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Metal/sulfide–silicate intergrowth textures in EL3 meteorites Origin by impact melting on the EL parent body


Metal/sulfide–silicate intergrowth textures in EL3 meteorites Origin by impact melting on the EL parent body



Meteoritics and Planetary Science 46(10): 1484-1497



ISSN/ISBN: 1086-9379

DOI: 10.1111/j.1945-5100.2011.01244.x

We document the petrographic setting and textures of Fe,Ni metal, the mineralogy of metallic assemblages, and the modal mineral abundances in the EL3 meteorites Asuka (A-) 881314, A-88267, Allan Hills 85119, Elephant Moraine (EET) 9299/EET 9992, LaPaz Icefield 393, MacAlpine Hills (MAC) 2635, MAC 2837/MAC 2839, MAC 88136, Northwest Africa (NWA) 3132, Pecora Escarpment 912, Queen Alexandra Range (QUE) 93351/QUE 94321, QUE 94594, and higher petrologic type ELs Dar al Gani 131 (EL4), Sayh al Uhaymir 188 (EL4), MAC 2747 (EL4), QUE 94368 (EL4), and NWA 1222 (EL5). Large metal assemblages (often containing schreibersite and graphite) only occur outside chondrules and are usually intergrown with silicate minerals (euhedral to subhedral enstatite, silica, and feldspar). Sulfides (troilite, daubr elite, and keilite) are also sometimes intergrown with silicates. Numerous authors have shown that metal in enstatite chondrites that are interpreted to have been impact melted contains euhedral crystals of enstatite. We argue that the metal/sulfide silicate intergrowths in the ELs we studied were also formed during impact melting and that metal in EL3s thus does not retain primitive (i.e., nebular) textures. Likewise, the EL4s are also impact-melt breccias. Modal abundances of metal in the EL3s and EL4s range from approximately 7 to 3 wt%. These abundances overlap or exceed those of EL6s, and this is consistent either with pre-existing heterogeneity in the parent body or with redistribution of metal during impact processes.

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Accession: 036216274

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