Experimental investigation into the effects of oxidation during petrogenesis of the Tissint meteorite

Nicholas Castle, Christopher D. K. Herd

Meteorit Planet Sci. . doi:10.1111/maps.13083


“We report on the results of an experimental study based on the petrology of the Tissint meteorite, an olivine‐phyric shergottite that preserves evidence of an oxidation event during its petrogenesis. We find that oxidation occurring after olivine saturation modifies the Cr zoning profiles in experimental run products, and note that similar Cr‐depleted olivine profiles occur in the natural sample. We consider processes that could operate to modify Cr zoning profiles in experimentally produced olivine, and find that diffusion operates too slowly; furthermore, peritectic resorption of olivine, which occurs during oxidation, does not adequately shorten the diffusion length to account for the depletion. Fine‐grained (<10 μm) spinel grains are observed within olivine crystals exclusively in cooling rate experiments involving an oxidation step, suggesting that the mechanism causing modification of Cr zoning profiles in olivine is the oxidation‐induced exsolution of Cr‐spinel, consistent with observations of natural samples. A replicate experiment with V included in the composition shows that V is similarly affected. Known partitioning behavior suggests that Ni and Co should be similarly affected due to preferential partitioning into spinel. We consider implications of our observations for the interpretation of the petrogenetic histories of other olivine‐phyric shergottites, and provide a new petrographic tool for recognizing oxidation events in olivine‐phyric shergottites."