The volatile content of Vesta: Clues from apatite in eucrites
Article first published online: 28 MAY 2013
© The Meteoritical Society, 2013.
Meteoritics & Planetary Science
Volume 48, Issue 11, pages 2135–2154, November 2013
How to Cite
Sarafian, A. R., Roden, M. F. and Patiño-Douce, A. E. (2013), The volatile content of Vesta: Clues from apatite in eucrites. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 48: 2135–2154. doi: 10.1111/maps.12124
- Issue published online: 16 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 28 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 4 APR 2013
- Manuscript Received: 14 NOV 2012
- Sigma Xi
- University of Georgia Disability services center
- University of Georgia Geology department
Apatite was analyzed by electron microprobe in 3 cumulate and 10 basaltic eucrites. Eucritic apatite is fluorine-rich with minor chlorine and hydroxyl (calculated by difference). We confirmed the hydroxyl content by measuring hydroxyl directly in apatites from three representative eucrites using secondary ionization mass spectroscopy. Overall, most eucritic apatites resemble fluorine-rich lunar mare apatites, but intriguing OH- and Cl-rich apatites suggest a role for water and/or hydrothermal fluids in the Vestan interior or on other related differentiated asteroids. Most late-stage apatite found in mesostasis has little hydroxyl or chlorine and is thought to have crystallized from a degassed magma; however, several apatites exhibit atypical compositions and/or textural characteristics. For example, the isotopically anomalous basaltic eucrite Pasamonte has apatite in the mesostasis with significant OH. Apatites in Juvinas also have significant OH and occur as veinlets crosscutting silicates. Euhedral apatites in the Moore County cumulate eucrite occur as inclusions in pyroxene and are also hydroxyl-rich (0.62 wt% OH). The OH was confirmed by SIMS analysis and this apatite clearly points to the presence of water, at least locally, in the Vestan interior. Portions of Elephant Moraine (EET) 90020 have large and abundant apatites, which may be the product of apatite accumulation in a zone of melt-rock reaction. Relatively chlorine-rich apatites occur in basaltic eucrite Graves Nunataks (GRA) 98098 (approximately 1 wt% Cl). Particularly striking is the compositional similarity between apatite in GRA 98098 and apatites in lunar KREEP, which may indicate the presence of residual magmas from an asteroid-wide magma ocean on Vesta.