Shock‐induced phase transformation of anorthitic plagioclase in the eucrite meteorite Northwest Africa 2650

De‐Liang Chen, Ai‐Cheng Zhang, Run‐Lian Pang, Jia‐Ni Chen, Yang Li

Meteoritics & Planetary Science
First Published: 3 April 2019


“Anorthite is an important constituent mineral in basaltic achondrites from small celestial bodies. Its high‐pressure phase transformation in shocked meteorites has not been systematically studied. In this study, we report the diverse phase transformation behaviors of anorthite in a shocked eucrite Northwest Africa (NWA) 2650, which also contains coesite, stishovite, vacancy‐rich clinopyroxene, super‐silicic garnet, and reidite. Anorthite in NWA 2650 has transformed into anorthite glass (anorthite glassy vein, maskelynite, and glass with a schlieren texture and vesicles), tissintite and dissociated into three‐phase assemblage grossular + kyanite + silica glass. Different occurrences of anorthite glass might have formed via the mechanism involving shear melting, solid‐state transformation, and postshock thermally melting, respectively. Tissintite could have crystallized from a high‐pressure plagioclase melt. The nucleation of tissintite might be facilitated by relict pyroxene fragments and the early formed vacancy‐rich clinopyroxene. The three‐phase assemblage grossular, kyanite, and silica glass should have formed from anorthitic melt at high‐pressure and high‐temperature conditions. The presence of maskelynite and reidite probably suggests a minimum peak shock pressure up to 20 GPa, while the other high‐pressure phases indicate that the shock pressure during the crystallization of shock melt veins might vary from >8 GPa to >2 GPa with a heterogeneous temperature distribution.”