rich type II chondrules in ordinary chondrites. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 44(10), 1561-1588.
PublisherThe Meteoritical Society
JournalMeteoritics & Planetary Science
AbstractTerminal particles and mineral fragments from comet 81P/Wild 2 were studied in 16 aerogel tracks by transmission and secondary electron microscopy. In eight tracks clinopyroxenes with correlated Na2O and Cr2O3 contents as high as 6.0 wt% and 13.0 wt%, respectively, were found. Kosmochloric (Ko) clinopyroxenes were also observed in 4 chondritic interplanetary dust particles (IDPs). The Ko clinopyroxenes were often associated with FeO-rich olivine +/- Cr-rich spinel +/- aluminosilicate glass or albitic feldspar, assemblages referred to as Kool grains (Ko = kosmochloric Ca-rich pyroxene, ol = olivine). Fine-grained (submicron) Kool fragments have textures suggestive of crystallization from melts while coarse-grained (>1 micrometer) Kool fragments are often glass-free and may have formed by thermal metamorphism in the nebula. Average major and minor element distributions between clinopyroxenes and coexisting FeO-rich olivines are consistent with these phases forming at or near equilibrium. In glass-bearing fine-grained Kool fragments, high concentrations of Na in the clinopyroxenes are inconsistent with existing experimentally determined partition coefficients at equilibrium. We speculate that the availability of Cr in the melt increased the clinopyroxene Na partition coefficient via a coupled substitution thereby enhancing this phase with the kosmochlor component. The high temperature minerals, fine-grain sizes, bulk compositions and common occurrence in the SD tracks and IDPs support the idea that Kool grains could have been precursors to type II chondrules in ordinary chondrites. These grains, however, have not been observed in these meteorites suggesting that they were destroyed during chondrule formation and recycling or were not present in the nebula at the time and location where meteoritic chondrules formed.