The relationship between CK and CV chondrites

Greenwood, R. C.; Franchi, I. A.; Kearsley, A. T. and Alard, O. (2010). The relationship between CK and CV chondrites. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 74(5) pp. 1684–1705.



CK chondrites are highly oxidized meteorites containing abundant magnetite and trace amounts of Fe,Ni metal. Although the group is predominately composed of equilibrated meteorites (types 4–6), in recent years a significant number of new samples have been classified as being either CK3 or CK3-anomalous. These unequilibrated CKs often display a close affinity with members of the CV oxidized subgroup. CKs and CVs (oxidized subgroup) may therefore form a continuum and by implication could be derived from a single common parent body. To investigate the relationship between these two groups a detailed study of the oxygen isotope composition, opaque mineralogy and major and trace element geochemistry of a suite of CV and CK chondrites has been undertaken. The results of oxygen isotope analysis confirm the close affinity between CV and CK chondrites, while excluding the possibility of a linkage between the CO and CK groups. Magnetites in both CV and CK chondrites show significant compositional similarities, but high Ti contents are a diagnostic feature of the latter group. The results of major and trace element analysis demonstrate that both CV and CK chondrites show overlapping variation. Supporting evidence for a single common source for both groups comes from their similar cosmic-ray exposure age distributions. Recent reflectance spectral analysis is consistent with both the CVs and CKs being derived from Eos family asteroids, which are believed to have formed by the catastrophic disruption of a single large asteroid. Thus, a range of evidence appears to be consistent with CV and CK chondrites representing samples from a single thermally stratified parent body. In view of the close similarity between CV and CK chondrites some modification of the present classification scheme may be warranted, possibly involving integration of the two groups. One means of achieving this would be to reassigned CK chondrites to a subgroup of the oxidized CVs. It is recognized that a full evaluation of this proposal may require further study of the still poorly understood CK3 chondrites.

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