Textural Study of Vesicles in Tagish Lake (C2-ung) Meteorite Fusion Crust: Constraints on Vesicle Formation during Their Entry into the Earth’s AtmosphereOPEN ACCESS 

Xhonatan Shehaj, Stefano Caporali, Ernesto Palomba and Giovanni Pratesi

Minerals 2024, 14(1), 99


“Vesicles are characteristic structures within the outer layer of many stony meteorites’ fusion crusts. Although these features are well-developed in hydrated carbonaceous chondrites and some micrometeorites, their formation mechanism remains poorly understood. This study provides new insights into the understanding of physical vesiculation processes by presenting the results of vesicle size distribution (VSD)—i.e., a quantitative method for vesicle analysis—applied to the study of the Tagish Lake (C2-ung) meteorite fusion crust. Tagish Lake was chosen because it shows a scoriaceous texture and a significant number of vesicles (about 24,000 vesicles/mm2), thus allowing statistical analysis. Vesicles range from being spherical to irregular-shaped and from a few m to ~70 m (equivalent diameter) in size. Vesicle size distribution and cumulative number density analyses show a high nucleation event and a fractal distribution of the vesicle population, respectively. We suggest these features are due to disequilibrium degassing processes, which simultaneously produce continuous/accelerating vesicle nucleation and growth. Finally, possible analogies between the scoriaceous Tagish Lake fusion crust and the space-weathered “frothy layer” on the surface of Ryugu’s grains could be found in terms of vesicularity. “