(L7 in MetBull 102 [submitted as Achondrite-ung])
no coordinates recorded A stone weighing 134 g was found in the Sahara and sold to Chladni’s Heirs. A sample was submitted for analysis and classification to the University of Washington in Seattle (A. Irving), and NWA 6348 was determined to be a metachondriteTerm used to describe a metamorphosed chondrite. Also referred to as a type 7 chondrite. Metachondrites are texturally evolved rocks derived from chondritic precursors and some have been classified as primitive achondrites. Click on Term to Read More (Irving et al., 2005) with affinities to the L chondriteOrdinary chondrites low in free Ni-Fe metal (4 to 10 vol. %), containing olivine (Fa22-26) and the orthopyroxene hypersthene (Fs19-22). Average chondrule diameters (0.7 mm) are larger than those in H chondrites. The asteroid 433 Eros is suspected as a parent body, based on reflectance spectra, but most L chondrites Click on Term to Read More group. The meteoriteWork in progress. A solid natural object reaching a planet’s surface from interplanetary space. Solid portion of a meteoroid that survives its fall to Earth, or some other body. Meteorites are classified as stony meteorites, iron meteorites, and stony-iron meteorites. These groups are further divided according to their mineralogy and Click on Term to Read More has a shock stageA petrographic assessment, using features observed in minerals grains, of the degree to which a meteorite has undergone shock metamorphism. The highest stage observed in 25% of the indicator grains is used to determine the stage. Also called "shock level". Click on Term to Read More of S3 and a weathering grade of W2.
Northwest Africa 6348 is a texturally evolved meteorite with grains of variable sizes, but which do not appear to constitute separate clasts. Although no chondrulesRoughly spherical aggregate of coarse crystals formed from the rapid cooling and solidification of a melt at ~1400 ° C. Large numbers of chondrules are found in all chondrites except for the CI group of carbonaceous chondrites. Chondrules are typically 0.5-2 mm in diameter and are usually composed of olivine Click on Term to Read More
were identified, some fine-grained areas might represent relict chondrules. MineralInorganic substance that is (1) naturally occurring (but does not have a biologic or man-made origin) and formed by physical (not biological) forces with a (2) defined chemical composition of limited variation, has a (3) distinctive set of of physical properties including being a solid, and has a (4) homogeneous Click on Term to Read More
constituents include olivineGroup of silicate minerals, (Mg,Fe)2SiO4, with the compositional endpoints of forsterite (Mg2SiO4) and fayalite (Fe2SiO4). Olivine is commonly found in all chondrites within both the matrix and chondrules, achondrites including most primitive achondrites and some evolved achondrites, in pallasites as large yellow-green crystals (brown when terrestrialized), in the silicate portion Click on Term to Read More
, orthopyroxeneOrthorhombic, low-Ca pyroxene common in chondrites. Its compositional range runs from all Mg-rich enstatite, MgSiO3 to Fe-rich ferrosilite, FeSiO3. These end-members form an almost complete solid solution where Mg2+ substitutes for Fe2+ up to about 90 mol. % and Ca substitutes no more than ~5 mol. % (higher Ca2+ contents occur Click on Term to Read More
, clinopyroxene, sodic plagioclaseAlso referred to as the plagioclase feldspar series. Plagioclase is a common rock-forming series of feldspar minerals containing a continuous solid solution of calcium and sodium: (Na1-x,Cax)(Alx+1,Si1-x)Si2O8 where x = 0 to 1. The Ca-rich end-member is called anorthite (pure anorthite has formula: CaAl2Si2O8) and the Na-rich end-member is albite Click on Term to Read More
, and opaque phases.
Northwest Africa 6348 has been classified by A. Irving as the first metachondrite from the L chondriteChondrites are the most common meteorites accounting for ~84% of falls. Chondrites are comprised mostly of Fe- and Mg-bearing silicate minerals (found in both chondrules and fine grained matrix), reduced Fe/Ni metal (found in various states like large blebs, small grains and/or even chondrule rims), and various refractory inclusions (such Click on Term to Read More parent bodyThe body from which a meteorite or meteoroid was derived prior to its ejection. Some parent bodies were destroyed early in the formation of our Solar System, while others like the asteroid 4-Vesta and Mars are still observable today. Click on Term to Read More
. The term metachondrite was proposed to describe those achondrites which are texturally evolved chondritesChondrites are the most common meteorites accounting for ~84% of falls. Chondrites are comprised mostly of Fe- and Mg-bearing silicate minerals (found in both chondrules and fine grained matrix), reduced Fe/Ni metal (found in various states like large blebs, small grains and/or even chondrule rims), and various refractory inclusions (such Click on Term to Read More
with completely recrystallized textures resulting from high degrees of metamorphism or partial meltingAn igneous process whereby rocks melt and the resulting magma is comprised of the remaining partially melted rock (sometimes called restite) and a liquid whose composition differs from the original rock. Partial melting occurs because nearly all rocks are made up of different minerals, each of which has a different melting Click on Term to Read More
. They lack chondrules and have elemental abundance ratios and O-isotopic compositions that show affinities to existing chondrite groups. Meteorites described as metachondrites have been found representing the CV, CR, H, L, and LL groups, while unique metachondrite NWA 2788 is considered by Bunch et al.
(2006) to be associated with an unknown carbonaceous chondriteCarbonaceous chondrites represent the most primitive rock samples of our solar system. This rare (less than 5% of all meteorite falls) class of meteorites are a time capsule from the earliest days in the formation of our solar system. They are divided into the following compositional groups that, other than Click on Term to Read More
parent body; if a chondrule-bearing representative of this parent body is found and identified in the future, it was suggested that it be termed a ‘CT chondrite’ (see NWA 2788 photos
and abstract #P51E-1246
). In addition, some groups of achondrites having chondrule-bearing members might also be more appropriately described as metachondrites, including the acapulcoitesPrimitive achondrite that belongs to a small group named after the Acapulco meteorite that was observed to fall in Mexico in 1976. Acapulcoites are made mostly of fine-grained olivine (Fo3-14), orthopyroxene(En86-97), Ca-rich pyroxene (En51Wo44), plagioclase (An12-31), Ni-Fe metal, and troilite. They are transitional between primordial chondritic matter and more differentiated Click on Term to Read More
and winonaites as demonstrated by Monument Draw and NWA 725, respectively. These chondrule-bearing members have been referred to as ‘AC chondrites’ or ‘W chondrites’ for those associated with acapulcoites and winonaites, respectively. The photo shown above is a 2.9 g specimen of NWA 6348.