Evidence of metasomatism in the interior of VestaOPEN ACCESS 

Ai-Cheng Zhang, Noriyuki Kawasaki, Huiming Bao, Jia Liu, Liping Qin, Minami Kuroda, Jian-Feng Gao, Li-Hui Chen, Ye He, Naoya Sakamoto & Hisayoshi Yurimoto

Nature Communications, Volume 11, Article number: 1289 (2020)


“Diogenites are a group of meteorites that are derived from the interior of the largest protoplanet Vesta. They provide a unique opportunity to understanding together the internal structure and dynamic evolution of this protoplanet. Northwest Africa (NWA) 8321 was suggested to be an unbrecciated noritic diogenite meteorite, which is confirmed by our oxygen and chromium isotopic data. Here, we find that olivine in this sample has been partly replaced by orthopyroxene, troilite, and minor metal. The replacement texture of olivine is unambiguous evidence of sulfur-involved metasomatism in the interior of Vesta. The presence of such replacement texture suggests that in NWA 8321, the olivine should be of xenolith origin while the noritic diogenite was derived from partial melting of pre-existing rocks and had crystallized in the interior of Vesta. The post-Rheasilvia craters in the north-polar region on Vesta could be the potential source for NWA 8321.”