The layered structure model for winonaite parent asteroid implicated by textural and mineralogical diversityOPEN ACCESS 

Xiaojia Zeng, Yingli Shang, Shijie LiEmail author, Xiongyao Li, Shijie Wang and Yang Li

Earth, Planets and Space 2019 71:38, Published: 2 April 2019


“The winonaites are primitive achondrites that are associated with IAB iron meteorites. They provide valuable insights into differentiation processes on asteroids in the early Solar System. However, there is still little understanding of the lithological diversity as well as the structure of the winonaite parent asteroid. In this work, we report the petrologic texture and mineralogy of a suite of winonaites (i.e., Northwest Africa (NWA) 725, NWA 6448, NWA 4024, Grove Mountains (GRV) 022890, GRV 021663, and Sahara (SAH) 02029) that exhibit a wide diversity of petrographic textures from primitive chondritic texture to coarse-grained equigranular texture. In particular, we recognized an unusual winonaite (SAH 02029) with a distinctive mineralogy and mineral chemistry (e.g., depleted in troilite, plagioclase contains melt inclusions, high plagioclase An values, and LREE-depleted clinopyroxene). The petrological and mineralogical features of SAH 02029 indicate that this meteorite has undergone silicate partial melting and may represent the residue of ~ 5–10 vol% partial melting. The textural and mineralogical diversity among winonaites suggests that the winonaite-IAB parent asteroid would have formed a four-layered structure during its evolution history: (1) surface layer consisting of precursor chondritic materials; (2) subsurface layer composed of diverse lithologies that experienced limited metamorphism and FeNi–FeS partial melting; (3) deep residues of silicate partial melting; and (4) interior layer consisting of incomplete differentiation metal pools. This conclusion enables us to establish constraints on the evolution history of winonaite-IAB parent body. “