Journal article

Akimotoite in the Tenham meteorite: Crystal chemistry and high-pressure transformation mechanisms

The transformation of pyroxene to its high-pressure polymorph akimotoite (MgSiO3 ilmenite type structure) is documented in the shock-induced melt veins of the L6 Tenham chondrite. Four textural relationships between pyroxene and akimotoite are observed in former pyroxene grains entrained in the shear melt vein and in pyroxene grains attached to the wall of the melt vein. In one of the entrained enstatite grains the transformation to akimotoite is partial. One third of the grain is transformed to a polycrystalline aggregate of akimotoite with a scalloped interface with enstatite. Akimotoite (Fe0.4Mg1.24Ca0.07Na0.12Al0.14)(Si1.963Al0.037)O-6 is slightly enriched in Ca (CaO = 1.74%), Al and Na with respect to enstatite (CaO = 0.71%). Narrow bands of polycrystalline akimotoite with three crystallographic orientations and a chemical composition similar to the Surrounding enstatite intersect the other part of the grain. In a second grain entrained in the shear melt vein, tablets of akimotoite are interwoven with a pyroxene glass with a lower Na and Fe content and a higher Mg content compared to the adjacent akimotoite. This pyroxene glass is probably the product of (Mg,Fe)SiO3-perovskite amorphization. Polycrystalline akimotoite is also formed at the expense of enstatite at the vein wall of the shear melt vein. In that case akimotoite is also enriched in Ca (CaO = 2.85%) Na (NaO = 1.72%) and Al (Al2O3=4.14%). All these observations suggest that akimotoite is mainly formed by solid-state transformation of former pyroxenes with subsequent diffusion of calcium, aluminum and sodium from the chondritic melt of the shear melt vein. Finally, the first complete X-ray diffraction pattern of natural akimotoite is presented. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


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