High-resolution cathodoluminescence of calcites from the Cold Bokkeveld chondrite: New insights on carbonatation processes in CM parent bodies

Vincent Guigoz, Anthony Seret, Marc Portail, Ludovic Ferrière, Guy Libourel, Harold C. Connolly, Dante S. Lauretta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Carbonates, as secondary minerals found in CM chondrites, have been widely employed for reconstructing the composition of the fluids from which they precipitated. They also offer valuable insights into the hydrothermal evolution of their parent bodies. In this study, we demonstrate that high-resolution cathodoluminescence (HR-CL) analyses of calcites derived from the brecciated Cold Bokkeveld CM2 chondrite can effectively reveal subtle compositional features and intricate zoning patterns. We have identified two distinct types of cathodoluminescence (CL) centers: a blue emission band (approximately 375–425 nm), associated with intrinsic structural defects, and a lower energy orange extrinsic emission (around 620 ± 10 nm), indicating the presence of Mn cations. These compositional variations enable discrimination between the calcite grain types previously designated as T1 and T2 in studies of CM chondrites. T1 calcites exhibit variable CL and peripheral Mn enrichments, consistently surrounded by a rim composed of Fe-S-rich serpentine–tochilinite assemblage. Conversely, T2 calcites display homogeneous CL and more abundant lattice defects. These polycrystalline aggregates of calcite grains, devoid of serpentine, contain Fe-Ni sulfide inclusions and directly interface with the matrix. We propose that changes in the Mn content of calcite (indicated by the intensity of orange CL emission) are influenced by variations in redox potential (Eh) and pH of the fluid phase. This proposed hydrothermal evolution establishes a parallel between terrestrial serpentinization followed by carbonation processes and the aqueous alteration of CM chondrites, warranting further exploration and investigation of this intriguing similarity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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