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An example of high-T, high-symmetry crystallization: Spherical (Mg,Fe)-oxides formed by particle attachment in the shocked martian meteorite Northwest Africa 7755

Authors
  • Zhang, Ai-Cheng
  • Wang, Shu-Zhou
  • Tomioka, Naotaka
  • Lu, Xian-Cai
  • Ding, Zhi-Yuan
  • Ma, Chi
  • Wang, Peng
  • Chen, Jia-Ni
  • Xu, Sheng
  • Gu, Li-Xin
  • Bai, Yuan-Qiang
  • Li, Yang
  • Sakamoto, Naoya
  • Wang, Ru-Cheng
Type
Published Article
Journal
American Mineralogist
Publisher
Mineralogical Society of America
Publication Date
Jan 02, 2019
Volume
104
Issue
1
Pages
150–157
Identifiers
DOI: 10.2138/am-2019-6597
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Crystallization is one of the most fundamental processes for both solid inorganic and organic materials in nature. The classical crystallization model mainly involves the monomer-by-monomer addition of simple chemical species. Recently, nanoparticle attachment has been realized as an important mechanism of crystallization in comparatively low-temperature aqueous natural and synthetic systems. However, no evidence of crystallization by particle attachment has been reported in petrologically important melts. In this study, we described spherical (Mg,Fe)-oxides with a protrusion surface in a shock-induced melt pocket from the martian meteorite Northwest Africa 7755. Transmission electron microscopic observations demonstrate that the (Mg,Fe)-oxides are structure-coherent intergrowth of ferropericlase and magnesioferrite. The magnesioferrite is mainly present adjacent to the interface between (Mg,Fe)-oxides spherules and surrounding silicate glass, but not in direct contact with the silicate glass. Thermodynamic and kinetic considerations suggest that development of the spherical (Mg,Fe)-oxides can be best interpreted with crystallization by particle attachment and subsequent Ostwald ripening. This indicates that crystallization by particle attachment can also take place in high-temperature melts and has potential implications for understanding the nucleation and growth of early-stage crystals in high-temperature melts, such as chondrules in the solar nebula, erupted volcanic melts, and probably even intrusive magmas.

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