Multiple impact events on the L‐chondritic parent body: Insights from SIMS U‐Pb dating of Ca‐phosphates in the NWA 7251 L‐melt breccia

Meteoritics & Planetary Science
First published: 24 March 2018


“Here we report in situ secondary ionization mass spectrometry Ca‐phosphate U‐Pb ages for an L‐impact melt breccia (NWA 7251), which are integrated with petrological and mineral chemical studies of this meteorite. NWA 7251 is a heavily shocked rock that is composed mainly of the chondrite host, impact melt portion, and melt veins (crosscutting and pervasive type). The host is an L4 chondrite that has been shocked to S4. The impact melt portion has a fine‐grained igneous texture, and is composed mainly of olivine, low‐Ca pyroxene, high‐Ca pyroxene, and albitic glass. The impact melt was generated at pressure of >30–35 GPa and temperature of >1300–1500 °C during an impact event. The Ca‐phosphate grains in the host were affected by a shock heating event. Most of the Ca‐phosphate grains in the melt were neocrystallized, but relatively large grains enclosed by or adjacent to metal veins or melt globules are likely inherited. The U‐Pb isotopic systematics of Ca‐phosphates in NWA 7251 yield an upper intercept age of 4457 ± 56 Ma and a lower intercept age of 574 ± 82 Ma on the normal U‐Pb concordia diagram. The age of 4457 ± 56 Ma is interpreted to be related to an early shocking event rather than the thermal metamorphism of the parent body. The impact melt and veins in NWA 7251 were generated at 574 ± 82 Ma, resulting from disruption of the L chondrite parent body. “