Journal article

Refractory calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions and aluminum-diopside-rich chondrules in the metal-rich chondrites Hammadah al Hamra 237 and Queen Alexandra Range 94411

The metal-rich chondrites Hammadah al Hamra (HH) 237 and Queen Alexandra Range (QUE) 94411, paired with QUE 94627, contain relatively rare (<1 vol%) calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs) and Al-diopside-rich chondrules. Forty CAIs and CAI fragments and seven Al-diopside-rich chondrules were identified in HH 237 and QUE 94411/94627. The CAIs, 50-400 mum in apparent diameter, include (a) 22 (56%) pyroxene-spinel +/- melilite (+forsterite rim), (b) 11 (28%) forsterite-bearing, pyroxene-spinel +/- melilite +/- anorthite (+forsterite rim) (c) 2 (5%) grossite-rich (+spinel-melilite-pyroxene rim), (d) 2 (5%) hibonite-melilite (+spinel-pyroxene +/- forsterite rim), (e) 1 (2%) hibonite-bearing, spinel-perovskite (+melilite-pyroxene rim), (f) 1 (2%) spinel-melilite-pyroxene-anorthite, and (g) 1 (2%) amoeboid olivine aggregate. Each type of CAI is known to exist in other chondrite groups, but the high abundance of pyroxene-spinel melilite CAIs with igneous textures and surrounded by a forsterite rim are unique features of HH 237 and QUE 94411/94627. Additionally, oxygen isotopes consistently show relatively heavy compositions with Delta O-17 ranging from -6 parts per thousand to -10 parts per thousand (1 sigma = 1.3 parts per thousand) for all analyzed CAI minerals (grossite, hibonite, melilite, pyroxene, spinel). This suggests that the CAIs formed in a reservoir isotopically distinct from the reservoir(s) where "normal", O-16-rich (Delta O-17 < -20) CAIs in most other chondritic meteorites formed.


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