The Vicência meteorite fall: A new unshocked (S1) weakly metamorphosed (3.2) LL chondrite

Keil, K., Zucolotto, M. E., Krot, A. N., Doyle, P. M., Telus, M., Krot, T. V., Greenwood, R. C., Franchi, I. A., Wasson, J. T., Welten, K. C., Caffee, M. W., Sears, D. W. G., Riebe, M., Wieler, R., dos Santos, E., Scorzelli, R. B., Gattacceca, J., Lagroix, F., Laubenstein, M., Mendes, J. C., Schmitt-Kopplin, P., Harir, M. and Moutinho, A. L. R. (2015),

Meteoritics & Planetary Science. doi: 10.1111/maps.12456


The Vicência meteorite, a stone of 1.547 kg, fell on September 21, 2013, at the village Borracha, near the city of Vicência, Pernambuco, Brazil. It was recovered immediately after the fall, and our consortium study showed it to be an unshocked (S1) LL3.2 ordinary chondrite. The LL group classification is based on the bulk density (3.13 g cm−3); the chondrule mean apparent diameter (0.9 mm); the bulk oxygen isotopic composition (δ17O = 3.768 ± 0.042‰, δ18O = 5.359 ± 0.042‰, Δ17O = 0.981 ± 0.020‰); the content of metallic Fe,Ni (1.8 vol%); the Co content of kamacite (1.73 wt%); the bulk contents of the siderophile elements Ir and Co versus Au; and the ratios of metallic Fe0/total iron (0.105) versus total Fe/Mg (1.164), and of Ni/Mg (0.057) versus total Fe/Mg. The petrologic type 3.2 classification is indicated by the beautifully developed chondritic texture, the standard deviation (~0.09) versus mean Cr2O3 content (~0.14 wt%) of ferroan olivine, the TL sensitivity and the peak temperature and peak width at half maximum, the cathodoluminescence properties of chondrules, the content of trapped 132Xetr (0.317 × 10−8cm3STP g−1), and the Raman spectra for organic material in the matrix. The cosmic ray exposure age is ~72 Ma, which is at the upper end of the age distribution of LL group chondrites. The meteorite is unusual in that it contains relatively large, up to nearly 100 μm in size, secondary fayalite grains, defined as olivine with Fa>75, large enough to allow in situ measurement of oxygen and Mn-Cr isotope systematics with SIMS. Its oxygen isotopes plot along a mass-dependent fractionation line with a slope of ~0.5 and Δ17O of 4.0 ± 0.3‰, and are similar to those of secondary fayalite and magnetite in the unequilibrated chondrites EET 90161, MET 96503, and Ngawi. These data suggest that secondary fayalite in Vicência was in equilibrium with a fluid with a Δ17O of ~4‰, consistent with the composition of the fluid in equilibrium with secondary magnetite and fayalite in other unequilibrated ordinary chondrites. Secondary fayalite and the chondrule olivine phenocrysts in Vicência are not in isotopic equilibrium, consistent with low-temperature formation of fayalite during aqueous alteration on the LL parent body. That alteration, as dated by the 53Mn-53Cr chronology age of secondary fayalite, took place 4.0−1.1+1.4 Ma after formation of CV CAIs when anchored to the quenched angrite D’Orbigny.