Petrology and geochemistry of the Elephant Moraine A79002 diogenite: A genomict breccia containing a magnesian harzburgite component

Authors


david.w.mittlefehldt1@jsc.nasa.gov

Abstract

Abstract— The Elephant Moraine A79002 (EETA79002) diogenite is a fragmental breccia with a subtle lightdark structure. It is composed of orthopyroxene, with minor olivine, chromite, and ubiquitous, inhomogeneously distributed, approximately 5–500 μm sized troilite and metal grains. These latter are present in the matrix, and as inclusions in and as symplectic intergrowths with orthopyroxene and olivine. Trace amounts of silica and diopside are also present. Most orthopyroxene compositions (typical orthopyroxenes) are in the narrow range Wo2.1–2.7En74.1–75.6Fs22.2–23.8 like those of most diogenites. A few magnesian orthopyroxenes are present with compositions of Wo1.7-2.5En77.5–80.2 Fs18.2–20.3. These are among the most magnesian orthopyroxenes known from diogenites. A few ferroan orthopyroxenes have compositions of Wo2.1–2.9En71.7–73.7Fs24.2–25.5. Differences in Al2O3, TiO2, and Cr2O3 between the different orthopyroxene groups are inconsistent with a simple igneous fractionation relationship between them. Olivine compositions are Fo75.0–76.9. The olivines could be in equilibrium with the magnesian orthopyroxenes, but not with the typical or ferroan orthopyroxenes that form the bulk of EETA79002. Metal grains exhibit a range of Ni and Co contents and Ni/Co ratios; their compositions indicate that they are primary igneous metal. Metal and troilite grains are more prevalent in the dark samples.

The trace incompatible lithophile element contents of 16 samples are remarkably uniform. Their Yb concentrations are all within their 2s̀ analytical uncertainties of the mean. The uniformity and low content of light rare earth elements in EETA79002 indicate that negligible amounts of a trapped liquid component, or foreign material mixed in the breccia, could be present. The siderophile and chalcophile element data show that the light-dark structure is due to the distribution of metal and troilite grains; dark samples contain higher Ni, Co, and Se compared to light samples.

Meteorite EETA79002 appears to contain material from three or more related plutons, a magnesian harzburgite, and two orthopyroxenites, and is a genomict breccia.

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