Santa Lucia (2008) (L6) Chondrite, a Recent Fall: Composition, Noble Gases, Nitrogen and Cosmic Ray Exposure Age

Ramakant R. Mahajan, Maria Eugenia Varela, Jean Louis Joron

Earth, Moon, and Planets
April 2016, Volume 117, Issue 2, pp 65-76
First online: 27 November 2015


“The Santa Lucia (2008)—one the most recent Argentine meteorite fall, fell in San Juan province, Argentina, on 23 January 2008. Several masses (total ~6 kg) were recovered. Most are totally covered by fusion crust. The exposed interior is of light-grey colour. Chemical data [olivine (Fa24.4) and low-Ca pyroxene (En77.8 Fs20.7 Wo1.6)] indicate that Santa Luica (2008) is a member of the low iron L chondrite group, corresponding to the equilibrated petrologic type 6. The meteorite name was approved by the Nomenclature Committee (NomCom) of the Meteoritical Society (Meteoritic Bulletin, no. 97). We report about the chemical composition of the major mineral phases, its bulk trace element abundance, its noble gas and nitrogen data. The cosmic ray exposure age based on cosmogenic 3He, 21Ne, and 38Ar around 20 Ma is comparable to one peak of L chondrites. The radiogenic K–Ar age of 2.96 Ga, while the young U, Th–He are of 1.2 Ga indicates that Santa Lucia (2008) lost radiogenic 4He more recently. Low cosmogenic (22Ne/21Ne)c and absence of solar wind noble gases are consistent with irradiation in a large body. Heavy noble gases (Ar/Kr/Xe) indicated trapped gases similar to ordinary chondrites. Krypton and neon indicates irradiation in large body, implying large pre-atmospheric meteoroid.”