Detailed mineralogy and petrology of highly shocked poikilitic shergottite Northwest Africa 6342

Tanya V. Kizovski, Kimberly T. Tait, Veronica E. Di Cecco, Lee F. White, Desmond E. Moser

Meteoritics & Planetary Science
First Published: 24 February 2019


“Northwest Africa (NWA) 6342 is an intermediate, poikilitic shergottite, found in Algeria in 2010. It is comprised of two distinct petrographic areas; poikilitic domains with rounded Mg‐rich olivine chadacrysts enclosed by large low‐Ca pyroxene oikocrysts, and a nonpoikilitic domain mainly comprised of subhedral olivine and vesicular recrystallized plagioclase. Oxygen fugacity conditions become more oxidizing during crystallization from the poikilitic to the nonpoikilitic domain (QFM−3.0 to QFM−2.2). As such, it is likely that NWA 6342 experienced a two‐stage (polybaric) crystallization history similar to that of the enriched poikilitic shergottites. NWA 6342 also experienced relatively high levels of shock metamorphism in comparison to most other poikilitic shergottites as evidenced by the fine‐grained recrystallization texture in olivine, as well as melting and subsequent crystallization of plagioclase. The recrystallization of plagioclase requires an extended period of postshock thermal metamorphism for NWA 6342 and similarly shocked intermediate poikilitic shergottites NWA 4797 and Grove Mountains 99027 most likely due to launch from Mars. The similarities in petrology, chemistry, and shock features between these three meteorites indicate that they have similar crystallization and shock histories; possibly originating from the same source area on Mars.”