The University of Arizona

Ca,Al-rich inclusions in Rumuruti (R) chondrites



Rumuruti chondrites (R chondrites) constitute a well-characterized chondrite group different from carbonaceous, ordinary, and enstatite chondrites. Many of these meteorites are breccias containing primitive type 3 fragments as well as fragments of higher petrologic type. Ca,Al-rich inclusions (CAIs) occur within all lithologies. Here, we present the results of our search for and analysis of Al-rich objects in Rumuruti chondrites. We studied 20 R chondrites and found 126 Ca,Al-rich objects (101 CAIs, 19 Al-rich chondrules, and 6 spinel-rich fragments). Based on mineralogical characterization and analysis by SEM and electron microprobe, the inclusions can be grouped into six different types: (1) simple concentric spinel-rich inclusions (42), (2) fassaite-rich spherules, (3) complex spinel-rich CAIs (53), (4) complex diopside-rich inclusions, (5) Al-rich chondrules, and (6) Al-rich (spinel-rich) fragments. The simple concentric and complex spinel-rich CAIs have abundant spinel and, based on the presence or absence of different major phases (fassaite, hibonite, Na,Al-(Cl)-rich alteration products), can be subdivided into several subgroups. Although there are some similarities between CAIs from R chondrites and inclusions from other chondrite groups with respect to their mineral assemblages, abundance, and size, the overall assemblage of CAIs is distinct to the R-chondrite group. Some Ca,Al-rich inclusions appear to be primitive (e.g., low FeO-contents in spinel, low abundances of Na,Al-(Cl)-rich alteration products; abundant perovskite), whereas others were highly altered by nebular and/or parent body processes (e.g., high concentrations of FeO and ZnO in spinel, ilmenite instead of perovskite, abundant Na,Al- (Cl)-rich alteration products). There is complete absence of grossite and melilite, which are common in CAIs from most other groups. CAIs from equilibrated R-chondrite lithologies have abundant secondary Ab-rich plagioclase (oligoclase) and differ from those in unequilibrated type 3 lithologies which have nepheline and sodalite instead.


Spinel;unequilibrated Meteorites;R chondrite Meteorites;Calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs)

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