Metasomatic alteration of coarse-grained igneous calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions from CK3 carbonaceous chondrites

Alexander N. Krot, Tasha L. Dunn, Michail I. Petaev, Chi Ma, Kazuhide Nagashima, Jutta Zipfel

Version of Record online: 03 October 2023


“We report on the primary and secondary mineralogies of three coarse-grained igneous calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs) (Compact Type A [CTA], Type B [B], and forsterite-bearing type B [FoB]) from the Northwest Africa (NWA) 5343 (CK3.7) and NWA 4964 (CK3.8) carbonaceous chondrites, compare them with the mineralogy of igneous CAIs from the Allende (CV3.6) chondrite, and discuss the nature of the alteration processes that affected the CK and CV CAIs. The primary mineralogy and mineral chemistry of the CK3 CAIs studied are similar to those from Allende; however, primary melilite and anorthite are nearly completely absent. Although the secondary minerals identified in CK CAIs (Al-diopside, andradite, Cl-apatite, clintonite, forsterite, ferroan olivine, Fe,Ni-sulfides, grossular, ilmenite, magnetite, plagioclase, spinel, titanite, and wadalite) occur also in the Allende CAIs, there are several important differences: (i) In addition to melilite and anorthite, which are nearly completely replaced by secondary minerals, the alteration of CK CAIs also affected high-Ti pyroxenes (fassaite and grossmanite) characterized by high Ti3+/Ti4+ ratio and spinel. These pyroxenes are corroded and crosscut by veins of Fe- and Ti-bearing grossular, Fe-bearing Al,Ti-diopside, titanite, and ilmenite. Spinel is corroded by Fe-bearing Al-diopside and grossular. (ii) The secondary mineral assemblages of grossular + monticellite and grossular + wollastonite, commonly observed in the Allende CAIs, are absent; the Fe-bearing grossular + Fe-bearing Al-diopside ± Fe,Mg-spinel, Fe-bearing grossular + Fe,Mg-olivine ± Fe,Mg-spinel, and Ca,Na-plagioclase + Fe-bearing Al-diopside + Fe-bearing grossular assemblages are present instead. These mineral assemblages are often crosscut by veins of Fe-bearing Al-diopside, Fe,Mg-olivine, Fe,Mg-spinel, and Ca,Na-plagioclase. The coarse-grained secondary grossular and Al-diopside often show multilayered chemical zoning with distinct compositional boundaries between the layers; the abundances of Fe and Ti typically increase toward the grain edges. (iv) Sodium-rich secondary minerals, nepheline and sodalite, commonly observed in the peripheral portions of the Allende CAIs, are absent; Ca,Na-plagioclase is present instead. We conclude that coarse-grained igneous CAIs from CK3.7–3.8 s and Allende experienced an open-system multistage metasomatic alteration in the presence of an aqueous solution–infiltration metasomatism. This process resulted in localized mobilization of all major rock-forming elements: Si, Ca, Al, Ti, Mg, Fe, Mn, Na, K, and Cl. The metasomatic alteration of CK CAIs is more advanced and occurred under higher temperature and higher oxygen fugacity than that of the Allende CAIs.”