Olivine-rich achondrites from Vesta and the missing mantle problemOPEN ACCESS 

Zoltan Vaci, James M. D. Day, Marine Paquet, Karen Ziegler, Qing-Zhu Yin, Supratim Dey, Audrey Miller, Carl Agee, Rainer Bartoschewitz & Andreas Pack

Nature Communications, Volume 12, Article number: 5443 (2021)


“Mantles of rocky planets are dominantly composed of olivine and its high-pressure polymorphs, according to seismic data of Earth’s interior, the mineralogy of natural samples, and modelling results. The missing mantle problem represents the paucity of olivine-rich material among meteorite samples and remote observation of asteroids, given how common differentiated planetesimals were in the early Solar System. Here we report the discovery of new olivine-rich meteorites that have asteroidal origins and are related to V-type asteroids or vestoids. Northwest Africa 12217, 12319, and 12562 are dunites and lherzolite cumulates that have siderophile element abundances consistent with origins on highly differentiated asteroidal bodies that experienced core formation, and with trace element and oxygen and chromium isotopic compositions associated with the howardite-eucrite-diogenite meteorites. These meteorites represent a step towards the end of the shortage of olivine-rich material, allowing for full examination of differentiation processes acting on planetesimals in the earliest epoch of the Solar System.””