The University of Arizona

Shock, post-shock annealing, and post-annealing shock in ureilites

Alan E. Rubin


The thermal and shock histories of ureilites can be divided into four periods: 1) formation, 2) initial shock, 3) post-shock annealing, and 4) post-annealing shock. Period 1 occurred 4.55 Ga ago when ureilites formed by melting chondritic material. Impact events during period 2 caused silicate darkening, undulose to mosaic extinction in olivines, and the formation of diamond, lonsdaleite, and chaoite from indigenous carbonaceous material. Alkali-rich fine-grained silicates may have been introduced by impact injection into ureilites during this period. About 57% of the ureilites were unchanged after period 2. During period 3 events, impact-induced annealing caused previously mosaicized olivine grains to become aggregates of small unstrained crystals. Some ureilites experienced reduction as FeO at the edges of olivine grains reacted with C from the matrix. Annealing may also be responsible for coarsening of graphite in a few ureilites, forming euhedral-appearing, idioblastic crystals. Orthopyroxene in Meteorite Hills (MET) 78008 may have formed from pigeonite by annealing during this period. The Rb-Sr internal isochron age of ~4.0 Ga for MET 78008 probably dates the annealing event. At this late date, impacts are the only viable heat source. About 36% of ureilites experienced period 3 events, but remained unchanged afterwards. During period 4, ~7% of the ureilites were shocked again, as is evident in the polymict breccia, Elephant Moraine (EET) 83309. This rock contains annealed mosaicized olivine aggregates composed of small individual olivine crystals that exhibit undulose extinction.Ureilites may have formed by impact-melting chondritic material on a primitive body with heterogeneous O isotopes. Plagioclase was preferentially lost from the system due to its low impedance to shock compression. Brief melting and rapid burial minimized the escape of planetary-type noble gases from the ureilitic melts. Incomplete separation of metal from silicates during impact melting left ureilites with relatively high concentrations of trace siderophile elements.


Shock heating;ureilites Meteorites;Annealing;Metamorphism

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