Meteoritics & Planetary Science is an international monthly journal of the Meteoritical Society—a scholarly organization promoting research and education in planetary science. Topics include the origin and history of the solar system, planets and natural satellites, interplanetary dust and interstellar medium, lunar samples, meteors and meteorites, asteroids, comets, craters, and tektites.

Meteoritics & Planetary Science was first published in 1935 under the title Contributions of the Society for Research on Meteorites. In 1947, the publication became known as Contributions of the Meteoritical Society and continued through 1951. From 1953 to 1995, the publication was known as Meteoritics, and in 1996, the journal's name was changed to Meteoritics & Planetary Science or MAPS. The journal was not published in 1952 and from 1957 to 1964.

This archive provides access to Meteoritics & Planetary Science Volumes 37-44 (2002-2009).

Visit Wiley Online Library for new and retrospective Meteoritics & Planetary Science content (1935-present).

ISSN: 1086-9379


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Recent Submissions

  • Minor element zoning and trace element geochemistry of pallasites

    Hsu, W. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
    I report here on an ion probe study of minor element spatial distributions and trace element concentrations in six pallasites. Pallasite olivines exhibit ubiquitous minor element zoning that is independent of grain size, morphology, and adjacent phases. Ca, Cr, Ti, V, and Ni concentrations decrease from center to rim by factors of up to 10, while Mn is generally unzoned or increases slightly at the very edge of some olivine grains. The maximum concentrations of these elements at the center of olivine vary from grain to grain within the same meteorite and among the pallasites studied. These zoning profiles are consistent with thermal diffusion during rapid cooling. The inferred cooling rates at high temperature regimes are orders of magnitude faster than the low-temperature metallographic cooling rates (~0.5 to 2 deg degrees C/Ma). This suggests that pallasites, like mesosiderites, have experienced rather complicated thermal histories, i.e., cooling rapidly at high temperatures and slowly at low temperatures. Pallasite olivines are essentially free of REEs. However, the phosphates display a wide range of REE abundances (0.001 to 100 x CI) with distinct patterns. REEs are generally homogeneous within a given grain but vary significantly from grain to grain by a factor of up to 100. Albin and Imilac whitlockite are highly enriched in HREEs (~50 x CI) but are relatively depleted in LREEs (~0.1 to 1 x CI). Eagle Station whitlockite has a very unusual REE pattern: flat LREEs at a 0.1 x CI level, a large positive Eu anomaly, and a sharp increase from Gd (0.1 x CI) to Lu (70 x CI). Eagle Station stanfieldite has a similar REE pattern to that of whitlockite but with much lower REEs by a factor of 10 to 100. Springwater farringtonite has relatively low REE concentrations (0.001 to 1 x CI) with a highly fractionated HREE-enriched pattern (CI-normalized Lu/La ~100). Postulating any igneous processes that could have fractionated REEs in these phosphates is difficult. Possibly, phosphates were incorporated into pallasites during mixing of olivine and IIIAB-like molten Fe. These phosphates preserve characteristics of a previous history. Pallasites have not necessarily formed at the mantle-core boundary of their parent bodies. The pallasite thermal histories suggest that pallasites may have formed at a shallow depth and were subsequently buried deep under a regolith blanket.
  • Noble gases and mineralogy of meteorites from China and the Grove Mountains, Antarctica: A 0.05 Ma cosmic ray exposure age of GRV 98004

    Lorenzetti, S.; Lin, Y.; Wang, D.; Eugster, O. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
    We determined the mineralogical and chemical characteristics and the He, Ne, and Ar isotopic abundances of 2 meteorites that fell in China and of 2 meteorites that were recovered by the 15th Chinese Antarctic Research Expedition. Guangmingshan (H5), Zhuanghe (H5), and Grove Mountain (GRV) 98002 (L5) yield cosmic ray exposure (CRE) ages of 68.7 +/- 10.0 Ma, 3.8 +/- 0.6 Ma, and 17.0 +/- 2.5 Ma, respectively. These ages are within the range typically observed for the respective meteorite types. GRV 98004 (H5) had an extremely short parent body-Earth transfer time of 0.052 +/- 0.008 Ma. Its petrography and mineral chemistry are indistinguishable from other typical H5 chondrites. Only 3 other meteorites exist with similarly low CRE ages: Farmington (L5), Galim (LL6), and ALH 82100 (CM2). We show that several asteroids in Earth-crossing orbits, or in the main asteroid belt with orbits close to an ejection resonance, are spectrally matching candidates and may represent immediate precursor bodies of meteorites with CRE ages less than or equal to 0.1 Ma.
  • Partitioning of Ca and Al between forsterite and silicate melt in dynamic systems with implications for the origin of Ca, Al-rich forsterites in primitive meteorites

    Pack, A.; Palme, H. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
    We report the results of dynamic crystallization experiments that were specifically designed to study the dependence of Ca and Al partitioning between forsterite and melt in rapidly cooling Ca- and Al-rich melts. The partitioning of Ca between olivine and silicate melt is found to be independent of the cooling rate within the range of 1.5 to 1000 degrees C/hr and at CaO contents of up to 25 wt%. Within analytical uncertainty, our data plot on the equilibrium partitioning curve obtained by Libourel (1999). The partitioning behavior of Al at high cooling rates is more complex. Aluminum is much more heterogenously distributed in the olivine and the co-existing melt than Ca. But, no systematic trend of Al partition coefficient with cooling rate is observed. We apply the results of the experiments to the formation of meteoritic forsterites with relatively high contents of Ca and Al. Although these forsterites are found frequently inside chondrules, the Ca contents of their host chondrules are far too low to crystallize these high Ca-forsterites. This is also true for very rapid cooling of chondrule melts. The parental melt of these forsterites requires CaO contents above 20 wt%.
  • Carbon isotope fractionation between graphite and diamond during shock experiments

    Maruoka, T.; Koeberl, C.; Matsuda, J.; Syono, Y. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
    Carbon isotopic compositions were measured for shock-produced diamond and shocked graphite formed at peak pressures ranging from 37 to 52 GPa. The delta-13C values of diamonds produced in a sealed container were generally lower than that of the initial graphite. The differences in the carbon isotopic composition between initial graphite and shocked graphite/diamond may reflect kinetic isotopic fractionation during the oxidation of the graphite/diamond and/or analytical artifacts possibly induced by impurities in the samples. The pressure effect on the isotopic fractionations between graphite and diamond can be estimated from the delta-13C values of impurity-free diamonds produced using a vented container from which gases, including oxygen, in pore spaces escaped during or after the diamond formation (e.g., 0.039 +/- 0.085 at a peak pressure of 52 GPa). Any isotopic fractionation induced by shock conversion of graphite to diamond is too small to be detected in natural shock-induced diamond-graphite systems related to terrestrial impact cratering processes.
  • Chemical abundances determined from meteor spectra: I. Ratios of the main chemical elements

    Trigo-Rodríguez, J. M.; Llorca, J.; Borovička, J.; Fabregat, J. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
    Relative chemical abundances of 13 meteoroids were determined by averaging the composition of the radiating gas along the fireball path that originated during their penetration into the Earth's atmosphere. Mg, Fe, Ni, Cr, Mn, and Co abundances, relative to Si, are similar to those reported for CI and CM carbonaceous chondrites and interplanetary dust particles. In contrast, relative abundances of Ca and Ti in meteor spectra indicate that these elements suffer incomplete evaporation processes. The chemical composition of all meteoroids studied in this work differs from that of 1P/Halley dust.
  • Iron oxidation state in the Fe-rich layer and silica matrix of Libyan Desert Glass: A high-resolution XANES study

    Giuli, G.; Paris, E.; Pratesi, G.; Koeberl, C.; Cipriani, C. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
    Libyan Desert Glass (LDG) is an enigmatic type of glass that occurs in western Egypt in the Libyan Desert. Fairly convincing evidence exists to show that it formed by impact, although the source crater is currently unknown. Some rare samples present dark-colored streaks with variable amounts of Fe, and they are supposed to contain a meteoritic component. We have studied the iron local environment in an LDG sample by means of Fe K-edge high- resolution X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy to obtain quantitative data on the Fe oxidation state and coordination number in both the Fe-poor matrix and Fe-rich layers. The pre-edge peak of the high-resolution XANES spectra of the sample studied displays small but reproducible variations between Fe-poor matrix and Fe-rich layers, which is indicative of significant changes in the Fe oxidation state and coordination number. Comparison with previously obtained data for a very low-Fe sample shows that, while iron is virtually all trivalent and in tetrahedral coordination ([4]Fe3+) in the low-Fe sample, the sample containing the Fe-rich layers display a mixture of tetra-coordinated trivalent iron ([4]Fe3+) and penta-coordinated divalent iron ([5]Fe2+), with the Fe in the Fe-rich layer being more reduced than the matrix. From these data, we conclude the following: a) the significant differences in the Fe oxidation state between LDG and tektites, together with the wide intra-sample variations in the Fe-oxidation state, confirm that LDG is an impact glass and not a tektite-like glass; b) the higher Fe content, coupled with the more reduced state of the Fe, in the Fe-rich layers suggests that some or most of the Fe in these layers may be directly derived from the meteoritic projectile and that it is not of terrestrial origin.
  • Evidence for fractional condensation and reprocessing at high temperatures in CH chondrites

    Hezel, D. C.; Palme, H.; Brenker, F. E.; Nasdala, L. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
    We performed a detailed study of silica-rich components (SRC) in the paired CH chondrites Acfer 182 and 207. These SRCs appear either as chondrules or fragments, and they contribute <0.1 vol% to the bulk meteorite. They usually contain a silica and a silicate portion. Both portions are, in most cases, cryptocrystalline and have bulk SiO2-concentrations between 65 and 85 wt%. The silicate generally has a pyroxene normative composition. The silica often appears as blebs within the silicate matrix or vice versa. If there are no blebs, silica and silicate still form rounded interfaces. The SRCs are depleted in refractory elements like Ca, Al, and Ti relative to CI. A few SRC- like objects are extremely rich in Mn and show no depletion in refractory elements. We conducted micro-Raman studies on the silica portions of the SRCs to determine their structure, and we identified several silica phases: -quartz, cristobalite, glass, and a yet unidentified polymorph. The silicate portion is glass when the silica is glass and crystalline when the silica is crystalline. The low contents of Al and Ca make an igneous origin of the SRCs very unlikely, and the absence of metal excludes the formation by reduction of pyroxene. We suggest, instead, a fractional condensation origin of the SRCs from a Si-enriched gas after removal of gaseous Mg by forsterite condensation. Additional evidence for fractional condensation is provided by a unique layered object with olivine in the core, pyroxene and metal at the rim, and silica at the outermost border; these layers record the condensation sequence. Two chondrules were found with several percent of Mn and high Cr, Na, and K contents, providing further evidence for condensation from a fractionated gas. The texture of the SRCs and the occurrence of cristobalite and silica glass, however, require formation by liquid immiscibility at high temperatures, above 1968 K, and subsequent fast cooling. Therefore, we propose a 2-stage model for the formation of SRCs in CH chondrites: 1) fractional condensation of forsterite, enstatite, and SiO2-rich phases; and 2) reheating of SiO2-rich components to temperatures above 1968 K followed by rapid cooling. All other phases identified in CH chondrites can be understood within the framework of this model. Thus, the extremely unequilibrated CH chondrites provide a wealth of evidence for fractional condensation processes in the early solar nebula, in metals (Meibom et al. 1999), and in silicates.
  • Scanning electron microscopy, cathodoluminescence, and Raman spectroscopy of experimentally shock-metamorphosed quartzite

    Gucsik, A.; Koeberl, C.; Brandstätter, F.; Libowitzky, E.; Reimold, W. U. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
    We studied unshocked and experimentally (at 12, 25, and 28 GPa, with 25, 100, 450, and 750 deg degrees C pre-shock temperatures) shock-metamorphosed Hospital Hill quartzite from South Africa using cathodoluminescence (CL) images and spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy to document systematic pressure or temperature-related effects that could be used in shock barometry. In general, CL images of all samples show CL-bright luminescent patchy areas and bands in otherwise non- luminescent quartz, as well as CL-dark irregular fractures. Fluid inclusions appear dominant in CL images of the 25 GPa sample shocked at 750 degrees C and of the 28 GPa sample shocked at 450 degrees C. Only the optical image of our 28 GPa sample shocked at 25 degrees C exhibits distinct planar deformation features (PDFs). Cathodoluminescence spectra of unshocked and experimentally shocked samples show broad bands in the near-ultraviolet range and the visible light range at all shock stages, indicating the presence of defect centers on, e.g., SiO4 groups. No systematic change in the appearance of the CL images was obvious, but the CL spectra do show changes between the shock stages. The Raman spectra are characteristic for quartz in the unshocked and 12 GPa samples. In the 25 and 28 GPa samples, broad bands indicate the presence of glassy SiO2, while high-pressure polymorphs are not detected. Apparently, some of the CL and Raman spectral properties can be used in shock barometry.
  • Stony meteorite porosities and densities: A review of the data through 2001

    Britt, D. T.; Consolmagno, G. J. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
    In this review, we summarize the data published up to December 2001 on the porosity and density of stony meteorites. These data were taken from 925 samples of 454 different meteorites by a variety of techniques. Most meteorites have densities on the order of 3 to 4 g/cm^3, with lower densities only for some volatile-rich carbonaceous meteorites and higher densities for stony irons. For the vast majority of stones, porosity data alone cannot distinguish between different meteorite compositions. Average porosities for most meteorite classes are around 10%, though individual samples can range as high as 30% porosity. Unbrecciated basaltic achondrites appear to be systematically less porous unless vesicles are present. The measured density of ordinary chondrites is strongly controlled by the amount of terrestrial weathering the sample has undergone with porosities steadily dropping with exposure to the terrestrial environment. A theoretical grain density based on composition can model "pre-weathered" porosities. The average model porosity for H and LL chondrites is 10%, while L chondrite model porosities average only 6%, a statistically significant difference.
  • Geology and geochemistry of shallow drill cores from the Bosumtwi impact structure, Ghana

    Boamah, D.; Koeberl, C. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
    The 1.07 Ma well-preserved Bosumtwi impact structure in Ghana (10.5 km in diameter) formed in 2 Ga-old metamorphosed and crystalline rocks of the Birimian system. The interior of the structure is largely filled by the 8 km diameter Lake Bosumtwi, and the crater rim and region in the environs of the crater is covered by tropical rainforest, making geological studies rather difficult and restricted to road cuts and streams. In early 1999, we undertook a shallow drilling program to the north of the crater rim to determine the extent of the ejecta blanket around the crater and to obtain subsurface core samples for mineralogical, petrological, and geochemical studies of ejecta of the Bosumtwi impact structure. A variety of impactite lithologies are present, consisting of impact glass- rich suevite and several types of breccia: lithic breccia of single rock type, often grading into unbrecciated rock, with the rocks being shattered more or less in situ without much relative displacement (autochthonous?), and lithic polymict breccia that apparently do not contain any glassy material (allochtonous?). The suevite cores show that melt inclusions are present throughout the whole length of the cores in the form of vesicular glasses with no significant change of abundance with depth. Twenty samples from the 7 drill cores and 4 samples from recent road cuts in the structure were studied for their geochemical characteristics to accumulate a database for impact lithologies and their erosion products present at the Bosumtwi crater. Major and trace element analyses yielded compositions similar to those of the target rocks in the area(graywacke-phyllite, shale, and granite). Graywacke-phyllite and granite dikes seem to be important contributors to the compositions of the suevite and the road cut samples (fragmentary matrix), with a minor contribution of Pepiakese granite. The results also provide information about the thickness of the fallout suevite in the northern part of the Bosumtwi structure, which was determined to be less than or equal to 15 m and to occupy an area of ~1.5 km2. Present suevite distribution is likely to be caused by differential erosion and does not reflect the initial areal extent of the continuous Bosumtwi ejecta deposits. Our studies allow a comparison with the extent of the suevite at the Ries, another well-preserved impact structure.
  • From the Editor

    Jull, A. J. T. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)