A study of the minor element concentrations of spinels from two type B calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions: An investigation into potential formation conditions of calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions

Harold C. Connolly, D. S. Burnett

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19 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have conducted an electron microprobe study of minor element distributions among spinels from two type B1 calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs): Allende TS-23 and Leoville 3537-2. We show that by maintaining the petrologic context (edge, middle, and center of the inclusion plus their host silicate phase), four populations of spinels are resolvable based on their minor element contents. One population resides within the edge area (mainly mantle melilite) and is characterized by the highest V contents. Unlike Leoville 3537-2, many edge grains from Allende TS-23 also have high-Fe contents (up to 4.0 wt%) and low-Cr values. Based on their V and Ti concentrations (which is positively correlated), middle and center grains define a trend that is divided into three populations: spinels enclosed by melilite, fassaite, and anorthite. The overall range in Ti concentration based on fractional crystallization should be much less than a factor of 2; however, the observed range is considerably larger. The minor element contents of these grains are interpreted as recording alteration, primary fractional crystallization, and a complex igneous history that may involve remelting and recrystallization. From our data, Allende TS-23 has experienced more alteration than Leoville 3537-2, which is consistent with previous petrologic studies of silicates within these objects; yet both objects have likely been remelted (at least one additional melting event, possibly two, postdating the initial formation of these CAIs). By invoking a remelting history, the large range in Ti concentrations and the different populations of spinels can be explained. Although our data suggest that more than one generation of spinels exist within these objects, we are unable to establish any population of relic spinel grains that predate the initial melting event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)829-848
Number of pages20
JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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