The Piancaldoli meteorite: A forgotten primitive LL3.10 ordinary chondrite

Yves Marrocchi, Lydie Bonal, Jérome Gattacceca, Laurette Piani, Pierre Beck, Richard Greenwood, Jolantha Eschrig, Anne Basque, Pasquale Mario Nuccio, Franco Foresta Martin

Meteoritics & Planetary Science
Version of Record online:24 August 2020


“The Piancaldoli ordinary chondrite fell in northern Italy on August 10, 1968. Preliminary studies led to its classification as an LL3.4 unequilibrated ordinary chondrite. However, recent developments in classification procedures have prompted us to re‐examine its mineralogical, petrographic, spectroscopic, chemical, and isotopic features in a multi‐technique study. Raman spectra and magnetic properties indicate that Piancaldoli experienced minimal thermal metamorphism, consistent with its high bulk hydrogen content and the Cr contents of ferroan olivines in its type II chondrules. In combination with findings of previous studies, our data thus confirm the variability of Cr contents in ferroan olivines in type II chondrules as a proxy of thermal metamorphism. Furthermore, our results reveal that Piancaldoli is less altered than previously reported and should be reclassified as an LL3.10 unequilibrated ordinary chondrite. Our results also imply that the bulk deuterium enrichment, as observed in Piancaldoli (LL3.10), Bishunpur (LL3.15), and Semarkona (LL3.00), is a specific signature of the most primitive unequilibrated ordinary chondrites. Based on our results, we propose that, to date, Piancaldoli is the second least‐altered unequilibrated ordinary chondrite fall after Semarkona. This work reiterates the importance of meteorite collections worldwide as fundamental resources for studying the formation conditions and evolution of our solar system.”