A multi-technique search for the most primitive CO chondrites

C.M.O’D. Alexander, R.C. Greenwood, R. Bowden, J.M. Gibson, K.T. Howard, I.A. Franchi

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 24 April 2017


“As part of a study to identify the most primitive COs and to look for weakly altered CMs amongst the COs, we have conducted a multi-technique study of 16 Antarctic meteorites that had been classified as primitive COs. For this study, we have determined: (1) the bulk H, C and N abundances and isotopes, (2) bulk O isotopic compositions, (3) bulk modal mineralogies, and (4) for some selected samples the abundances and compositions of their insoluble organic matter (IOM). Two of the 16 meteorites do appear to be CMs – BUC 10943 seems to be a fairly typical CM, while MIL 090073 has probably been heated. Of the COs, DOM 08006 appears to be the most primitive CO identified to date and is quite distinct from the other members of its pairing group. The other COs fall into two groups that are less primitive than DOM 08006 and ALH 77307, the previously most primitive CO. The first group is composed of members of the DOM 08004 pairing group, except DOM 08006. The second group is composed of meteorites belonging to the MIL 03377 and MIL 07099 pairing groups. These two pairing groups should probably be combined. There is a dichotomy in the bulk O isotopes between the primitive (all Antarctic finds) and the more metamorphosed COs (mostly falls). This dichotomy can only partly be explained by the terrestrial weathering experienced by the primitive Antarctic samples. It seems that the more equilibrated samples interacted to a greater extent with 16O-poor material, probably water, than the more primitive meteorites.”