Ordinary chondrite (LL3.0/3.2)
A 68.2 g meteorite was purchased in Safsaf, October 2002. Classification and mineralogy (T. Bunch and J. Wittke, NAU): monomict chondritic breccia; chondrules are very similar to equivalent chondrules in the LL3.0 Semarkona chondrite in terms of phase/mesostasis compositions, zoning profiles, and textures. Type IA olivine: FeO = 0.21 to 1.94 wt%; CaO = 0.31 to 0.51 wt%. Type IIA olivine: FeO = 11.8 to 15.9 wt%; CaO = 0.10 to 0.19 wt%, P2O5 = 0.09 to 0.36 wt%. Chondrule mesostasis is optically isotropic. Matrix metal is Ni-rich (50 to 60 wt%) and occurs in metal-pyrrhotite-haxonite ± magnetite, chromite, carbon, cohenite, 0.1 to 0.2 mm aggregates; metal contains small (<1 μm) SiO2-rich inclusions. Shock level, S1; one xenolith is S4; weathering grade, W1/W2. Specimens: type specimen, 12.5 g and 2 thin sections, NAU; main mass, Hupé.
Ordinary chondrite (LL5 melt breccia)
An 8.15 kg single stone with weathered crust was purchased in Rissani, Morocco. Description and classification (T. Bunch and J. Wittke, NAU): exceptional shock-melt LL5 breccia; clasts (up to 8 cm; shock level, S3) have wide, shock-darkened margins (metal melt injections into silicate fractures, S5) that are surrounded by shock-melt glasses with included masses of metal melt spheres (< 0.02 mm, S6). Olivine, Fa28.0 (FeO/MnO = 54); orthopyroxene, Fs24.9Wo2.0 (FeO/MnO = 39 g/g); Plagioclase and maskelynite, An37.7Or12.6, Chromite, Cr/(Cr+Al) = 0.865, and metal spheres, Ni = 18.6 to 44.2 wt% Ni, weathering grade, W2. Specimens: type specimen, 44 g, NAU; main mass, Boswell.
Purchased 2004 August
Ordinary Chondrite (LL melt breccia)
A 132 g complete and crusted stone was purchased in Erfoud, Morocco. Description and classification (T. Bunch and J. Wittke, NAU): highly shocked (melted and brecciated) LL chondrite (S2-6). Contains sparse marble-shaped (0.8-1.4 mm) LL7 clasts that show equigranular, recrystallized texture with abundant 120° triple grain junctions and no relict chondrules, Olivine, Fa 31.8 (FeO/MnO = 63 g/g); orthopyroxene, Fs25.1Wo1.8; chromite, Cr/(Cr+Al) = 0.86, Fe/(Fe+Mg) = 0.92. Clasts are enclosed by a thick mantle (up to 5 mm) of LL chondrite, similar in composition, but without recrystallization (shock level = S3). These mantles are surrounded by highly shocked LL materials that range from complete melt with quench products of olivine, Ca-pyroxenes, and feldspathic glasses (S6) to intense, shock darkened LL clasts (metal melt with injection and maskelynite, S4). Weathering grade is W2. Specimens: type specimen 21 g, NAU; main mass, G. Hupé.
Purchased July 2004
Ordinary Chondrite (melt breccia with ringwoodite)
A 156 g stone was purchased in Erfoud, Morocco. Description and classification (T. Bunch and J. Wittke, NAU): shocked L5 clasts (S3-4) contain maskelynite, olivine and pyroxenes with planar deformation lamellae and mosaicness, reduced birefringence, localized melt pockets, and isolated shock veins. Clasts are set in partially recrystallized melt with included plentiful, violet to purple ringwoodite grains (<0.25 mm in diameter). Olivine, Fa25.6; orthopyroxene, Fs22.8; plagioclase (maskelynite), An54-94; ringwoodite; FeO = 23.8 wt%, MgO = 37.5 wt%, SiO2 = 37.8 wt%, MnO = 0.30 wt%. Weathering grade, W2. Specimens: type specimen, 21 g, NAU; main mass, Burkhard.
LL3-LL4 regolith breccia (with carbonaceous chondrite clasts)
History: A 383 g partially crusted stone was purchased in Erfoud, Morocco.
Petrography: (T. Bunch and J. Wittke, NAU): A regolith breccia of many different lithologies that include LL3.6 and LL4 chondrites, an unknown carbonaceous chondrite, shock-melted clasts and those of unknown petrologic lineage. Matrix consists of plentiful chondrules and fragmental material. Shock characteristics of the clasts range from S2 to S5, weathering grade is W2.
Geochemistry: LL3.6 chondrite olivine = Fa23-34, FeO/MnO = 50-55 g/g, Cr2O3 = 0.0-0.12 wt%. LL4 olivine = Fa30, FeO/MnO = 55-60. Carbonaceous chondrite olivine = Fa43.7-54.4, FeO/MnO = 82-93; orthopyroxene = Fs33-41.5Wo1.3-2.0; spinel, Fe/(Fe+Mg) = 0.72; FeS, Cr = 0.82 wt%.
Classification: LL3-LL4 regolithic breccia.
Type specimens: A total of 23.4 g and two thin sections are on deposit at NAU. Webb holds the main mass.
Ordinary chondrite (LL/L impact melt rock)
History and physical characteristics: A completely crusted and very fresh 23.2 g stone was purchased in Erfoud, Morocco, in November 2005.
Petrography: (T. Bunch and J. Wittke, NAU) Small (<0.5 mm) euhedral to subhedral olivine crystals are set in a mesostasis of dark glass, skeletal augite, and tiny (<0.03 mm) spheres of Ni, Fe-rich metal and sulfides. Submillimeter clusters of fine-grained, subhedral olivine with scarce mesostasis are scattered throughout.
Mineral compositions and geochemistry: Mean composition of unzoned olivine (Fa26.8±13.7; FeO/MnO = 36–54, Cr2O3 = 0.35–0.78 wt%), augite (Fs39.4Wo25.8), quartzofeldspathic glass phase that contains FeO = 4.6, MgO = 1.75, Cr2O3 = 0.39 (all wt%), chromite (Cr/[Cr+Al] = 0.83), kamacite (Ni = 5.3 wt%), taenite (Ni = 20.1 wt%). Oxygen isotopes: (D. Rumble, CIW) Replicate analyses by laser fluorination technique are δ17O = 3.61, 3.64; δ18O = 4.66, 4.69; Δ17O = 1.164, 1.178 (all ‰).
Classification: Ordinary chondrite (impact melt rock with a LL/L composition).
Type specimen: A 4.8 g specimen is on deposit at NAU. Farmer and Strope hold the main mass.
Ordinary chondrite (LL7)
A 136 g complete stone with weathered crust was purchased in Rissani, Morocco in June 2003. Description and classification (T. Bunch and J. Wittke, NAU): equigranular, fine-grained (avg. diameter, 0.155 mm; range, 0.03 to 0.7 mm), completely recrystallized with no relict chondrules. Mineral modes (vol. %): olivine, 78; orthopyroxene, 10; plagioclase, 5; troilite, 5; metal, 1; chromite and merrilite < 1; olivine greatly enhanced and metal depleted relative to L6 chondrites. Olivine, Fa28.7 (Fe/Mn = 65.6; orthopyroxene, Fs23.5Wo3.1 (Fe/Mn = 48.8; molar FeO/MgO = 0.31 g/g); plagioclase, An34.1Or3.1; Ca-rich pyroxene, Fs12.8Wo41; Ni-rich troilite, Ni = 4.2 wt%; metal (taenite only), Ni = 20.1 wt%; chromite, Cr/(Cr+Al) = 0.80, Mg/(Mg+Fe) = 0.21. Shock stage, S1; weathering grade, W2. Specimens: 20.2 g and one thin section, NAU; main mass, Farmer.
Ordinary chondrite (LL3.1)
A 487 g stone was purchased in Safsaf, Morocco in October 2002. Description and classification (T. Bunch and J. Wittke, NAU; J. Grossman, USGS, Reston): polymict chondritic breccia; host is LL3.1 with xenoliths of LL4 and LL5. Chondrules are very similar to the LL3.0 Semarkona and LL3.1 NWA 1756 chondrites in terms of phase and mesostasis compositions, zoning profiles, and textures. FeO contents in 65 type II chondrule olivine cores range from 7.0 to 26.8 wt% and corresponding CaO from 0.06 to 0.20 wt.%, which are consistent with an LL3.0-3.2 classification (Jones. 1990); Cr2O3 contents in these olivines, which is considered to be a more sensitive indicator of petrologic subtype (Grossman, 2004), range from 0.08 wt% to 0.58 wt% with an average of 0.38 wt%, consistent with an LL3.1 classification. Chondrule mesostasis is optically isotropic and SEM imagery shows little unambiguous evidence for metamorphic crystallization of mesostasis glass. Shock level, S2; weathering grade is W3. Specimens: 20.1 g, NAU; main mass Hupé.
Ordinary chondrite (LL3.2)
History and physical characteristics: A 2250 g dark brown, heavily stained stone was found in Algeria in 2005 and sold in Rissani, Morocco in 2005.
Petrography: (T. Bunch and J. Wittke, NAU) contains a few shocked dark clasts and several centimeter-sized cream-colored igneous-textured (idiomorphic granular) clasts. These irregular-shaped, olivine pyroxenite clasts contain (vol %): orthopyroxene/clinopyroxene, 56; olivine, 33; mesostasis, 5; diopside, FeS, ilmenite, chromite, and metal, 4. Both clinoenstatite (polysynthetically twinned) and orthopyroxenite are present, crystallographic orientation within the section, notwithstanding. For compositional considerations, they are treated the same.
Mineral compositions: Chondritic host examples: POP chondrule olivine cores (Fa9-17, FeO/MnO = 47-55 g/g), rims (Fa26.1-35.8, FeO/MnO = 69-90 g/g). Matrix olivine, Fs15-35.6; FeO/MnO avg. = 53 g/g; Cr2O3 = 0.05-0.45%, mean = 0.12 wt%. Olivine pyroxenite clasts: orthopyroxene, Fs0.2-0.7Wo0.8 (N=27); olivine, Fa0.7-4.7, FeO/MnO = 15-19 g/g (N=13); diopside, Fs1Wo42; mesostasis plagioclase, An96.9; ilmenite, MgO = 5.4 wt%; chromite, Cr/(Cr+Al) = 0.82; taenite, Ni = 37.8 wt%.
Classification: Ordinary chondrite (LL3.2). Subtype designation based on olivine heterogeneity and olivine Cr2O3 contents.
Type specimen: A total of 20 g is on deposit at PSF who is also the main mass holder.
Western Sahara, Morocco
Ordinary chondrite (LL3.1)
History and physical characteristics: Collected in Western Sahara, Morocco and purchased by A. Aaronson in Rissani, Morocco in May 2006. A 64 g reddish brown stone with very little fusion crust.
Petrography (T. Bunch and J. Wittke, NAU): A chondrule-rich (76 vol. %) ordinary chondrite with low metal (≤ one vol. %) and several subrounded to subangular poikilitic clasts (1.5- 2.4 mm dia.) of anhedral orthopyroxene host and round olivine inclusions. Low grade weathering with iron staining; shock level is S2.
Mineral compositions: olivine, Fa8.8-38.0 (FeO/MnO = 28-122, mean, 63); Cr2O3 = 0.07-0.34 wt%, mean, 24; CaO = 0.16-0.54 wt%). Orthopyroxene. Fs6.3-27.6. Orthopyroxene oikocrysts, Fs16.4Wo2.1 (FeO/MnO = 67); olivine chadacrysts, Fa28.3 (FeO/MnO = 94).
Oxygen isotopes (D. Rumble, CIW): A cleaned and metal-free sample was analyzed by laser fluorination. Replicate analyses are respectively, δ17O = 4.100 and 3.800; δ18O = 6.02 and 5.697; Δ17O = 0.9315 and 0.8032.
Classification: Ordinary chondrite (LL3.1).
Type specimen: A 8.4 g sample is on deposit at NAU. Mr. A Aaronson holds the main mass.
Ordinary chondrite (LL3.2)
History and physical characteristics: Several dark brown stones with little remnant fusion crust were purchased in Erfoud in October 2007. TKW is ~4 kg.
Petrography: (T. Bunch and J. Wittke, NAU) Polymict breccia with a wide range in chondrule size (0.3 to 11.1 mm). Several igneous-textured, non-chondritic enstatite objects (2-7.5 mm) are also present. A few very unusual FeS-Fe oxide-bearing veins (< one mm thick and > 2.8 cm in length) cross the 6.5 x 2.6 cm sample slice. Chondrule mesostasis is nearly free of devitrification. Olivine in type II chondrules is strongly zoned. Weathering grade is W3 and the shock level is S2/3.
Mineral compositions: Type II PO olivine is Fa7.4-38.7, Cr2O3 = 0.07 to 0.48 wt%, peak at 0.28 wt%; FeO/MnO = 42-54. Enstatite in non-chondritic objects is Fs0.2Wo1.0.
Classification: Chondrite (LL3.2).
Type specimen: A total of 34 g is on deposit at NAU. Mr. M. Cimala holds the main mass.
Ordinary chondrite (LL3.05)
History and physical characteristics: A 128 g desert-weathered, brownish stone was purchased in Erfoud, Morocco in October 2007.
Petrography (T. Bunch and J. Wittke, NAU): Contains a magnificent collection of closely packed, pristine chondrules. All varieties of chondrules are represented with Type I (FeO -poor) dominant over Type II (FeO-rich) by a ratio of 3:1. The abundance of chondrule textural types are PP > PO > POP > GOP > RP > C > BO with several heavily mantled and unique types. SEM imagery and x-ray mapping (at 3K magnification) show no evidence of devitrification in chondrule mesostasis, in addition to mostly homogeneous mesostasis and alkali-poor mesostasis compositions. Weathering grade is W3 with minor iron staining in thin section. Shock level is S2.
Mineral compositions: Olivine in Type II chondrules is Fa8.5-36.6 (FeO/MnO is 12-71), Cr2O3 = 0.31-0.74 (N = 47) with a pronounced peak at 0.53 to 64 wt%. Orthopyroxenes in all types range from Fs0.02 to Fa28.7. Microprobe analyses show no particular Cr enrichment in olivine rims, nor was micron-size chromite found at the interface of olivine and chondrule mesostasis.
Classification: Chondrite (LL3.05). Cr2O3 content in olivine is consistent with a classification of lower than subtype 3.1. Until high quality analyses are performed on chondrule mesostasis for K and Na contents and distributions, a subtype below 3.05 is not warranted at this time.
Type specimen: A total of 29 g is on deposit at NAU. Mr. M. Cimala is the main mass holder.