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Tafassasset meteorite, Agadez Department, Niger

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Carbonaceous Chondrite (CR-an; S1/2; W0/1)
Find, 2000; 114 kg

Over thirteen months a total of 27 stones were found by two different members of a search party in Niger. The stones share a basic lithology — dominant constituents are largely equilibrated olivine (very roughly 50 vol%), frequently accompanied by pyroxene in relic chondrules (roughly 30 vol%) with accessory Fe-Ni metal and interstial plagioclase. However, textures, relative abundances of phases, and oxygen isotope signatures vary significantly with different stones. Matrix plagioclase has a general andesine composition (~An46), but plagioclase in relic chondrules is closer to oligoclase (~An46). Larger Fe-Ni metal grains are largely kamacite while smaller grains are often taenite-rich and accompanied by sulfides. Attempts to explain these characteristics have usually attributed these features as due to incomplete metamorphism of some originally very diverse components within the region of the solar nebula where the CR original homeworld(s) originated.

As Tafassasset is by far the most massive of the meteorites classified as CR (Renazzo-like) carbonaceous chondrites, it is — of course — quite understandable that understanding the relationships between Tafassasset's different constituents and the relationships between Tafassasset and other CR chondrites has taken center stage. A frequent suggestion has been that the CB, CH, and CR carbonaceous chondrite groups constitute a subclass (or 'clan') among the larger carbonaceous chondrite class with its 8 defined groups. Tafassasset provides plenty of material which might contribute to a more definitive understanding of the origins of these relatively metal-rich groups within the overall carbonaceous chondrite class.

Mineral List

12 entries listed. 5 valid minerals.

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Bourot-Denise, M., Zanda, B. & M. Javoy, M. (2012) Tafassasset: An Equilibrated CR Chondrite. 33rd Annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, March 11-15, 2002, Houston, Texas, abstract no.1611. (Mar 2012).

Russell, S.S., Zipfel, J., Grossman, J.N. & Grady, M.M. (2002). The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 86, 2002 July. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 37(7,Suppl.): pp. A157-A184. (July 2002).

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