Type 1 aqueous alteration in CM carbonaceous chondrites: Implications for the evolution of water-rich asteroidsOPEN ACCESS 

A.J. King, P.F. Schofield, S.S. Russell

Meteoritics & Planetary Science. doi: 10.1111/maps.12872


“The CM carbonaceous chondrite meteorites experienced aqueous alteration in the early solar system. They range from mildly altered type 2 to almost completely hydrated type 1 chondrites, and offer a record of geochemical conditions on water-rich asteroids. We show that CM1 chondrites contain abundant (84–91 vol%) phyllosilicate, plus olivine (4–8 vol%), magnetite (2–3 vol%), Fe-sulfide (<5 vol%), and calcite (<2 vol%). The CM1/2 chondrites contain phyllosilicate (71–88 vol%), olivine (4–20 vol%), enstatite (2–6 vol%), magnetite (2–3 vol%), Fe-sulfides (1–2 vol%), and calcite (~1 vol%). As aqueous alteration progressed, the abundance of Mg-serpentine and magnetite in the CM chondrites increased. In contrast, calcite abundances in the CM1/2 and CM1 chondrites are often depleted relative to the CM2s. The modal data support the model, whereby metal and Fe-rich matrix were the first components to be altered on the CM parent body(ies), before further hydration attacked the coarser Mg-rich silicates found in chondrules and fragments. Based on the absence of tochilinite, we suggest that CM1 chondrites experienced increased alteration due to elevated temperatures (>120 °C), although higher water/rock ratios may also have played a role. The modal data provide constraints for interpreting the composition of asteroids and the mineralogy of samples returned from these bodies. We predict that “CM1-like” asteroids, as has been proposed for Bennu—target for the OSIRIS-REx mission—will have a high abundance of Mg-rich phyllosilicates and Fe-oxides, but be depleted in calcite.”