This work was supported by NASA Grant NNX10AH336 (PI AR, Co-I RH).
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Deformation of surfaces, Metamorphic rocks, Microstructure, Transmission electron microscopy, Chondrites (Meteorites)
We show that olivine microstructures in seven metamorphosed ordinary chondrites of different groups studied with optical and transmission electron microscopy can be used to evaluate the post-deformation cooling setting of the meteorites, and to discriminate between collisions affecting cold and warm parent bodies. The L6 chondrites Park (shock stage S1), Bruderheim (S4), Leedey (S4), and Morrow County (S5) were affected by variable shock deformation followed by relatively rapid cooling, and probably cooled as fragments liberated by impact in near-surface settings. In contrast, Kernouvé (H6 S1), Portales Valley (H6/7 S1), and MIL 99301 (LL6 S1) appear to have cooled slowly after shock, probably by deep burial in warm materials. In these chondrites, post-deformation annealing lowered apparent optical strain levels in olivine. Additionally, Kernouvé, Morrow County, Park, MIL 99301, and possibly Portales Valley, show evidence for having been deformed at an elevated temperature (⩾800–1000 °C). The high temperatures for Morrow County can be explained by dynamic heating during intense shock, but Kernouvé, Park, and MIL 99301 were probably shocked while the H, L and LL parent bodies were warm, during early, endogenically-driven thermal metamorphism. Thus, whereas the S4 and S5 chondrites experienced purely shock-induced heating and cooling, all the S1 chondrites examined show evidence for static heating consistent with either syn-metamorphic shock (Kernouvé, MIL 99301, Park), post-deformation burial in warm materials (Kernouvé, MIL 99301, Portales Valley), or both. The results show the pitfalls in relying on optical shock classification alone to infer an absence of shock and to construct cooling stratigraphy models for parent bodies. Moreover, they provide support for the idea that “secondary” metamorphic and “tertiary” shock processes overlapped in time shortly after the accretion of chondritic planetesimals, and that impacts into warm asteroidal bodies were common.
Ruzicka, A., Hugo, R., & Hutson, M. (2015). Deformation and thermal histories of ordinary chondrites: Evidence for post-deformation annealing and syn-metamorphic shock. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 163, 219–233.