Petrogenesis and In Situ U‐Pb Geochronology of a Strongly Shocked L‐Melt Rock Northwest Africa 11042

1,2Yunhua Wu,3,4Weibiao Hsu
Journal of Geophysical Research, Planets (in Press) Link to Article []
1Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, China
2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
3The State Key Laboratory of Planetary Science, Macau University of Science and Technology, Taipa, China
4CAS Center for Excellence in Comparative Planetology, China
Published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons

Northwest Africa (NWA) 11042, originally classified as a primitive achondrite with no chondritic relicts, is rather a unique L‐melt rock. It is a severely shocked, igneous‐textured ultramafic rock composed of euhedral to subhedral olivine (Fa25.1±0.5) and pyroxenes (Low‐Ca pyroxene Fs20.7±0.8Wo4.2±1.0, and Ca‐rich pyroxene Fs11.5±0.5Wo37.6±1.2) with interstitial albitic plagioclase (Ab80.7±1.7Or5.0±0.7) that has been completely converted to maskelynite. Mineral compositions are similar to those of equilibrated L chondrites. Melt pockets are scattered throughout the sample, containing high‐pressure minerals including ringwoodite, wadsleyite, jadeite, and lingunite. Merrillite and apatite in NWA 11042 contain significantly higher REE abundances than those of ordinary chondrites, indicative of igneous fractional crystallization. In situ U‐Pb dating of apatite in NWA 11042 reveals an upper intercept age of 4479±43 Myr and a lower intercept age of 465±47 Myr on the normal U‐Pb concordia diagram. The upper intercept age recorded the time when NWA 11042 initially crystallized. This age is much younger than when the decay of short‐lived nuclides (e.g., 26Al) would act as a major heat source, suggesting melting and crystallization of NWA 11042 could be otherwise triggered by an impact event. The lower intercept age represents a reset age due to a later impact event, that is in coincidence with the disruption event of L chondrite parent body at ~470 Myr. NWA 11042 is an excellent example to link igneous‐textured meteorites with a chondritic parent body through shock‐induced melting.


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