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Petrology and geochemistry of the Northwest Africa 3368 eucrite

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  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science


Analysis of the mineralogy, isotopic, and bulk compositions of the eucrite meteorites is imperative for understanding their origin on the asteroid 4 Vesta, the proposed parent body of the HED meteorites. We present here the petrology, mineral compositions, and bulk chemistry of several lithic components of the new brecciated basaltic eucrite Northwest Africa (NWA) 3368 to determine if all the lithologies reflect formation from one rock type or many rock types. The meteorite has three main lithologies: coarse- and fine-grained clasts surrounded by a fine-grained recrystallized silicate matrix. Silicate compositions are homogeneous, and the average rare earth element pattern for NWA 3368 is approximately 10× CI chondrites with a slight negative Eu anomaly. Major and trace element data place NWA 3368 with the Main Group-Nuevo Laredo trend. High-Ti chromites with ilmenite exsolution lamellae provide evidence of NWA 3368’s history of intense metamorphism. We suggest that this meteorite underwent several episodes of brecciation and metamorphism, similar to that proposed by Metzler et al. (1995). We conclude that NWA 3368 is a monomict basaltic eucrite breccia related to known eucrites in texture and in mineral, bulk, and oxygen isotopic composition.

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