Early sulfur‐rich magmatism on the ungrouped achondrite Northwest Africa 7325 differentiated parent body

Jing Yang, Yangting Lin, Hitesh Changela, Liewen Xie, Bin Chen, Jinhui Yang

Meteoritics & Planetary Science
Version of Record online:08 September 2020


“The ungrouped achondrite Northwest Africa (NWA) 7325 parent body underwent a severe impact after primary crystallization, which completely melted plagioclase and partially melted pyroxene, followed by Mg diffusion into the adjacent plagioclase‐melt. The 26Al‐26Mg system was therefore modified, forming a pseudoisochron with an initial δ26Mg* of 0.094 ± 0.005‰ and an age of 4563.12 ± 0.33 Ma between the primary crystallization and subsequent impact event(s). The positive initial δ26Mg* can be interpreted by a model age of ~1.77 Ma after CAIs when a chondritic composition differentiated into a magma/rock with the Al/Mg ratio equivalent to that of NWA 7325 (~1.52). The LREE enrichments and a positive Eu anomaly suggest that the NWA 7325 parent magma formed by the melting of a plagioclase‐rich crustal lithology, which crystallized from a magma ocean. Differentiation of the magma ocean was prior to 1.77 Ma after CAIs. NWA 7325 is also unique by containing many rounded voids (5–6 vol%) interstitial to or enclosed in silicates, suggested to have formed by the leaching/vaporization of pre‐existing Fe‐Ca‐Mg‐Mn sulfides. This is supported by the similar morphology between voids and Cr‐bearing troilites, the discovery of relict oldhamite, and the highly reducing conditions of NWA 7325. The loss of pre‐existing sulfides could explain the unusual subchondritic Mn/Mg ratio of the bulk sample. Furthermore, the enrichment of moderately volatile elements (K/Th ratio ~2600–10,000) in the NWA 7325 parent body may result from the bonding with S2‐ in silicate melts under highly reducing conditions. NWA 7325 therefore provides evidence of sulfur‐rich magmatism in the early solar system.”