The Tatahouine diogenite: Mineralogical and chemical effects of sixty-three years of terrestrial residence
Comparison between clasts of the Tatahouine diogenite, collected the day of the fall in 1931 and 63 years later in 1994, allows the evaluation of mineralogical and chemical effects of terrestrial residence on meteorites. Secondary minerals are found in the 1994 samples: iron stains and carbonate rosettes. Major and trace element abundances have been determined on fallen and found clasts. No significant differences have been observed for most elements with the exception of Rb, Sr, and (in a single case) the light rare earth elements (LREE). In this case, the REE pattern of a 1994 clast displays a weak positive Ce anomaly, probably linked to the presence of iron hydroxide. The contents of Rb and Sr are significantly higher in the 1994 samples than in the 1931 clasts and reflect the formation of calcite inside some of the clast fractures. These results demonstrate that weathering processes may change the chemistry of meteorites in a very short time.