A combined chemical-petrological study of separated chondrules from the Richardton meteorite

Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964 U.S.A.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters (Impact Factor: 4.72). 03/1979; DOI: 10.1016/0012-821X(79)90028-1

ABSTRACT Individual chondrules have been separated from the H5 chondrite Richardton and subjected to a detailed chemical-petrological study. A portion of each chondrule has been examined petrographically and phase chemistry determined by electron microprobe analysis. Of the remaining portion an aliquot was taken for measurement of major element abundances by microprobe using a microfusion technique. Rb, Sr,87Sr/86Sr and REE were determined by mass spectrometric isotope dilution.The chondrules define a Rb-Sr isochron age of 4.39 ± 0.03Ga(λ = 1.42 × 10−11 a−1) and an initial ratio of 0.7003 ± 7. The age is interpreted as a metamorphic age and indicates that Sr isotope equilibration occurred in the Richardton parent body for some 100 Ma or more after condensation of the solar system. Metamorphism had little effect on chondrule textures but effected Fe/Mg exchange to produce highly uniform olivine and pyroxene compositions, and may have caused some redistribution of REE.The major element compositions of Richardton chondrules are mostly constant and close to reported averages for Tieschitz, Bishunpur and Chainpur. They contain high-temperature condensate elements in close to cosmic proportions, but are deficient in Fe. Theories of chondrule origin are briefly reviewed, and while it is difficult to distinguish between direct condensation and dust fusion by impacting, it is postulated that iron was fractionated from silicate prior to or during chondrule formation.

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