Cavezzo—The double face of a meteorite: Mineralogy, petrography, and geochemistry of a very unusual chondrite

Pratesi, Giovanni; Moggi Cecchi, Vanni; Greenwood, Richard C.; Franchi, Ian A.; Hammond, Samantha J.; Di Martino, Mario; Barghini, Dario; Taricco, Carla; Carbognani, Albino and Gardiol, Daniele (2021). Cavezzo—The double face of a meteorite: Mineralogy, petrography, and geochemistry of a very unusual chondrite. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 56(6) pp. 1125–1150.



The Cavezzo meteorite, which fell on January 1, 2020, is the first meteorite detected and recovered by the Italian PRISMA Fireball Network. Two specimens, weighing 3.12 g (specimen 1) and 52.19 g (specimen 2), were collected 3 days after the bolide was observed, thanks to an effective media campaign that encouraged the involvement of local people. The two specimens of this meteorite have not only completely different lithological characteristics but also a different geochemistry and oxygen isotopic composition as well. Specimen 1 is anomalous both for the textural–structural features, varying seamlessly from chondritic to “achondritic,” and a very unusual modal mineralogy—such as the relatively high amount of olivine (63.1 vol%), plagioclase (18.2 vol%), high-Ca pyroxene (10.3 vol%), and chlorapatite (2.1 vol%); and the unusually low content of low-Ca pyroxene (5.8 vol%), metal (0.1 vol%), and troilite (much lesser than 0.1 vol%)—although the compositional values for olivine (Fa 24.24 mol%) and low-Ca pyroxene (Fs 20.41 mol%) appear to be similar to those of the L chondrite group. Conversely, in specimen 2, not only the texture and the crystal chemistry but also the modal mineralogy (low-Ca pyroxene much more abundant than high-Ca pyroxene and occurrence of metal and sulfides) look like those of an ordinary L chondrite. The differences between the two specimens are also confirmed by geochemistry. The oxygen isotope composition of specimen 1 plots at the boundary between the H and L groups (δ17O‰ 3.250; δ18O‰ 4.736; Δ17O‰ 0.788) whereas specimen 2 plots at the boundary of the L and LL fields (δ17O‰ 3.737; δ18O‰ 4.957; Δ17O‰ 1.159). The bulk chemistry shows a different content of many minor and trace elements (including rare earth elements), such as a strong depletion of siderophile and chalcophile elements in specimen 1. The two specimens then do not contain fragments of each other, thus preventing us from classifying this “double face” meteorite as an ordinary chondrite breccia. In detail, specimen 1 can be considered a “xenolith” in which chondritic structure and igneous texture coexist without discontinuity, and therefore, it represents a previously unsampled portion of the L parent body. In summary, these findings support the classification of Cavezzo as an L5 anomalous chondrite.

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