Mineralogy, petrology, and oxygen isotopic compositions of chondritic and achondritic lithologies in the anomalous CB carbonaceous chondrites Sierra Gorda 013 and Fountain Hills

Alexander N. Krot, Kazuhide Nagashima, Marina A. Ivanova, Dante Lauretta, Guy Libourel, Brandon C. Johnson, Frank E. Brenker, Viktoria Hoffman, Martin Bizzarro

Version of Record online: 20 September 2023


“The CB (Bencubbin-like) metal-rich carbonaceous chondrites are subdivided into the CBa and CBb subgroups. The CBa chondrites are composed predominantly of ~cm-sized skeletal olivine chondrules and unzoned Fe,Ni-metal ± troilite nodules. The CBb chondrites are finer grained than the CBas and consist of chemically zoned and unzoned Fe,Ni-metal grains, Fe,Ni-metal ± troilite nodules, cryptocrystalline and skeletal olivine chondrules, and rare refractory inclusions. Both subgroups contain exceptionally rare porphyritic chondrules and no interchondrule fine-grained matrix, and are interpreted as the products of a gas–melt impact plume formed by a high-velocity collision between differentiated planetesimals about 4562 Ma. The anomalous metal-rich carbonaceous chondrites, Fountain Hills and Sierra Gorda 013 (SG 013), have bulk oxygen isotopic compositions similar to those of other CBs but contain coarse-grained igneous clasts/porphyritic chondrule-like objects composed of olivine, low-Ca-pyroxene, and minor plagioclase and high-Ca pyroxene as well as barred olivine and skeletal olivine chondrules. Cryptocrystalline chondrules, zoned Fe,Ni-metal grains, and interchondrule fine-grained matrix are absent. In SG 013, Fe,Ni-metal (~80 vol%) occurs as several mm-sized nodules; magnesiochromite (Mg-chromite) is accessory; daubréelite and schreibersite are minor; troilite is absent. In Fountain Hills, Fe,Ni-metal (~25 vol%) is dispersed between chondrules and silicate clasts; chromite and sulfides are absent. In addition to a dominant chondritic lithology, SG 013 contains a chondrule-free lithology composed of Fe,Ni-metal nodules (~25 vol%), coarse-grained olivine and low-Ca pyroxene, interstitial high-Ca pyroxene and anorthitic plagioclase, and Mg-chromite. Here, we report on oxygen isotopic compositions of olivine, low-Ca pyroxene, and ±Mg-chromite in Fountain Hills and both lithologies of SG 013 measured in situ using an ion microprobe. Oxygen isotope compositions of olivine, low-Ca pyroxene, and Mg-chromite in these meteorites are similar to those of magnesian non-porphyritic chondrules in CBa and CBb chondrites: on a three-isotope oxygen diagram (δ17O vs. δ18O), they plot close to a slope-1 (primitive chondrule mineral) line and have a very narrow range of Δ17O (=δ17O–0.52 × δ18O) values, −2.5 ± 0.9‰ (avr ± 2SD). No isotopically distinct relict grains have been identified in porphyritic chondrule-like objects. We suggest that magnesian non-porphyritic (barred olivine, skeletal olivine, cryptocrystalline) chondrules in the CBas, CBbs, and porphyritic chondrule-like objects in SG 013 and Fountain Hills formed in different zones of the CB impact plume characterized by variable pressure, temperature, cooling rates, and redox conditions. The achondritic lithology in SG 013 represents fragments of one of the colliding bodies and therefore one of the CB chondrule precursors. Fountain Hills was subsequently modified by impact melting; Fe,Ni-metal and sulfides were partially lost during this process.”