Cristobalite inclusions in the Tatahouine achondrite: Implications for shock conditions

The mineralogy of the Tatahouine diogenite was investigated by optical microscopy, Raman micro-spectrometry, and scanning and transmission electron microscopies. Inclusions of alpha-cristobalite in orthopyroxenes, locally in symplectic association with chromites. or associated with metal, have been characterized for the first time in a diogenite. Mosaicism of the orthopyroxenes indicates shock effects in the meteorite. The shock history of the meteorite must be consistent with the presence of vein-like structures containing inclusions of well-crystallized cristobalite, it low-pressure, high-temperature phase. Several possible mechanisms to account for these observations are discussed. The simplest one, consistent with all observations, is that a shock event would have occurred in it hot orthopyroxenite, either before extensive cooling of the asteroid, or in materials heated by previous impacts and maintained hot under an ejecta blanket.

Published in:
American Mineralogist, 87, 1250-1256

 Record created 2011-09-29, last modified 2018-01-28

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