Complex origins of silicate veinlets in HED meteorites: A case study of Northwest Africa 1109

Pang, R.-L., Zhang, A.-C. and Wang, R.-C.

Meteoritics & Planetary Science. doi: 10.1111/maps.12920


“We report on the petrography and mineralogy of three types of silicate veinlets in the brecciated eucrite Northwest Africa (NWA) 1109. These include Fe-rich olivine, Mg-rich olivine, and pyroxene veinlets. The Fe-rich olivine veinlets mainly infill fractures in pyroxene and also occur along grain boundaries between pyroxene and plagioclase crystals, in both nonequilibrated and equilibrated lithic clasts. The host pyroxene of Fe-rich olivine veinlets shows large chemical variations between and within grains. The Fe-rich olivine veinlets also contain fine-grained Fe3+-bearing chromite, highly calcic plagioclase, merrillite, apatite, and troilite. Based on texture and mineral chemistry, we argue that the formation of Fe-rich olivine was related to fluid deposition at relatively high temperatures. However, the source of Fe-rich olivine in the veinlets remains unclear. Magnesium-rich olivine veinlets were found in three diogenitic lithic clasts. In one of these, the Mg-rich olivine veinlets only occur in one of the fine-grained interstitial regions and extend into fractures within surrounding coarse-grained orthopyroxene. Based on the texture of the interstitial materials, we suggest that the Mg-rich olivine veinlets formed by shock-induced localized melting and recrystallization. Pyroxene veinlets were only observed in one clast where they infill fractures within large plagioclase grains and are associated with fine-grained pyroxene surrounding coarse-grained pyroxene. The large chemical variations in pyroxene and the fracture-filling texture indicate that the pyroxene veinlets might also have formed by shock-induced localized melting and rapid crystallization. Our study demonstrates that silicate veinlets formed by a range of different surface processes on the surface of Vesta.”