The University of Arizona

On the origin of shocked and unshocked CM clasts in H-chondrite regolith breccias.



CM chondrite clasts that have experienced different degrees of aqueous alteration occur in H-chondrite and HED meteorite breccias. Many clasts are fragments of essentially unshocked CM projectiles that accreted at low relative velocities to the regoliths of these parent bodies. A few clasts were heated and dehydrated upon impact; these objects most likely accreted at higher relative velocities. We examined three clasts and explored alternative scenarios for their formation. In the first scenario, we assumed that the H and HED parent bodies had diameters of a few hundred kilometers, so that their high escape velocities would effectively prevent soft landings of small CM projectiles. This would imply that weakly shocked CM clasts formed on asteroidal fragments (family members) associated with the H and HED parent bodies. In the second scenario, we assumed that weakly shocked CM clasts were spall products ejected at low velocities from larger CM projectiles when they slammed into the H and HED parent bodies. In both cases, if most CM clasts turn out to have ancient ages (e.g., ~3.4-4.1 Ga), a plausible source for their progenitors would be outer main belt objects, some which may have been dynamically implanted 3.9 Ga ago by the events described in the so-called Nice model. On the other hand, if most CM clasts have recent ages (<200 Ma), a plausible source location for their parent body would be the inner main belt between 2.1-2.2 AU. In that case, the possible source of the CM-clasts progenitors parent fragments would be the breakup ~160 Ma ago of the parent body 170 km in diameter of the Baptistina asteroid family (BAF).


regolith Breccia;Asteroid disruption;Asteroid families;CM carbonaceous chondrite Meteorite(s)

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