Secondary-volatiles linked metallic iron in eucrites: The dual-origin metals of Camel Donga

1Paul H. Warren, 1,2Junko Isa, 2Mitsuru Ebihara,3Akira Yamaguchi, 4,5Bastian Baecker
Meteoritics & Planetary Science (in Press) Link to Article [DOI: 10.1111/maps.12827]
1Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA
2Department of Chemistry, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan
3Department of Polar Science, School of Multidisciplinary Science, SOKENDAI (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies), Tokyo, Japan
4Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA
5NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama, USA
Published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons

The unique occurrence of abundant (~1 vol%) near-pure-Fe metal in the Camel Donga eucrite is more complicated than previously believed. In addition to that component of groundmass metal, scattered within the meteorite are discrete nodules of much higher kamacite abundance. We have studied the petrology and composition of two of these nodules in the form of samples we call CD2 and CD3. The nodules are ovoids 11 (CD2) to 15 (CD3) mm across, with metal, or inferred preweathering metal, abundances of 12–17 vol% (CD2 is unfortunately quite weathered). The CD3 nodule also includes at its center a 5 mm ovoid clumping (6 vol%) of F-apatite. Both nodules are fine-grained, so the high Fe metal and apatite contents are clearly not flukes of inadequate sampling. The metals within the nodules are distinctly Ni-rich (0.3–0.6 wt%) compared to the pure-Fe (Ni generally 0.01 wt%) groundmass metals. Bulk analyses of three pieces of the CD2 nodule show that trace siderophile elements Ir, Os, and Co are commensurately enriched; Au is enriched to a lesser degree. The siderophile evidence shows the nodules did not form by in situ reduction of pyroxene FeO. Moreover, the nodules do not show features such as silica-phase enrichment or pyroxene with reduced FeO (as constrained by FeO/MgO and especially FeO/MnO) predicted by the in situ reduction model. The oxide minerals, even in groundmass samples well away from the nodules, also show little evidence of reduction. Although the nodule boundaries are generally sharp, groundmass-metal Ni content is anti-correlated with distance from the CD3 nodule. We infer that the nodules represent materials that originated within impactors into the Camel Donga portion of the eucrite crust, but probably were profoundly altered during later metamorphism/metasomatism. Origin of the pure-Fe groundmass metal remains enigmatic. In situ reduction probably played an important role, and association in the same meteorite of the Fe-nodules is probably significant. But the fluid during alteration was probably not (as previously modeled) purely S and O, of simple heat-driven internal derivation. We conjecture a two-stage metasomatism, as fluids passed through Camel Donga after impact heating of volatile-rich chondritic masses (survivors of gentle accretionary impacts) within the nearby crust. First, reduction to form troilite may have been triggered by fluids rich in S2 and CO (derived from the protonodules?), and then in a distinct later stage, fluids were (comparatively) H2O-rich, and thus reacted with troilite to form pure-Fe metal along with H2S and SO2. The early eucrite crust was in places a dynamic fluid-bearing environment that hosted complex chemical processes, including some that engendered significant diversity among metal+sulfide alterations.

Discuss

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s