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Geochim Cosmochim Acta. 1997 Jan;61(2):437-52.

The primitive matrix components of the unique carbonaceous chondrite Acfer 094: a TEM study.

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  • 1Institut fur Planetologie, Westfalische Wilhelms-Universitat Munster, Germany.

Abstract

The mineralogical and chemical characteristics of the fine-grained matrix (< or = 3 micrometers) of the unique primitive carbonaceous chondrite Acfer 094 have been investigated in detail by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and analytical transmission electron microscopy (ATEM). Generally, the fine-grained matrix represents a highly unequilibrated assemblage of an amorphous material, small forsteritic olivines (200-300 nm), low Ca-pyroxenes (300-400 nm), and Fe,Ni-sulfides (100-300 nm). The matrix is basically unaffected by secondary processes. Only minor amounts of serpentine and ferrihydrite, as products of hydrous alteration, are present. Texturally, the amorphous material acts as a groundmass to olivines, pyroxenes, and sulfides, mostly exhibiting rounded or elongated morphologies. Only very few clastic mineral grains have been found. The texture and chemical composition of the amorphous material are consistent with an origin by disequilibrium condensation in either the cooling solar nebula or a circumstellar environment. As such, the amorphous material may be considered as a possible precursor of matrix materials in other types of chondrites. The non-clastic matrix olivines (Fo98-99) and pyroxenes (En97-100) are suggested to have formed either by condensation in the solar nebula under highly oxidizing conditions or by recrystallization from the amorphous material. The formation of these grains by fragmentation of chondrule components is unlikely due to chemical and microstructural reasons. Rapid cooling caused the observed intergrowths of clino/orthoenstatite in the Mg-rich matrix pyroxenes. Although some similarities exist comparing the fine-grained matrix of Acfer 094 with the matrices of the unequilibrated CO3 chondrite ALHA77307 and the unique type 3 chondrite Kakangari, Acfer 094 remains unique. Since it contains the highest measured concentrations of circumstellar SiC and the second highest of diamond (highest is Orgueil), it seems reasonable to suggested that at least parts of the amorphous material in the fine-grained matrix may be of circumstellar origin.

PMID:
11539920
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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