The Chelyabinsk meteorite: Thermal history and variable shock effects recorded by the 40Ar-39Ar system

Trieloff, M., Korochantseva, E. V., Buikin, A. I., Hopp, J., Ivanova, M. A. and Korochantsev, A. V.

Meteoritics & Planetary Science. doi: 10.1111/maps.13012


“We studied three lithologies (light and dark chondritic and impact melt rock) differing in shock stage from the LL5 chondrite Chelyabinsk. Using the 40Ar-39Ar dating technique, we identified low- and high-temperature reservoirs within all samples, ascribed to K-bearing oligoclase feldspar and shock-induced jadeite–feldspar glass assemblages in melt veins, respectively. Trapped argon components had variable 40Ar/36Ar ratios even within low- and high-temperature reservoirs of individual samples. Correcting for trapped argon revealed a lithology-specific response of the K-Ar system to shock metamorphism, thereby defining two distinct impact events affecting the Chelyabinsk parent asteroid (1) an intense impact event ~1.7 ± 0.1 Ga ago formed the light–dark-structured and impact-veined Chelyabinsk breccia. Such a one-stage breccia formation is consistent with petrological observations and was recorded by the strongly shocked lithologies (dark and impact melt) where a significant fraction of oligoclase feldspar was transformed into jadeite and feldspathic glass; and (2) a young reset event ~30 Ma ago particularly affected the light lithology due to its low argon retentivity, while the more retentive shock-induced phases were more resistant against thermal reset. Trapped argon with 40Ar/36Ar ratios up to 1900 was likely incorporated during impact-induced events on the parent body, and mixed with terrestrial atmospheric argon contamination. Had it not been identified via isochrons based on high-resolution argon extraction, several geochronologically meaningless ages would have been deduced.”