Characterization of matrix material in Northwest Africa 5343: Weathering and thermal metamorphism of the least equilibrated CK chondrite

Dunn, T. L., Battifarano, O. K., Gross, J. and O’Hara, E. J.

Meteorit Planet Sci. . doi:10.1111/maps.13118


“Based on the chemical heterogeneity of chondrule and matrix olivine, Northwest Africa (NWA) 5343 is the least metamorphosed CK chondrite reported so far. To better constrain the lower limit of metamorphism in the CK chondrites, we performed a detailed analysis of matrix material in NWA 5343, including characterization of the texture and bulk composition and analyses of individual silicate minerals. Results suggest that NWA 5343 is petrologic type 3.6 or 3.7. Although silicate minerals in the matrix seem to be equilibrated to roughly the same extent throughout the sample, there are recognizable differences in grain size and shape. These textural differences may be the result of transient heating events during impacts, which would be likely on the CK chondrite parent body. The difference between the extent of chemical equilibration and texture may also suggest that grain size and shape are still sensitive to metamorphism at petrologic subtypes where silicate mineral equilibration is nearly complete (e.g., >3.7). Carbonate material present in NWA 5343 is a product of terrestrial weathering; however, infiltration of a Ca‐bearing fluid did not influence the composition of silicate minerals in the matrix. To evaluate the possibility of a continuous metamorphic sequence between the CV and CK chondrites, the bulk matrix composition of NWA 5343 is compared to the CVred chondrite, Vigarano. Although the matrix composition of NWA 5343 could be derived by secondary processing of a Vigarano‐like precursor, porosity and texture of matrix olivine in NWA 5343 are hard to reconcile with a continuous metamorphic sequence. “