Results of statistical analysis of primary components concentrations in bulk chemical composition of ordinary chondrite groups

Tadeusz A. Przylibski, Magdalena Długosz-Lisiecka, Katarzyna Łuszczek, Konrad Blutstein

First published: 17 July 2023


“We used two different methods of statistical analysis—cluster analysis and principal component analysis—to analyze the concentrations of principal chemical components (Si, Mg, Ca, Fe, Ni) and Co in ordinary chondrites. The analysis is based predominantly on published data (metadata). In total, chemical composition data from 646 ordinary chondrites were used in the statistical analysis. The aim of this analysis was to establish whether it would be possible or not to distinguish H, L, and LL chondrites based on the concentrations of major elements and Co in their bulk chemical compositions. It was also important to determine what conclusions such an analysis could enable to draw about matter differentiation in the formation environments of primordial parent bodies of particular ordinary chondrite groups (H, L, and LL). Another aim of the statistical analysis was to determine whether the distribution of Fe and Ni (with Co admixtures) is independent of petrographic types within particular groups of chondrites. This is of crucial importance for determining the distribution of FeNi(Co) ore occurrences in potential extraterrestrial deposits on modern asteroids—the sources of ordinary chondrites. The obtained results of statistical analyses confirmed that a clear-cut distinction between particular groups of ordinary chondrites is only possible for group H, while distinguishing L chondrites from LL chondrites is not always obvious. The results of the statistical analyses relating to the question of the possible existence of several primordial parent bodies (formation environments) of each group of ordinary chondrites are consistent with the results of contemporary astronomical spectroscopy research. What is particularly interesting is obtaining indications of the existence of common formation environments of the matter of L and LL chondrites, possibly on a few primordial parent bodies. The statistical analyses indicate that there is no correlation between the concentration of principal chemical components and the petrographic type of ordinary chondrites. This proves homogenous distributions of these elements within the parent bodies of each group of ordinary chondrites. Hence, the distribution of these elements in individual present-day asteroids is also homogenous.”