A petrologic and microstructural study of a compact type A calcium-aluminum-rich inclusion from the Northwest Africa 5028 CR2 chondrite: Implications for nebular and parent-body processes

Tarunika Ramprasad, Pierre Haenecour, Kenneth Domanik, Thomas J. Zega

Version of Record online: 22 September 2022


“Compact type A calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CTA CAIs) are believed to have experienced partial melting that erased all information on their original nebular condensation. To investigate this question, we report new microstructural data on a CTA CAI, composed primarily of melilite, spinel, and perovskite, in the Northwest Africa 5028 CR2 chondrite. The melilite grains contain low (5–10 mole%) åkermanite contents and are not compositionally zoned. Spinel and perovskite each occur as near endmember compositions MgAl2O4 and CaTiO3 and contain minor V and Al, respectively. A continuous rim composed of melilite, spinel, and perovskite, with minor hibonite grains occur around the CAI. We extracted two regions of interest from the interior CAI and two from the rim using focused ion beam techniques for detailed analysis using transmission electron microscopy. Evidence for thermal processing occurs as a perovskite–spinel–spinel triple junction in an interior section and a spinel inclusion within perovskite in a rim section. Evidence for parent-body alteration occurs in the form of Fe-rich sheet silicates in the rim, and localized amstallite in the interior of the CAI. While previous work suggested that many CTA CAIs experienced thermal processing in the solar nebula, including partial melting, our data show that signatures of primary condensation can be preserved in the form of more refractory phases contained within less refractory minerals, namely melilite and perovskite grains within spinel, and hibonite grains within perovskite, respectively. The inclusion we report on here has a complex history involving gas-phase condensation, nebular thermal processing, and parent-body alteration.”