Pairing relations within CO3 chondrites recovered at the Dominion Range and Miller Range, Transantarctic mountains: Constraints from chondrule olivines, noble gas, and H, C, N bulk and isotopic compositions

K. Righter, C. M. O’D. Alexander, D. I. Foustoukos, L. M. Eckart, C. A. K. Mertens, H. Busemann, C. Maden, J. Schutt, C. E. Satterwhite, R. P. Harvey, K. Pando, J. Karner

MAPS, Version of Record online: 13 February 2024


“The Dominion Range (DOM) and Miller Range (MIL) dense collection areas (DCAs) have yielded more than 20 and 200 CO3 chondrites (carbonaceous chondrites of the Ornans chemical group), respectively, over multiple field seasons. Several samples have exhibited primitive characteristics and have been the focus of interest. With so many CO3s recovered from this area, a natural question is if there are multiple pairing groups (where pairing refers to two or more meteorites that are part of a single fall) and if there is additional primitive material that would interest the meteorite community. This comprehensive study looks at all samples using several approaches: field and macroscopic observations; magnetic susceptibility; Cr in ferroan olivine; bulk elemental and isotopic analysis of H, C, N, and noble gas analyses to determine cosmic ray exposure (CRE) ages. Magnetic susceptibilities (measured as logχ) for all samples correlate with their type II (i.e., FeO-rich) olivine Cr contents, with the most primitive CO3s (3.00) have logχ values near 5, while the higher grade CO3s have logχ values as low as 4.17. Altogether, there appear to be two distinct CO3 pairing groups and five other unpaired CO3s recovered at the Dominion Range: (a) the main DOM 08004 pairing group (16 specimens with a CRE age of 10–16 Ma), (b) the DOM 08006 group (2 specimens incl. DOM 10847 with a CRE age of 25 Ma), (c) DOM 14359 with a CRE age of 6 Ma, (d) DOM 18070 with a CRE age of 8 Ma (these two samples have similar ages but distinct trapped 20Ne contents), (e) DOM 10900 with a CRE age of 5.5 Ma, (f) DOM 18286 (with a CRE age of ~59 Ma), and (g) DOM 19034 (with a CRE age of ~43 Ma). There are three distinct age groupings of 3.00–3.05 COs, highlighting the diverse pristine CO3 materials present in the DOM area. There is one large MIL pairing group (MIL 07099; n = 199; 9–14 Ma CRE age where measured) and one smaller pairing group with distinctly lower Cr2O3 in type II olivines (8 samples of unknown CRE age), and five unpaired or unique CO3s. Notably, the large DOM and MIL pairing groups have 9–16 Ma exposure ages that could have been delivered in a single large fall event spanning ~200 km, two separate falls that were ejection paired, or two separate falls from two separate ejections. Finally, we recommend reclassifying several CO3 to CM2 based on new data and that from previous studies.”