Petrogenesis of Northwest Africa 8686: A ferroan olivine-phyric shergottite

Robert W. Nicklas, James M. D. Day, Zoltan Vaci, Arya Udry

Version of Record online: 26 March 2022


“Northwest Africa (NWA) 8686 is an olivine-phyric shergottite containing up to ~500 μm long olivine crystals in a fine-grained groundmass of augite, pigeonite, and maskelynite, with accessory merrillite, pyrrhotite, and oxides. Bulk rock and mineral major and trace element concentrations are reported for NWA 8686, along with bulk rock highly siderophile element (HSE: Os, Ir, Ru, Pt, Pd, Re) abundances and 187Re-187Os data. Based on its mineralogy, texture, and bulk rock rare earth element (REE) abundances, NWA 8686 is classified as an intermediate olivine-phyric shergottite. It is notable for having some of the most ferroan olivine macrocrysts (forsterite content = 51.5 ± 3.5) of any olivine-phyric shergottite. Olivine is absent from the NWA 8686 groundmass, which is unique for olivine-phyric shergottites, and the calculated groundmass composition is also not olivine normative. The bulk meteorite has a low Mg# of 59 yet has HSE in broadly chondritic proportions (~0.005 × CI chondrite). The bulk rock REE pattern for NWA 8686 shows depletions in both the light and heavy REE relative to the middle REE. Compiled olivine and bulk rock data for olivine-phyric shergottites indicate that olivine macrocrysts in almost all these meteorites are the result of entrainment of antecrysts or xenocrysts. The combination of low Mg# and chondritic HSE signatures in NWA 8686 means that it may have been formed either from the mixing between an evolved lava and early-formed HSE-rich phases such as Os-Ir alloys or by the melting of a low Mg# mantle source with chondritic HSE abundances. The elevated Gd/Yb ratio in both NWA 8686 and other intermediate olivine-phyric shergottites indicates that garnet was involved as either a residual or fractionating phase in their petrogenesis.”