Alteration of calcium-and aluminium-rich inclusions in the Murray (CM2) carbonaceous chondrite

Lee, Martin R. and Greenwood, Richard C. (1994). Alteration of calcium-and aluminium-rich inclusions in the Murray (CM2) carbonaceous chondrite. Meteoritics, 29(6) pp. 780–790.




Four different types of calcium-and aluminium-rich inclusions (CAIs) have been identified in the CM2 chondrite Murray, three of which contain alteration products. Two types of altered CAIs, spinel inclusions and spinel-pyroxene inclusions, contain primary spinel (+/-perovskite+/-hibonite+/-diopside) and secondary Fe-rich serpentine phyllosilicates(+/-tochilinite+/-calcite). Original melilite in these CAIs is inferred to have been altered during aqueous activity in the parent body and Fe-rich serpentines, tochilinite and calcite were formed in its place. The other type of altered CAI is represented by one inclusion, here called MCA-1. This CAI contains primary spinel, perovskite, fassaite and diopside with secondary calcite, paragonite, Mg-Al-Fe phyllosilicates and a Mg-Al-Fe sulphate. Importantly, MCA-1 is similar in both primary and secondary mineralogy to a small number of altered CAIs described from other CM2 meteorites including Essebi, Murchison and a CM2 clast from Plainview. Features that these CAIs have in common include an unusually large size, CV3-like primary mineralogy and the presence of secondary aluminosilicates and calcite. The Al-rich alteration products in MCA-1 are also reminiscent of secondary minerals in refractory inclusions from CV3 meteorites, which have previously been interpreted to form by interaction of the inclusions with solar nebula gases. In common with the other types of altered CAIs in Murray, MCA-1 is inferred to have experienced its main phase of alteration in a parent body environment. The Mg-Al-Fe phyllosilicates, calcite and the Mg-Al-Fe sulphate formed following aqueous alteration of an Al-rich precursor, possibly Ca dialuminate. This episode of parent body alteration may have overprinted an earlier phase of alteration in solar nebula environment from which only paragonite remains.

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