Characterising the CI and CI-like carbonaceous chondrites using thermogravimetric analysis and infrared spectroscopy

King, Ashley J.; Solomon, Jake R.; Schofield, Paul F. and Russell, Sara S. (2015). Characterising the CI and CI-like carbonaceous chondrites using thermogravimetric analysis and infrared spectroscopy. Earth, Planets and Space, 67(1)



The CI and CI-like chondrites provide a record of aqueous alteration in the early solar system. However, the CI-like chondrites differ in having also experienced a late stage period of thermal metamorphism. In order to constrain the nature and extent of the aqueous and thermal alteration, we have investigated the bulk mineralogy and abundance of H2O in the CI and CI-like chondrites using thermogravimetric analysis and infrared spectroscopy. The CI chondrites Ivuna and Orgueil show significant mass loss (28.5–31.8 wt.%) upon heating to 1000 °C due to dehydration and dehydroxylation of abundant phyllosilicates and Fe-(oxy)hydroxides and the decomposition of Fe-sulphides, carbonates and organics. Infrared spectra for Ivuna and Orgueil have a prominent 3-μm feature due to bound −OH/H2O in phyllosilicates and Fe-(oxy)hydroxides and only a minor 11-μm feature from anhydrous silicates. These characteristics are consistent with previous studies indicating that the CI chondrites underwent near-complete aqueous alteration. Similarities in the total abundance of H2O and 3 μm/11 μm ratio suggest that there is no difference in the relative degree of hydration experienced by Ivuna and Orgueil. In contrast, the CI-like chondrites Y-82162 and Y-980115 show lower mass loss (13.8–18.8 wt.%) and contain >50 % less H2O than the CI chondrites. The 3-μm feature is almost absent from spectra of Y-82162 and Y-980115 but the 11-μm feature is intense. The CI-like chondrites experienced thermal metamorphism at temperatures >500 °C that initially caused dehydration and dehydroxylation of phyllosilicates before partial recrystallization back into anhydrous silicates. The surfaces of many C-type asteroids were probably heated through impact metamorphism and/or solar radiation, so thermally altered carbonaceous chondrites are likely good analogues for samples that will be returned by the Hayabusa-2 and OSIRIS-REx missions.

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