Browsing by Author "Spray, John G."
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- ItemA new Martian meteorite from Oman: mineralogy, petrology, and shock metamorphism of olivine-phyric basaltic shergottite Sayh al Uhaymir 150(2005) Walton, Erin L.; Spray, John G.; Bartoschewitz, RainerThe Sayh al Uhaymir (SaU) 150 meteorite was found on a gravel plateau, 43.3 km south of Ghaba, Oman, on October 8, 2002. Oxygen isotope (δ17O 2.78; δ18O 4.74), CRE age (∼1.3 Ma), and noble gas studies confirm its Martian origin. SaU 150 is classified as an olivine-phyric basalt, having a porphyritic texture with olivine macrocrysts set in a finer-grained matrix of pigeonite and interstitial maskelynite, with minor augite, spinel, ilmenite, merrillite, pyrrhotite, pentlandite, and secondary (terrestrial) calcite and iron oxides. The bulk rock composition, in particular mg (68) [molar Mg/(Mg + Fe) × 100], Fe/Mn (37.9), and Na/Al (0.22), are characteristic of Martian meteorites. Based on mineral compositions, cooling rates determined from crystal morphology, and crystal size distribution, it is deduced that the parent magma formed in a steady-state growth regime (magma chamber) that cooled at <2 °C/hr. Subsequent eruption as a thick lava flow or hypabyssal intrusion entrained a small fraction of xenocrystic olivine and gave rise to a magmatic foliation, with slow cooling allowing for near homogenization of igneous minerals. SaU 150 experienced an equilibration shock pressure of 33–45 GPa in a single impact event. Post-shock heat gave rise to localized melting (∼11 vol%). Larger volume melts remained fluid after pressure release and crystallized dendritic olivine and pyroxene with fractal dimensions of 1.80–1.89 and 1.89–1.95, respectively, at −ΔT >70–365 °C. SaU 150 is essentially identical to SaU 005/094, all representing samples of the same fall that are similar to, but distinct from, the DaG shergottites.
- ItemMineralogy, microtexture, and composition of shock-induced melt pockets in the Los Angeles basaltic shergottite(2003) Walton, Erin L.; Spray, John G.Analytical electron microscopy of shock features in the basaltic shergottite Los Angeles (stone 1) reveals: 1) shock recorded in the bulk sample; and 2) localized pressure and temperature excursions that have generated melt pockets up to 4 mm in diameter. Bulk shock effects include microfaulting (offsets 1–200 mm), mosaicism, deformed exsolution lamellae and planar fracturing in pyroxene, undulose extinction in whitlockite, mechanical twinning in titanomagnetite and ilmenite, and the transformation of plagioclase to maskelynite (£4% remnant reduced birefringence). The pressure estimates for bulk shock are 35–40 GPa. Localized shock excursions have generated three types of discrete melt zones (0.07 × 1.3 mm to 3.0 × 3.5 mm apparent diameter) possessing glassy to microcrystalline groundmasses. These melt pockets are differentiated on the basis of size, clast volume, and degree of crystallization and vesiculation. Melt veins and melt dikelets emanate from the melt pockets up to 3 mm into the host rock but do not necessarily connect with other melt pockets. The melt pockets were generated by pressure-temperature excursions of 60–80 GPa and 1600–2000°C, resulting in discrete melting of adjacent host rock minerals at grain boundary margins. Concentric zoning in the margins of clinopyroxenes coincides with a progressive reduction in birefringence as melt pockets are approached. This suggests that the shock excursions were focused as point sources in the wake of the shock front that induced bulk damage.
- ItemMineralogy, petrology, and thermal evolution of the Benton LL6 chondrite(2003) Walton, Erin L.; Spray, John G.The Benton LL6 chondrite is a brecciated meteorite that was observed to fall on January 16, 1949 in Benton, New Brunswick, Canada. Internally, the meteorite comprises light-colored, subangular to subrounded clasts embedded in a dark grey-colored matrix. Clasts comprise the same mineral phases as the matrix, as well as chondrules and larger (50–100 μm) single mineral grains (mainly olivine and orthopyroxene). Composite (polyphase) clasts can be several millimeters in length. Numerous examples of post-brecciation and post-annealing shearing and displacement at the micron to millimeter scale occur in the form of shock veins. Benton is a shock stage S3 chondrite, which experienced shock pressures on the order of 15–20 GPa, with an estimated post-shock temperature increase of 100–150°C. Benton’s history comprises a sequence of events as follows: 1) chondrule formation and initial assembly; 2) brecciation; 3) thermal metamorphism; and 4) shock veining. Events (2) and (4) can be equated with distinct impact events, the former representing bombardment of target material that remained in situ or collisionally fragmented during metamorphism, and then gravitationally reassembled, the latter probably with release from the source body to yield a meteorite. Thermal metamorphism post-dates brecciation. The mean equilibration temperature recorded in the Benton LL6 chondrite is 890°C, obtained using the two pyroxene geothermometer.
- ItemMultiphase U-Pb geochronology of sintered breccias from the Steen River impact structure, Canada: mixed target considerations(2020) McGregor, Maree; Walton, Erin L.; McFarlane, Christopher R. M.; Spray, John G.In situ U-Pb geochronology has been conducted using laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) on shocked and thermally metamorphosed apatite, titanite, and zircon grains from the Steen River impact structure, Canada. The dated relict mineral phases occur within impact melt-bearing breccias that underwent post-deposition sintering at 450 ° C > T < 800 °C. Apatite yields a refined lower intercept age of 141 ± 4 Ma, which we interpret as the best estimate age for the Steen River impact event. Titanite was only partially reset; yielding a lower intercept age of 113 ± 41 Ma. Zircon yields a lower intercept impact age of 120 ± 14 Ma, which is considered a minimum best-estimate impact age. The most reset zircon analyses that control this lower intercept are complicated by combinations of common-Pb incorporation and recent Pb loss associated with granularized and radiation-damaged (metamict) domains. All three phases preserve Paleoproterozoic crystalline basement ages, with a single concordant 206Pb/238U age of 1914 ± 39 Ma from apatite, an upper intercept age of 1882 ± 11 Ma from zircon, and an upper intercept age of 1842 ± 9 Ma from titanite. For apatite, the degree of isotopic resetting is largely thermally controlled, with the extent of reset closely associated with textural setting (degree of grain armouring, melt proximity and sample temperature) and, to a lesser extent, by shock/thermally generated microstructures (i.e., planar fractures, micro-vesicles, and recrystallized domains). While titanite records an impact age that falls within error of apatite and zircon, the majority of grains experienced only partial isotopic resetting, which we attribute to incomplete Pb loss associated with rapid cooling and post-depositional sintering of the breccia matrix below the titanite closure temperature (CAN 800°C). In zircon, ancient (impact) Pb loss was facilitated along defect-related, fast-diffusion pathways within pre-impact metamict domains, shock defects, and via recrystallization. These same domains were also subject to recent (post-impact) Pb loss and common Pb contamination, significantly compromising the reliability of zircon ages. The distribution of U-Pb ratios in apatite and titanite is unlike those obtained in crystalline targets, a feature we interpret to be characteristic of impact structures developed in mixed (sedimentary – crystalline) targets, such as Steen River. In this case, disaggregated melt systems create thermal regimes distinct from those derived from predominantly igneous/metamorphic targets. With an age of 141 ± 4 Ma, Steen River joins the Dellen (Sweden), Gosses Bluff (Australia), Mjølnir (Barents Sea), and Morokweng (South Africa) impact structures in being formed at, or close to, the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary.
- ItemMultiphase U-Pb geochronology of sintered breccias from the Steen River impact structure, Canada: mixed target considerations for a Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary event(2020) McGregor, Maree; Walton, Erin L.; McFarlane, Christopher R. M.; Spray, John G.In situ U-Pb geochronology has been conducted using laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) on shocked and thermally metamorphosed apatite, titanite, and zircon grains from the Steen River impact structure, Canada.
- ItemShock implantation of Martian atmospheric argon in four basaltic shergottites: A laser probe 40Ar/39Ar investigation(2007) Walton, Erin L.; Kelley, Simon P.; Spray, John G.Spatially resolved argon isotope measurements have been performed on neutron-irradiated samples of two Martian basalts (Los Angeles and Zagami) and two Martian olivine-phyric basalts (Dar al Gani (DaG) 476 and North West Africa (NWA) 1068). With a ∼50μm diameter focused infrared laser beam, it has been possible to distinguish between argon isotopic signatures from host rock (matrix) minerals and localized shock melt products (pockets and veins). The concentrations of argon in analyzed phases from all four meteorites have been quantified using the measured J values, 40Ar/39Ar ratios and K2O wt% in each phase. Melt pockets contain, on average, 10 times more gas (7–24ppb 40Ar) than shock veins and matrix minerals (0.3–3ppb 40Ar). The 40Ar/36Ar ratio of the Martian atmosphere, estimated from melt pocket argon extractions corrected for cosmogenic 36Ar, is: Los Angeles (∼1852), Zagami (∼1744) and NWA 1068 (∼1403). In addition, Los Angeles shows evidence for variable mixing of two distinct trapped noble gas reservoirs: (1) Martian atmosphere in melt pockets, and (2) a trapped component, possibly Martian interior (40Ar/36Ar: 480–490) in matrix minerals. Average apparent 40Ar/39Ar ages determined for matrix minerals in the four analyzed meteorites are 1290Ma (Los Angeles), 692Ma (Zagami), 515Ma (NWA 1068) and 1427Ma (DaG 476). These 40Ar/39Ar apparent ages are substantially older than the ∼170–474Ma radiometric ages given by other isotope dating techniques and reveal the presence of trapped 40Ar. Cosmic ray exposure (CRE) ages were measured using spallogenic 36Ar and 38Ar production. Los Angeles (3.1±0.2Ma), Zagami (2.9±0.4Ma) and NWA 1068 (2.0±0.5Ma) yielded ages within the range of previous determinations. DaG 476, however, yielded a young CRE age (0.7±0.25Ma), attributed to terrestrial alteration. The high spatial variation of argon indicates that the incorporation of Martian atmospheric argon into near-surface rocks is controlled by localized glass-bearing melts produced by shock processes. In particular, the larger (mm-size) melt pockets contain near end-member Martian atmospheric argon. Based on petrography, composition and argon isotopic data we conclude that the investigated melt pockets formed by localized in situ shock melting associated with ejection. Three processes may have led to atmosphere incorporation: (1) argon implantation due to atmospheric shock front collision with the Martian surface, (2) transformation of an atmosphere-filled cavity into a localized melt zone, and (3) shock implantation of atmosphere trapped in cracks, pores and fissures.