Spatial correlations between silicate and metal weathering in Antarctic chondrites

Steer, E. D.; Schwenzer, S. P.; Wright, I. P. and Grady, M. M. (2014). Spatial correlations between silicate and metal weathering in Antarctic chondrites. In: 45th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, 17-21 Mar 2014, The Woodlands, TX, USA.



Terrestrial alteration of Antarctic meteorites is a long documented phenomenon [e.g. 1,2] and has been frequently used as an analogue for weathering on Mars [3,4]. Focused reports of separate alteration effects have been thorough [5], but this work is part of a larger study aiming to consolidate mineralogical alteration, trace and major element inventories, noble gas inventories and halogen contents in order to correlate the visible with the non-visible effects. Ultimately, we hope to use what we have learnt from Antarctic weathering to interpret alteration of Martian surface rocks.

Here we report data to link the etching and compositional alteration of olivines with the weathering of kamacite and taenite and the consequent staining of the meteorite. Over 250 olivines in a rim and an interior sample of a meteorite have been measured and compared with elemental maps and back scattered electron images to build up a picture of the exact locations and possible causes of compositional variation.

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