Tirhert and Aouinet Legraa: Rare unbrecciated eucrite falls

Taha Shisseh, Hasnaa Chennaoui Aoudjehane, Carl B. Agee,Omar Boudouma

Version of Record online: 04 August 2022


“Tirhert and Aouinet Legraa are the only documented unbrecciated eucrite falls in Africa. Aouinet Legraa fell in Algeria on July 17, 2013. Tirhert’s fall occurred about a year later in Morocco, on July 9, 2014. Both meteorites are covered by a black and glossy fusion crust as is typical of eucrites. Tirhert has a poikilitic texture with remnant subophitic pockets, and consists of millimeter-sized grains of plagioclase (An87-91), pigeonite (Mg# 42) with augite exsolution lamellae, and interstitial opaque minerals. Aouinet Legraa has a subophitic texture, and it is dominated by plagioclase laths (An82-89) enclosed by pigeonite (Mg# 37), with exsolution lamellae of augite. Remnant Ca zoning in pyroxene is observed in both rocks, although it is more abundant in Aouinet Legraa than Tirhert. The presence of exsolved pyroxenes suggests that these meteorites have undergone thermal metamorphism. Equilibration temperatures estimated from pigeonite and augite pairs using the QUILF program are ∼931 °C in Tirhert and ∼758 °C in Aouinet Legraa. This indicates that these rocks had distinct thermal histories. Aouinet Legraa has trace element abundances similar to the typical main group eucrite Juvinas, confirming its origin as a main group eucrite. The trace element abundances of Tirhert fall between those of cumulate and main group eucrites. Its rare earth element pattern is flat with a positive Eu anomaly. This likely suggests that Tirhert is a partial cumulate of plagioclase from a main group magma, or a flotation cumulate formed by flotation of plagioclase in a subvolcanic chamber or by scavenging crystals during eruption.”