Petrology and mineralogy of mesosiderite Northwest Africa 12949: Implications for geological history on its parent body

Zilong Wang, Wei Tian

Version of Record online: 15 February 2023


“Mesosiderites are breccias composed of roughly equal parts of metal phases and silicate clasts. However, the parent body and formation process of mesosiderites remain enigmatic. Northwest Africa (NWA) 12949 is a newly found mesosiderite belonging to type 2A. One type of ultramafic clasts and four types of mafic clasts (gabbroic, poikilitic, subophitic, and cataclastic), compositionally consistent with diogenites and eucrites, have been identified in NWA 12949. However, these clasts have undergone different thermal histories, with cooling rates varying from ~0.0044 °C year−1 to a few °C h−1, and equilibrium temperatures varying from ~880 to 910 °C to ~1000 to 1100 °C. All the lithic clasts have undergone redox reactions during extensive metamorphism, forming excess troilite, chromite, merrillite, tridymite, and pyroxene with lower Fe/Mg and Fe/Mn. The petrology and mineralogy of NWA 12949 support a formation scenario involving two major impact events, and a candidate parent body of 4 Vesta.”