• The atmospheric entry of fine-grained micrometeorites: The role of volatile gases in heating and fragmentation

      Suttle, Martin; Genge, MJ; Folco, L; Van Ginneken, M; Lin, Q; Russell, SS; Najorka, J (Wiley, 2019-03)
      The early stages of atmospheric entry are investigated in four large (250–950 lm) unmelted micrometeorites (three fine-grained and one composite), derived from the Transantarctic Mountain micrometeorite collection. These particles have abundant, interconnected, secondary pore spaces which form branching channels and show evidence of enhanced heating along their channel walls. Additionally, a micrometeorite with a doublewalled igneous rim is described, suggesting that some particles undergo volume expansion during entry. This study provides new textural data which links together entry heating processes known to operate inside micrometeoroids, thereby generating a more comprehensive model of their petrographic evolution. Initially, flash heated micrometeorites develop a melt layer on their exterior; this igneous rim migrates inwards. Meanwhile, the particle core is heated by the decomposition of low-temperature phases and by volatile gas release. Where the igneous rim acts as a seal, gas pressures rise, resulting in the formation of interconnected voids and higher particle porosities. Eventually, the igneous rim is breached and gas exchange with the atmosphere occurs. This mechanism replaces inefficient conductive rim-to-core thermal gradients with more efficient particle-wide heating, driven by convective gas flow. Interconnected voids also increase the likelihood of particle fragmentation during entry and, may therefore explain the rarity of large fine-grained micrometeorites among collections.
    • Hydrothermal activity on the CV parent body: New perspectives from the giant Transantarctic Mountains minimeteorite TAM 5.29

      Nava, J; Suttle, Martin; Spiess, R; Folco, L; Najorka, J; Carli, C; Massironi, M (Wiley, 2020-01)
      Abstract TAM5.29 is an extraterrestrial dust grain, collected on the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM). Its mineralogy is dominated by an Fe-rich matrix composed of platy fayalitic olivines and clasts of andradite surrounded by diopside-jarosite mantles; chondrules are absent. TAM5.29 records a complex geological history with evidence of extensive thermal metamorphism in the presence of fluids at T < 300 °C. Alteration was terminated by an impact, resulting in shock melt veins and compaction-orientated foliation of olivine. A second episode of alteration at lower temperatures (<100 °C) occurred postimpact and is either parent body or terrestrial in origin and resulted in the formation of iddingsite. The lack of chondrules is explained by random subsampling of the parent body, with TAM5.29 representing a matrix-only fragment. On the basis of bulk chemical composition, mineralogy, and geological history TAM5.29 demonstrates affinities to the CVox group with a mineralogical assemblage in between the Allende-like and Bali-like subgroups (CVoxA and TAM5.29 are rich in andradite, magnetite, and FeNiS, but CVoxA lacks hydrated minerals, common in TAM5.29; conversely, CVoxB are rich in hydrated phyllosilicates but contain almost pure fayalite, not found in TAM5.29). In addition, TAM5.29 has a slightly different metasomatic history, in between the oxidized and reduced CV metamorphic grades while also recording higher oxidizing conditions as compared to the known CV chondrites. This study represents the third CV-like cosmic dust particle, containing a unique composition, mineralogy, and fabric, demonstrating variation in the thermal metamorphic history of the CV parent body(-ies).
    • Linking mineralogy and spectroscopy of highly aqueously altered CM and CI carbonaceous chondrites in preparation for primitive asteroid sample return

      Bates, HC; King, AJ; Donaldson Hanna, KL; Bowles, NE; Russell, Sara (Wiley, 2019-11-19)
      The highly hydrated, petrologic type 1 CM and CI carbonaceous chondrites likely derived from primitive, water‐rich asteroids, two of which are the targets for JAXA's Hayabusa2 and NASA's OSIRIS‐REx missions. We have collected visible and near‐infrared (VNIR) and mid infrared (MIR) reflectance spectra from well‐characterized CM1/2, CM1, and CI1 chondrites and identified trends related to their mineralogy and degree of secondary processing. The spectral slope between 0.65 and 1.05 μm decreases with increasing total phyllosilicate abundance and increasing magnetite abundance, both of which are associated with more extensive aqueous alteration. Furthermore, features at ~3 μm shift from centers near 2.80 μm in the intermediately altered CM1/2 chondrites to near 2.73 μm in the highly altered CM1 chondrites. The Christiansen features (CF) and the transparency features shift to shorter wavelengths as the phyllosilicate composition of the meteorites becomes more Mg‐rich, which occurs as aqueous alteration proceeds. Spectra also show a feature near 6 μm, which is related to the presence of phyllosilicates, but is not a reliable parameter for estimating the degree of aqueous alteration. The observed trends can be used to estimate the surface mineralogy and the degree of aqueous alteration in remote observations of asteroids. For example, (1) Ceres has a sharp feature near 2.72 μm, which is similar in both position and shape to the same feature in the spectra of the highly altered CM1 MIL 05137, suggesting abundant Mg‐rich phyllosilicates on the surface. Notably, both OSIRIS‐REx and Hayabusa2 have onboard instruments which cover the VNIR and MIR wavelength ranges, so the results presented here will help in corroborating initial results from Bennu and Ryugu.
    • Opal-A in the Nakhla meteorite: A tracer of ephemeral liquid water in the Amazonian crust of Mars

      Lee, MR; MacLaren, I; Andersson, SML; Kovács, A; Tomkinson, T; Mark, DF; Smith, CL (2015-08)
    • Variable Tl, Pb, and Cd concentrations and isotope compositions of enstatite and ordinary chondrites-Evidence for volatile element mobilization and decay of extinct 205 Pb

      Palk, C; Andreasen, R; Rehkämper, M; Stunt, A; Kreissig, K; Coles, B; Schönbächler, M; Smith, C (Wiley, 2017-10-23)