The University of Arizona

Petrographic classification of Middle Ordovician fossil meteorites from Sweden

J. C. BRIDGES, B. SCHMITZ, R. HUTCHISON, R. C. GREENWOOD, M. TASSINARI, I. A. FRANCHI

Abstract


The maximum diameter of chromite (FeCr2O4) grains within L chondrites reflects the petrographic type of the sample. On the basis of our measurements of nine recent L chondrites, L3 chromite Dmax = 34-50 μm, L4 = 87-150 μm, L5 = 76-158 μm, and L6 = 253-638 μm. This variation reflects the crystallization of the chromite grains during parent body thermal metamorphism.We use this calibration to classify six fossil meteorites from the Middle Ordovician in Sweden as type 3 (or 4) to 6. The high flux of L chondrites at 470 Ma contained a range of petrographic types and may have had a higher proportion of lower petrographic type meteorites than are found in recent L chondrite falls. The fossil meteorites have in places preserved recognizable chondrule textures, including porphyritic olivine, barred olivine, and radiating pyroxene. A large relict clast and fusion crust have also been tentatively identified in one fossil meteorite. Apart from chromite, all of the original meteorite minerals have been replaced by carbonate (and sheet silicate and sulfate) during diagenesis within the limestone host. The preservation of chondrule definition has allowed us to measure the mean diameters of relict chondrules. The range (0.4-0.6 mm) is consistent with measurements made in the same way on recent L chondrites.

Keywords


Petrologic type;L ordinary chondrite Meteorites;Chromite;Fossil meteorites

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