Large silica-rich igneous-textured inclusions in the Buzzard Coulee chondrite: Condensates, differentiates, or impact melts?

Authors

  • Alex RUZICKA,

    Corresponding author
    1. Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory and Department of Geology, Portland State University, 17 Cramer Hall, 1721 SW Broadway, Portland, Oregon 97207–0751, USA
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  • Melinda HUTSON,

    1. Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory and Department of Geology, Portland State University, 17 Cramer Hall, 1721 SW Broadway, Portland, Oregon 97207–0751, USA
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  • Christine FLOSS,

    1. Laboratory for Space Sciences and Physics Department, Washington University, Campus Box 1105, St. Louis, Missouri 63130, USA
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  • Alan HILDEBRAND

    1. Department of Geosciences, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N1N4, Canada
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Corresponding author. E-mail: ruzickaa@pdx.edu

Abstract

Abstract– We studied three large (2–4 mm diameter) igneous-textured inclusions in the Buzzard Coulee (H4) chondrite using microanalytical techniques (OLM, SEM, EMPA, SIMS) to better elucidate the origins of igneous inclusions in ordinary chondrites. The inclusions are clasts that come in two varieties (1) white inclusions Bz-1 and Bz-2 represent a nearly holocrystalline assemblage of low-Ca and high-Ca pyroxene (63–66 area%) and cristobalite (33–36%) and (2) tan inclusion Bz-3 is glass-rich (approximately 60%) with low-Ca and high-Ca pyroxene phenocrysts. The bulk compositions of the inclusions determined by modal reconstruction are all SiO2-rich (approximately 67 wt% for Bz-1 and Bz-2, approximately 62% for Bz-3), but Bz-3 is enriched in incompatible elements (e.g., REE approximately 4–5 × CI abundances), whereas Bz-2 and Bz-1 are depleted in those elements that are most incompatible in pyroxene (e.g., La-Ho approximately 0.15–0.4 × CI abundances). These bulk compositions do not resemble what one would expect for partial or complete shock melting of a chondritic precursor, and show no evidence for overall volatility control. We infer that the inclusions originated through igneous differentiation and FeO reduction, with Bz-3 forming as an “andesitic” partial melt (approximately 30–40% partial melting of an H chondrite precursor), and Bz-1 and Bz-2 forming as pyroxene-cristobalite cumulates from an Si-rich melt. We suggest that both types of melts experienced a period of transit through a cold, low-pressure space environment in which cooling, FeO reduction, and interaction with a vapor occurred. Melts may have been lofted into space by excavation or splashing during collisions, or by pyroclastic volcanism. Our results indicate intriguing similarities between the inclusions in Buzzard Coulee and the silicates in some iron (IIE-type) and stony iron (IVA-type) meteorites, suggesting a genetic relationship.

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