Evidence for fractional crystallization of wadsleyite and ringwoodite from olivine melts in chondrules entrained in shock-melt veins

Peace River is one of the few shocked members of the L-chondrites clan that contains both high-pressure polymorphs of olivine, ringwoodite and wadsleyite, in diverse textures and settings in fragments entrained in shock-melt veins. Among these settings are complete olivine porphyritic chondrules. We encountered few squeezed and flattened olivine porphyritic chondrules entrained in shock-melt veins of this meteorite with novel textures and composition. The former chemically unzoned (Fa(24-26)) olivine porphyritic crystals are heavily flattened and display a concentric intergrowth with Mg-rich wadsleyite of a very narrow compositional range (Fa(6)-Fa(10)) in the core. Wadsleyite core is surrounded by a Mg-poor and chemically stark zoned ringwoodite (Fa(28)-Fa(38)) belt. The wadsleyite-ringwoodite interface denotes a compositional gap of up to 32 mol % fayalite. A transmission electron microscopy study of focused ion beam slices in both regions indicates that the wadsleyite core and ringwoodite belt consist of granoblastic-like intergrowth of polygonal crystallites of both ringwoodite and wadsleyite, with wadsleyite crystallites dominating in the core and ringwoodite crystallites dominating in the belt. Texture and compositions of both high-pressure polymorphs are strongly suggestive of formation by a fractional crystallization of the olivine melt of a narrow composition (Fa24-26), starting with Mg-rich wadsleyite followed by the Mg-poor ringwoodite from a shock-induced melt of olivine composition (Fa(24-26)). Our findings could erase the possibility of the resulting unrealistic time scales of the high-pressure regime reported recently from other shocked L-6, chondrites.

Published in:
Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America, 105, 8542-8547

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

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