The University of Arizona

Refractory inclusions in the CH/CB-like carbonaceous chondrite Isheyevo: I. Mineralogy and petrography



The CH/CB-like chondrite Isheyevo consists of metal-rich (7090 vol% Fe,Ni-metal) and metal-poor (720 vol% Fe,Ni-metal) lithologies which differ in size and relative abundance of Fe,Nimetal and chondrules, as well as proportions of porphyritic versus non-porphyritic chondrules. Here, we describe the mineralogy and petrography of Ca,Al-rich inclusions (CAIs) and amoeboid olivine aggregates (AOAs) in these lithologies. Based on mineralogy, refractory inclusions can be divided into hibonite-rich (39%), grossite-rich (16%), melilite-rich (19%), spinel-rich (14%), pyroxeneanorthite- rich (8%), fine-grained spinel-rich CAIs (1%), and AOAs (4%). There are no systematic differences in the inclusion types or their relative abundances between the lithologies. About 55% of the Isheyevo CAIs are very refractory (hibonite-rich and grossite-rich) objects, 20-240 μm in size, which appear to have crystallized from rapidly cooling melts. These inclusions are texturally and mineralogically similar to the majority of CAIs in CH and CB chondrites. They are distinctly different from CAIs in other carbonaceous chondrite groups dominated by the spinel-pyroxene melilite CAIs and AOAs. The remaining 45% of inclusions are less refractory objects (melilite-, spinel- and pyroxene-rich CAIs and AOAs), 40-300 μm in size, which are texturally and mineralogically similar to those in other chondrite groups. Both types of CAIs are found as relict objects inside porphyritic chondrules indicating recycling during chondrule formation. We infer that there are at least two populations of CAIs in Isheyevo which appear to have experienced different thermal histories. All of the Isheyevo CAIs apparently formed at an early stage, prior to chondrule formation and prior to a hypothesized planetary impact that produced magnesian cryptocrystalline and skeletal chondrules and metal grains in CB, and possibly CH chondrites. However, some of the CAIs appear to have undergone melting during chondrule formation and possibly during a major impact event. We suggest that Isheyevo, as well as CH and CB chondrites, consist of variable proportions of materials produced by different processes in different settings: 1) by evaporation, condensation, and melting of dust in the protoplanetary disk (porphyritic chondrules and refractory inclusions), 2) by melting, evaporation and condensation in an impact generated plume (magnesian cryptocrystalline and skeletal chondrules and metal grains; some igneous CAIs could have been melted during this event), and 3) by aqueous alteration of pre-existing planetesimals (heavily hydrated lithic clasts). The Isheyevo lithologies formed by size sorting of similar components during accretion in the Isheyevo parent body; they do not represent fragments of CH and CB chondrites.


Refractory inclusions;Calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs);Chondrules;carbonaceous chondrite Meteorites

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