A noble gas and cosmogenic radionuclide analysis of two ordinary chondrites from Almahata Sitta


Corresponding author. E-mail: matthias.meier@geol.lu.se


Abstract– We present the results of a noble gas (He, Ne, Ar) and cosmogenic radionuclide (10Be, 26Al, 36Cl) analysis of two chondritic fragments (#A100, L4 and #25, H5) found in the Almahata Sitta strewn field in Sudan. We confirm their earlier attribution to the same fall as the ureilites dominating the strewn field, based on the following findings: (1) both chondrite samples indicate a preatmospheric radius of approximately 300 g cm−2, consistent with the preatmospheric size of asteroid 2008 TC3 that produced the Almahata Sitta strewn field; (2) both have, within error, a 21Ne/26Al-based cosmic ray exposure age of approximately 20 Ma, identical to the reported ages of Almahata Sitta ureilites; (3) both exhibit hints of ureilitic Ar in the trapped component. We discuss a possible earlier irradiation phase for the two fragments of approximately 10–20 Ma, visible only in cosmogenic 38Ar. We also discuss the approximately 3.8 Ga (4He) and approximately 4.6 Ga (40Ar) gas retention ages, measured in both chondritic fragments. These imply that the two chondrite fragments were incorporated into the ureilite host early in solar system evolution, and that the parent asteroid from which 2008 TC3 is derived has not experienced a large break-up event in the last 3.8 Ga.