Petrology, mineralogy, and oxygen isotope compositions of aluminum-rich chondrules from CV3 chondrites

Wang, Y., Hsu, W., Li, X., Li, Q., Liu, Y. and Tang, G.

Meteoritics & Planetary Science. doi: 10.1111/maps.12590
Article first published online: 18 DEC 2015
DOI: 10.1111/maps.12590


“Bulk major element composition, petrography, mineralogy, and oxygen isotope compositions of twenty Al-rich chondrules (ARCs) from five CV3 chondrites (Northwest Africa [NWA] 989, NWA 2086, NWA 2140, NWA 2697, NWA 3118) and the Ningqiang carbonaceous chondrite were studied and compared with those of ferromagnesian chondrules and refractory inclusions. Most ARCs are marginally Al-richer than ferromagnesian chondrules with bulk Al2O3 of 10–15 wt%. ARCs are texturally similar to ferromagnesian chondrules, composed primarily of olivine, pyroxene, plagioclase, spinel, Al-rich glass, and metallic phases. Minerals in ARCs have intermediate compositions. Low-Ca pyroxene (Fs0.6–8.8Wo0.7–9.3) has much higher Al2O3 and TiO2 contents (up to 12.5 and 2.3 wt%, respectively) than that in ferromagnesian chondrules. High-Ca pyroxene (Fs0.3–2.0Wo33–54) contains less Al2O3 and TiO2 than that in Ca,Al-rich inclusions (CAIs). Plagioclase (An77–99Ab1–23) is much more sodic than that in CAIs. Spinel is enriched in moderately volatile element Cr (up to 6.7 wt%) compared to that in CAIs. Al-rich enstatite coexists with anorthite and spinel in a glass-free chondrule, implying that the formation of Al-enstatite was not due to kinetic reasons but is likely due to the high Al2O3/CaO ratio (7.4) of the bulk chondrule. Three ARCs contain relict CAIs. Oxygen isotope compositions of ARCs are also intermediate between those of ferromagnesian chondrules and CAIs. They vary from −39.4‰ to 13.9‰ in δ18O and yield a best fit line (slope = 0.88) close to the carbonaceous chondrite anhydrous mineral (CCAM) line. Chondrules with 5–10 wt% bulk Al2O3 have a slightly more narrow range in δ18O (−32.5 to 5.9‰) along the CCAM line. Except for the ARCs with relict phases, however, most ARCs have oxygen isotope compositions (>−20‰ in δ18O) similar to those of typical ferromagnesian chondrules. ARCs are genetically related to both ferromagnesian chondrules and CAIs, but the relationship between ARCs and ferromagnesian chondrules is closer. Most ARCs were formed during flash heating and rapid cooling processes like normal chondrules, only from chemically evolved precursors. ARCs extremely enriched in Al and those with relict phases could have had a hybrid origin (Krot et al. 2002) which incorporated refractory inclusions as part of the precursors in addition to ferromagnesian materials. The occurrence of melilite in ARCs indicates that melilite-rich CAIs might be present in the precursor materials of ARCs. The absence of melilite in most ARCs is possibly due to high-temperature interactions between a chondrule melt and the solar nebula.”