Based on their mineralogy and petrography, ∼200 refractory inclusions studied in the unique carbonaceous chondrite, Acfer 094, can be divided into corundum-rich (0.5%), hibonite-rich (1.1%), grossite-rich (8.5%), compact and fluffy Type A (spinel-melilite-rich, 50.3%), pyroxene-anorthite-rich (7.4%), and Type C (pyroxene-anorthite-rich with igneous textures, 1.6%) Ca,Al-rich inclusions (CAIs), pyroxene-hibonite spherules (0.5%), and amoeboid olivine aggregates (AOAs, 30.2%). Melilite in some CAIs is replaced by spinel and Al-diopside and/or by anorthite, whereas spinel-pyroxene assemblages in CAIs and AOAs appear to be replaced by anorthite. Forsterite grains in several AOAs are replaced by low-Ca pyroxene. None of the CAIs or AOAs show evidence for Fe-alkali metasomatic or aqueous alteration. The mineralogy, textures, and bulk chemistry of most Acfer 094 refractory inclusions are consistent with their origin by gas-solid condensation and may reflect continuous interaction with SiO and Mg of the cooling nebula gas. It appears that only a few CAIs experienced subsequent melting. The Al-rich chondrules (ARCs; > 10 wt% bulk Al2O3) consist of forsteritic olivine and low-Ca pyroxene phenocrysts, pigeonite, augite, anorthitic plagioclase, ± spinel, FeNi-metal, and crystalline mesostasis composed of plagioclase, augite and a silica phase. Most ARCs are spherical and mineralogically uniform, but some are irregular in shape and heterogeneous in mineralogy, with distinct ferromagnesian and aluminous domains. The ferromagnesian domains tend to form chondrule mantles, and are dominated by low-Ca pyroxene and forsteritic olivine, anorthitic mesostasis, and Fe,Ni-metal nodules. The aluminous domains are dominated by anorthite, high-Ca pyroxene and spinel, occasionally with inclusions of perovskite; have no or little FeNi-metal; and tend to form cores of the heterogeneous chondrules. The cores are enriched in bulk Ca and Al, and apparently formed from melting of CAI-like precursor material that did not mix completely with adjacent ferromagnesian melt. The inferred presence of CAI-like material among precursors for Al-rich chondrules is in apparent conflict with lack of evidence for melting of CAIs that occur outside chondrules, suggesting that these CAIs were largely absent from chondrule-forming region(s) at the time of chondrule formation. This may imply that there are several populations of CAIs in Acfer 094 and that mixing of "normal" CAIs that occur outside chondrules and chondrules that accreted into the Acfer 094 parent asteroid took place after chondrule formation. Alternatively, there may have been an overlap in the CAI- and chondrule-forming regions, where the least refractory CAIs were mixed with Fe-Mg chondrule precursors. This hypothesis is difficult to reconcile with the lack of evidence of melting of AOAs which represent aggregates of the least refractory CAIs and forsterite grains.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology