In situ Pb‐Pb dating of silica‐rich Northwest Africa (NWA) 6594 basaltic eucrite and its constraint on thermal history of the Vestan crust

Shiyong Liao, Weibiao Hsu, Ying Wang, Ye Li, Chipui Tang, Bao Mei

Meteoritics & Planetary Science


“Eucrites represent one of the major lithologies of the Vestan upper crust, which had experienced pervasive and intense thermal metamorphism. To better constrain the timing and mechanism of thermal metamorphism, we carried out in situ Pb‐isotope analysis of an unbrecciated basaltic eucrite NWA 6594 on the basis of detailed mineralogical and petrographic investigations. Zircon Pb‐Pb dating reveals that NWA 6594 emplaced before or at 4547 ± 11 Ma (95% confidence, MSWD = 1.3). Studies of silica minerals indicate that NWA 6594 had experienced intense thermal metamorphism after emplacement, followed by a late impact reheating and rapid cooling. Apatite grains yield a weighted mean Pb‐Pb age of 4523 ± 2 Ma (95% confidence, MSWD = 0.76). This age could not be attributed to slow cooling after the initial crystallization, but most likely related to an independent thermal event that induced thermal metamorphism. The protracted time lag (~24 ± 13 Myr) between zircon and apatite closure ages indicates that this thermal event is most probably induced by an intense impact event that was synchronous with the metal–silicate mixing event recorded by mesosiderites. HEDs may have experienced multiple stages of thermal metamorphism after emplacement. The late impact reheating occurred after thermal metamorphism, which caused crystallization of tridymite.”