The University of Arizona

40Ar/39Ar dating and cosmic-ray exposure time of desert meteorites: Dhofar 300 and Dhofar 007 eucrites and anomalous achondrite NWA 011

E. V. Korochantseva, M. Trieloff, A. I. Buikin, J. Hopp, H.-P. Meyer


We performed high-resolution 40Ar-39Ar dating of mineral separates and whole-rock samples from the desert meteorites Dhofar 300, Dhofar 007, and Northwest Africa (NWA) 011. The chronological information of all samples is dominated by plagioclase of varying grain size. The last total reset age of the eucrites Dhofar 300 and Dhofar 007 is 3.9 ± 0.1 Ga, coeval with the intense cratering period on the Moon. Some large plagioclase grains of Dhofar 007 possibly inherited Ar from a 4.5 Ga event characteristic for other cumulate eucrites. Due to disturbances of the age spectrum of NWA 011, only an estimate of 3.2-3.9 Ga can be given for its last total reset age. Secondary events causing partial 40Ar loss ≤3.4 Ga ago are indicated by all age spectra. Furthermore, Ar extractions from distinct low temperature phases define apparent isochrons for all samples. These isochron ages are chronologically irrelevant and most probably caused by desert alterations, in which radiogenic 40Ar and K from the meteorite and occasionally K induced by weathering are mixed, accompanied by incorporation of atmospheric Ar. Additional uptake of atmospheric Ar by the alteration phase(s) was observed during mineral separation (i.e., crushing and cleaning in ultrasonic baths). Consistent cosmic-ray exposure ages were obtained from plagioclase and pyroxene exposure age spectra of Dhofar 300 (25 ± 1 Ma) and Dhofar 007 (13 ± 1 Ma) using the minerals specific target element chemistry and corresponding 38Ar production rates.


Chronology;Meteorite desert;Eucrites;40Ar-39Ar dating

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