Spectral properties and mineral compositions of acapulcoite–lodranite clan meteorites: Establishing S‐type asteroid–meteorite connections

Michael P. Lucas, Joshua P. Emery, Takahiro Hiroi, Harry Y. McSween

Meteorit Planet Sci. . doi:10.1111/maps.13203
First published: 03 October 2018


“Except for asteroid sample return missions, measurements of the spectral properties of both meteorites and asteroids offer the best possibility of linking meteorite groups with their parent asteroid(s). Visible plus near‐infrared spectra reveal distinguishing absorption features controlled mainly by the Fe2+ contents and modal abundances of olivine and pyroxene. Meteorite samples provide relationships between spectra and mineralogy. These relationships are useful for estimating the olivine and pyroxene mineralogy of stony (S‐type) asteroid surfaces. Using a suite of 10 samples of the acapulcoite–lodranite clan (ALC), we have developed new correlations between spectral parameters and mafic mineral compositions for partially melted asteroids. A well‐defined relationship exists between Band II center and ferrosilite (Fs) content of orthopyroxene. Furthermore, because Fs in orthopyroxene and fayalite (Fa) content in olivine are well correlated in these meteorites, the derived Fs content can be used to estimate Fa of the coexisting olivine. We derive new equations for determining the mafic silicate compositions of partially melted S‐type asteroid parent bodies. Stony meteorite spectra have previously been used to delineate meteorite analog spectral zones in Band I versus band area ratio (BAR) parameter space for the establishment of asteroid–meteorite connections with S‐type asteroids. However, the spectral parameters of the partially melted ALC overlap with those of ordinary (H) chondrites in this parameter space. We find that Band I versus Band II center parameter space reveals a clear distinction between the ALC and the H chondrites. This work allows the distinction of S‐type asteroids as nebular (ordinary chondrites) or geologically processed (primitive achondrites). “