Cooling rates and impact histories of group IAB and other IAB complex iron meteorites inferred from zoned taenite and the cloudy zone

1Joseph I. Goldstein,2Edward R. D. Scott,1Timothy B. Winfield,3,4Jijin Yang
Meteoritics & Planetary Science (in Press) Link to Article []
1Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, 01003 USA
2Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawai‘i, 96822 USA
3Key Laboratory of Shale Gas and Geoengineering, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100029 China
4College of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049 China
Published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons

Metallographic cooling rates of 10–20 K Myr−1 were obtained for four IAB iron meteorites from electron probe analyses of taenite and models simulating kamacite growth. Cooling rates were also determined for 21 irons in the IAB complex from the size of tetrataenite particles in the cloudy zone and a calibration curve using data for the four IAB irons and five other iron and stony iron groups. We find that the closely related IAB main group, low-Au subgroups, Pitts grouplet irons, and San Cristobal cooled through 500 °C at 10–35 K Myr−1. The ungrouped IAB complex irons, Santa Catharina and Twin City, have bulk Ni contents of ~30 wt% and cooled much faster at ~200–1000 K Myr−1, most probably in a different parent body. Our cooling rates and observations allow conflicting interpretations of the nature of the low-Ni phase in the cloudy zone to be reconciled. We infer that in fast cooled irons like Santa Catharina, the low-Ni phase transforms to antitaenite, but in very slowly cooled meteorites like mesosiderites, martensite forms instead. In meteorites with intermediate cooling rates like IAB irons, the bulk of the cloudy zone probably contains antitaenite as the low-Ni phase, but in the coarse region next to tetrataenite, martensite is present. Published isotopic ages show that metal–silicate mixing in group IAB irons occurred ~5–10 Myr after CAI formation, but the nature and timing of the impact are poorly constrained at present. Ar-Ar ages testify to shock reheating of plagioclase during cooling over ~100 Myr. However, the cloudy zone is well preserved showing that metal was not heated significantly by shocks after slow cooling through 400 °C.


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