What we know about elemental bulk chondrule and matrix compositions: Presenting the ChondriteDB Database

Dominik C. Hezel, Markus Harak, Guy Libourel

Chemie der Erde – Geochemistry
In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 11 July 2017
Review Article

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“Chondrules and matrix are the major components of chondritic meteorites and represent a significant evolutionary step in planet formation. The formation and evolution of chondrules and matrix and, in particular, the mechanics of chondrule formation remain the biggest unsolved challenge in meteoritics. A large number of studies of these major components not only helped to understand these in ever greater detail, but also produced a remarkably large body of data. Studying all available data has become known as ‹big data› analyses and promises deep insights – in this case – to chondrule and matrix formation and relationships. Looking at all data may also allow one to better understand the mechanism of chondrule formation or, equally important, what information we might be missing to identify this process. A database of all available chondrule and matrix data further provides an overview and quick visualisation, which will not only help to solve actual problems, but also enable students and future researchers to quickly access and understand all we know about these components. We collected all available data on elemental bulk chondrule and matrix compositions in a database that we call ChondriteDB. The database also contains petrographic and petrologic information on chondrules. Currently, ChondriteDB contains about 2388 chondrule and 1064 matrix data from 70 different publications and 161 different chondrites. Future iterations of ChondriteDB will include isotope data and information on other chondrite components. Data quality is of critical importance. However, as we discuss, quality is not an objective category, but a subjective judgement. Quantifiable data acquisition categories are required that allow selecting the appropriate data from a database in the context of a given research problem. We provide a comprehensive overview on the contents of ChondriteDB. The database is available as an Excel file upon request from the senior author of this paper, or can be accessed through MetBase.”