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Thermal shock fragmentation of Mg silicates within scoriaceous micrometeorites reveal hydrated asteroidal sources

Matthew J. Genge, Martin Suttle and Matthias van Ginneken
Thermal shock fragmentation of Mg silicates within scoriaceous micrometeorites reveal hydrated asteroidal sources
Geology (Boulder) (October 2017) 45 (10): 891-894

Abstract

Scoriaceous micrometeorites are highly vesicular extraterrestrial dust particles that have experienced partial melting during atmospheric entry. We report the occurrence of clusters of anhedral relict forsterite crystals within these particles that testify to in situ fragmentation. The absence of similar clusters within unmelted micrometeorites suggests that fragmentation occurs during atmospheric entry rather than by parent body shock reprocessing. Clusters of broken forsterite crystals are shown to form as a result of fracturing owing to thermal stress developed during entry heating and require thermal gradients of >200 K mu m (super -1) in order for differential thermal expansion to exceed the critical shear strength of olivine. Thermal gradients of this magnitude significantly exceed those resulting from thermal conduction and require the endothermic decomposition of phyllosilicates. Fragmented relict forsterite within scoriaceous micrometeorites, therefore, indicate that the precursor grains were similar to CI and CM2 chondrites and retained phyllosilicate prior to atmospheric entry and thus were not dehydrated on the parent asteroid by shock or thermal metamorphism. Explosive fragmentation of hydrous asteroids during collisions, therefore, does not significantly bias the interplanetary dust population.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 45
Serial Issue: 10
Title: Thermal shock fragmentation of Mg silicates within scoriaceous micrometeorites reveal hydrated asteroidal sources
Affiliation: Imperial College London, Department of Earth Science and Engineering, London, United Kingdom
Pages: 891-894
Published: 201710
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 34
Accession Number: 2018-024389
Categories: Petrology of meteorites and tektites
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
Secondary Affiliation: Vrije Universiteit Brussel, BEL, Belgium
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 201806
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