The University of Arizona

Thermal history of ALH 84001 meteorite by Fe^(2+)-Mg ordering in orthopyroxene

M. C. DOMENEGHETTI, A. M. FIORETTI, F. CMARA, G. MOLIN, V. TAZZOLI

Abstract


A single orthopyroxene crystal from the Martian meteorite Allan Hills (ALH) 84001 was studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and electron microprobe analysis (EMPA) to retrieve information about its thermal history. Both sets of data were used to measure the Fe2+-Mg order degree between the M1 and M2 sites expressed by the distribution coefficient kD. The 529 ±  30 °C closure temperature (Tc) of the Fe^(2+)-Mg ordering process of ALH 84001 orthopyroxene (Fs28) was calculated using Stimpfl (2005a, 2005b) lnkD versus 1/T equation obtained for intermediate iron sample. At this Tc, the orthopyroxene cooling rate, calculated by Gangulys (1982) numerical method, was 0.1 °C/day. This study puts new constraints on the last high-temperature thermal episode recorded by orthopyroxene. With reference to the geological history (Treiman 1998), we ascribe this episode to the I3 event, and we interpret the Tc of 529 °C as a lower limit for this impact heating. Our data confirm that experimentally defined physical conditions for the formation of magnetite from decomposition of carbonates took place on the Martian surface during event I3.

Keywords


single-crystal X-ray diffraction;Fe-Mg order disorder;Martian meteorites;orthopyroxene;Allan Hills (ALH) 84001

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