Mineralogy and Spectroscopy (Visible Near Infrared and Fourier Transform Infrared) of Mukundpura CM2: Implications for asteroidal aqueous alteration

S. Baliyan, H. Moitra, S. Sarkar, D. Ray, D.K. Panda, A.D. Shukla, S. Bhattachary, S. Gupta

In Press, Journal Pre-proof, Available online 14 December 2020


“We report the textures, mineralogy and mineral chemistry of the Mukundpura matrix component, a clast-bearing, brecciated, new CM2 carbonaceous chondrite. Like other CMs, Mukundpura is matrix-enriched and has experienced different degrees of aqueous alteration with evidences of fracturing and compaction of clasts due to the impact. A few relict chondrule clasts and CAIs (diopside and spinel) survived despite of the alteration amidst accessory phases of olivine, magnetite, sulphides and calcite. X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Visible Near Infrared (VNIR) and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic studies reveal higher phyllosilicate content (∼90%) comprising of both Mg and Fe-serpentine and abundant serpentine-sulphide intergrowths. Even then, the presence of accessory olivine as relict clasts can be interpreted from the presence of certain typical olivine absorptions in the FTIR spectra. The non-stoichiometric, Tochilinite-Cronstedtite occurrences probably relate to broadening of XRD and FTIR spectra and can be explained by coupled Al–Si and Mg–Al substitutions in talc and serpentine. The FTIR spectra suggest widespread transformation of olivine to serpentine, unlike the largely unaltered chondrules. The correlations of mineralogical alteration index with FeO/SiO2 and S/SiO2 in different domains of matrix suggest different extent of alterations. Thus, the aqueous alteration is extensive but not pervasive. The majority of alteration seems to have occurred within the asteroidal parent body. The Mukundpura CM2 thus preserves a unique combination of relict chondrules and highly aqueous altered variegated matrix clasts, although the surface mineralogy resembles the C-type asteroids recently probed by OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa-2 missions.”