Association of silica phases as geothermobarometer for eucrites: Implication for two-stage thermal metamorphism in the eucritic crust

Haruka Ono, Atsushi Takenouchi, Takashi Mikouchi, Akira Yamaguchi, Masahiro Yasutake, Akira Miyake, Akira Tsuchiyama

Meteoritics & Planetary Science
Version of Record online: 03 June 2021


“Silica mineral is present in different stable polymorphs depending on the temperature and pressure conditions of crystallization. We suggest using silica mineral phases to constrain the thermal history of eucrites. We focused on silica minerals in basaltic clasts of nine non-cumulate eucrites to compare with previously studied cumulate eucrites. Our observations indicate an apparent relationship between thermal metamorphic degrees and silica phase texture in basaltic clasts of non-cumulate eucrites. To reveal complex transformation relations between silica polymorphs in eucrites, we performed cooling experiments (cooling rate: 1 and 0.1 °C h−1) and heating experiments (heating 500 °C for 168 h and 800 °C for 96 h) using eucrites. The cooling experiments show that cristobalite is an initial silica phase crystallized from eucritic magma and transforms to quartz at the cooling rate between 0.1 and 1 °C h−1. Based on the cooling experiments and observations of eucrites, we suggest that a combination of silica minerals varies depending mainly on cooling rates. According to the heating experiments, monoclinic tridymite hardly transforms to other phases at low temperature by short reheating events such as brecciation. Monoclinic tridymite can partially transform to quartz with a “hackle” fracture. We conclude that a reheating event partially transformed monoclinic tridymite to quartz to form aggregates of monoclinic tridymite and quartz with the hackle fracture in eucrites. We suggested that some basaltic clasts in non-cumulate eucrites experienced two-stage thermal metamorphism in the eucritic crust. The first metamorphic event has resulted from burial under lava produced by successive eruptions. Igneous intrusions into the preformed crust may have caused the second metamorphic event. The intrusions heated the deep eucritic crust and induced the transformation from monoclinic tridymite to quartz.”