The University of Arizona

Microtextures and crystal chemistry of pigeonite in the ureilites ALHA77257, RKPA80239, Y-791538, and ALHA81101

Mario Tribaudino


The microtextures of pigeonite in four ureilites, Allan Hills (ALH) 77257, Reckling Peak (RKP) A80239, Yamato (Y-) 791538, and Allan Hills A81101, chosen to span a range of composition and shock level, were investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM); two of the samples were also investigated by single crystal X-ray diffraction to determine Fe2+-Mg cation site partitioning.The low-shock and compositionally homogeneous pigeonites in ALHA77257 and RKPA80329 (Wo 6.4 for both, mg 86.3 and 84.3 respectively) display irregularly spaced, shock-induced stacking faults oriented parallel to (100), and largeantiphase domains (50-100 nm). Antiphase domains have no preferential orientation. No evidence of exsolution was observed.The low-shock Y-791538 pigeonite is homogeneous and has higher Ca and mg (Wo 9.4, mg 91.2). TEM investigation showed spinodal decomposition, indicative of incipient exsolution; small antiphase domains were observed (?5 nm). Single crystal refinement yielded R4σ = 5.71%, with Fe2+-Mg partitioning coefficient kD = 0.077(8) and Tc = 658(35) °C. ALHA81101 has compositionally heterogeneous pyroxenes, with large local variations in Wo and mg (Wo = 4-13, mg = 86-68). No compositional gradients from core to rim of grains were observed, and the heterogeneity is interpreted as related to cation migration during shock. In one relatively Ca-rich region (Wo ≈ 12), TEM analysis showed augite-pigeonite exsolution lamellae, with spacing 145(20) nm.Results for ALHA77257, RKPA80239, and Y-791538 support a model of rapid cooling following breakup of the ureilite parent body. The presence of exsolution lamellae in ALHA81101 can be related to a local shock-induced Ca enrichment and provides no constraint on the late cooling history.


X-ray diffraction;Electron microscopy;ureilite Meteorites;Pyroxene

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