Mineralogy and petrology of Dominion Range 08006: A very primitive CO3 carbonaceous chondrite

Jemma Davidson, Conel M.O’D. Alexander, Rhonda M. Stroud, Henner Busemann, Larry R. Nittler

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Journal Pre-proof, Available online 5 September 2019

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“Here we report the relative degrees of thermal metamorphism for five Antarctic Ornans-like carbonaceous (CO) chondrites, including Dominion Range (DOM) 08006, as determined from the Cr-content of their FeO-rich (ferroan) olivine. These five CO3 chondrites complete the previously poorly-defined CO3.00 to 3.2 chondrite metamorphic trend. DOM 08006 appears to be a highly primitive CO chondrite of petrologic type 3.00. We report the detailed mineralogy and petrography of DOM 08006 using a coordinated, multi-technique approach.

The interchondrule matrix in DOM 08006 consists of unequilibrated mixtures of silicate, metal, and sulfide minerals and lacks Fe-rich rims on silicates indicating that DOM 08006 has only experienced minimal, if any, thermal metamorphism. This is also reflected by the Co/Ni ratios of Ni-rich and Ni-poor metal, a sensitive indicator of thermal metamorphism, and the presence of euhedral chrome-spinel grains, which typically become subhedral to anhedral during progressive metamorphism. DOM 08006 matrix shows minor evidence for aqueous alteration and while the presence of magnetite surrounding metal in chondrules indicates that there has been some interaction with fluid, much metal remains and none of the sulfides analyzed show evidence of being formed by aqueous alteration. Furthermore, the plagioclase of ∼50% of chondrules analyzed show resolvable excess silica indicating that these chondrules have experienced minimal, if any, reprocessing in the CO parent body.

Noble gas data for DOM 08006 show that it contains the highest concentrations of trapped 36Ar and 132Xe of all CO chondrites analyzed to date, further indicating that DOM 08006 is the most primitive CO chondrite known. The cosmic ray exposure age of DOM 08006 is estimated to be ∼19 Ma.

The minimally altered nature of DOM 08006 demonstrates that it is an extremely important sample for providing valuable insight into early Solar System conditions. At a total weight of 667 g, a significant amount of material is available for a wide array of future studies.”