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2020 | 11 | 77-97
Article title

Nowy chondryt zwyczajny H5, S2, W1: Northwest Africa 11778

Title variants
A new ordinary chondrite H5, S2, W1: Northwest Africa 11778
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Based on petrological, mineralogical and geochemical analyses, the authors classified the new meteorite Northwest Africa 11778 as an ordinary chondrite H5, S2, W1. It is a single stone with mass 767.5 g and with well-preserved black fusion crust with brown shade (Fig. 1). This meteorite was found in Sahara Desert and it was purchased by Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Geoengineering, Mining and Geology from Moroccan dealer in Zagora in June 2013. The most characteristic component of analyzed chondrite are different types of chondrules (barred olivine – BO, porphyritic olivine – PO, granular olivine – GO, radial pyroxene – RP, porphyritic olivine-pyroxene – POP, cryptocrystalline – C) (Fig. 2), which constitute 75% of meteorite. Their size is in range 0.2–1.2 mm, with average chondrule size ca. 0.6 mm. Bigger porphyritic olivine chondrules with diameter up to 1.5 mm rarely occur. The chemical composition of olivine crystals (Fa 18 mol%) and pyroxene crystals (Fs 16.2 mol%) proves this meteorite to be an H chondrite (Tab. 1, Fig. 4–5, App. 1–2). The averaged concentration of major elements in the classified meteorite is comparable to their mean content in H chondrites (Fig. 8). The meteorite NWA 11778 contains only slightly less Mg and Al than average H chondrites (Tab. 2). Among the other analysed elements, values distinctly out of the range of typical concentrations for H chondrites are characteristic of Hg and Eu (lower concentration in the NWA 11778 meteorite) (Tab. 3, Fig. 8–9). The presence of chondrules with predominantly sharp boundaries (Fig. 2), secondary feldspar crystals with sizes of up to 50 mm, chiefly crystalline mesostasis and only secondarily – devitrified glass in chondrules, and transparent crystalline matrix (with olivine crystals up to 0.26 mm and pyroxenes up to 0.30 mm in size), as well as common occurrence of untwinned rhombic pyroxenes prove the classified meteorite to belong to petrological type 5. It is additionally confirmed by mean Ni content in troilite below 0.5 wt% (0.04 wt%) (Tab. 1, App. 4) and carbon content below 0.2 wt% (0.07 wt%) (Tab. 2). Undulatory extinction in some olivine and pyroxene crystals and the presence of irregular fractures in the NWA 11778 chondrite enables specifying its shock level as S2. The weathering grade adopted for the NWA 11778 chondrite was W1, as visible weathering changes cover only the marginal parts of FeNi alloy grains. As a result of the weathering of 10–20% of FeNi grains, iron oxides and hydroxides are formed. These secondary weathering Fe3+ compounds also fill cracks, forming veins running between chondrules within matrix (Fig. 3).

Physical description
  • Politechnika Wrocławska, Wydział Geoinżynierii, Górnictwa i Geologii, Laboratorium Nauk o Ziemi i Inżynierii Mineralnej,
  • Politechnika Wrocławska, Wydział Geoinżynierii, Górnictwa i Geologii, Laboratorium Nauk o Ziemi i Inżynierii Mineralnej
  • Uniwersytet Wrocławski, Wydział Nauk o Ziemi i Kształtowania Środowiska, Instytut Nauk Geologicznych, Zakład Mineralogii i Petrologii
  • Politechnika Wrocławska, Wydział Geoinżynierii, Górnictwa i Geologii, Laboratorium Nauk o Ziemi i Inżynierii Mineralnej
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  • [dostęp 17.02.2020]
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