Origin of low-Ca pyroxene in amoeboid olivine aggregates: Evidence from oxygen isotopic compositions

Alexander N. Krot*, Timothy J. Fagan, Kazuhide Nagashima, Michael I. Petaev, Hisayoshi Yurimoto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Amoeboid olivine aggregates (AOAs) in primitive carbonaceous chondrites consist of forsterite (Falt;2), Fe,Ni-metal, spinel, Al-diopside, anorthite, and rare gehlenitic melilite (Åk<15). ∼10% of AOAs contain low-Ca pyroxene (Fs1-3Wo1-5) that is in corrosion relationship with forsterite and is found in three major textural occurrences: (i) thin (<5 μm) discontinuous layers around forsterite grains or along forsterite grain boundaries in AOA peripheries; (ii) 5-10-μm-thick haloes and subhedral grains around Fe,Ni-metal nodules in AOA peripheries, and (iii) shells of variable thickness (up to 70 μm), commonly with abundant tiny (3-5 μm) inclusions of Fe,Ni-metal grains, around AOAs. AOAs with the low-Ca pyroxene shells are compact and contain euhedral grains of Al-diopside surrounded by anorthite, suggesting small (10%-20%) degree of melting. AOAs with other textural occurrences of low-Ca pyroxene are rather porous. Forsterite grains in AOAs with low-Ca pyroxene have generally 16O-rich isotopic compositions (Δ17O lt; -20‰). Low-Ca pyroxenes of the textural occurrences (i) and (ii) are 16O-enriched (Δ17O < -20‰), whereas those of (iii) are 16O-depleted (Δ17O = -6‰ to -4‰). One of the extensively melted (>50%) objects is texturally and mineralogically intermediate between AOAs and Al-rich chondrules. It consists of euhedral forsterite grains, pigeonite, augite, anorthitic mesostasis, abundant anhedral spinel grains, and minor Fe,Ni-metal; it is surrounded by a coarse-grained igneous rim largely composed of low-Ca pyroxene with abundant Fe,Ni-metal-sulfide nodules. The mineralogical observations suggest that only spinel grains in this igneous object were not melted. The spinel is 16O-rich (Δ17O ∼ -22‰), whereas the neighboring plagioclase mesostasis is 16O-depleted (Δ17O ∼ -11‰). We conclude that AOAs are aggregates of solar nebular condensates (forsterite, Fe,Ni-metal, and CAIs composed of Al-diopside, anorthite, spinel, and ±melilite) formed in an 16O-rich gaseous reservoir, probably CAI-forming region(s). Solid or incipiently melted forsterite in some AOAs reacted with gaseous SiO in the same nebular region to form low-Ca pyroxene. Some other AOAs appear to have accreted 16O-poor pyroxene-normative dust and experienced varying degrees of melting, most likely in chondrule-forming region(s). The most extensively melted AOAs experienced oxygen isotope exchange with 16O-poor nebular gas and may have been transformed into chondrules. The original 16O-rich signature of the precursor materials of such chondrules is preserved only in incompletely melted grains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1873-1881
Number of pages9
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Apr 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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