The Kumtag 016 L5 strewn field, Xinjiang Province, China

Xiaojia Zeng, Shijie Li, Ingo Leya, Shijie Wang, Thomas Smith, Yang Li, Peng Wang

Meteoritics & Planetary Science
First published: 26 March 2018


“The Kumtag 016 strewn field was found in the eastern part of the Kumtag desert, Xinjiang Province, China. In this study, 24 recovered meteorites have been characterized by a suite of different analytical techniques to investigate their petrography, mineralogy, bulk trace elements, noble gas isotopic composition, density, and porosity. We attribute to the strewn field 22 L5 chondrites with shock stage S4 and weathering grade W2–W3. Two different meteorites, Kumtag 021, an L4 chondrite and Kumtag 032, an L6 chondrite, were recognized within the strewn field area. Moreover, Kumtag 003, an H5 chondrite, was previously found in the same area. We infer that the Kumtag 016 strewn field most likely consists of at least four distinct meteorite falls. The effects of terrestrial weathering on the studied meteorites involve sulfide/metal alteration, chemical changes (Sr, Ba, Pb, and U enrichments and depletion in Cr, Co, Ni, and Cs abundances), and physical modifications (decrease of grain density and porosity). Measurements of the light noble gases indicate that the analyzed Kumtag L5 samples contain solar wind‐implanted noble gases with a 20Ne/22Ne ratio of ~12.345. The cosmic‐ray exposure (CRE) ages of the L5 chondrites are in a narrow range (3.6 ± 1.4 Ma to 5.2 ± 0.4 Ma). For L4 chondrite Kumtag 021 and L6 chondrite Kumtag 032, the CRE ages are 5.9 ± 0.4 Ma and 4.7 ± 0.8 Ma, respectively. “