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Metallographic cooling rates of L-group ordinary chondritesShock metamorphism appears to be a ubiquitous feature in L-group ordinary chondrites. Brecciation and heterogeneous melting obscure much of the early history of this meteorite group and have caused confusion as to whether L chondrites have undergone thermal metamorphism within onion-shell or rubble-pile parent bodies. Employing the most recent shock criteria, we have examined 55 Antarctic and 24 non-Antarctic L chondrites in order to identify those which have been least affected by post-accretional shock. Six low-shock samples (those with shock grade less than S4) of petrographic types L3-L5 were selected from both populations and metallographic cooling rates were obtained following the technique of Willis and Goldstein. All non-Antarctic L6 chondrites inspected were too heavily shocked to be included in this group. However, 4 shocked L6 chondrites were analyzed in order to determine what effects shock may impose on metallographic cooling rates. Metallographic cooling rates were derived by analyzing the cores of taenite grains and then measuring the distance to the nearest grain edge. Taenites were identified using backscatter imaging on a Cameca SX-50 electron microprobe. Using backscatter we were able to locate homogeneous, rust-free, nearly spherical grains. M-shaped profiles taken from grain traverses were also used to help locate the central portions of selected grains. All points which contained phosphorus above detection limits were discarded. Plots of cooling-rate data are summarized and data from the high-shock samples are presented. The lack of coherency of cooling rates for individual samples is indicative of heterogeneous cooling following shock. The data confirms the statement expressed by numerous workers that extreme care must be taken when selecting samples of L chondrites for cooling-rate studies. Data for the 6 non-Antarctic low-shock samples are also presented. The samples display a general trend in cooling rates. The lowest metamorphic grade yielded the slowest cooling rates and an increase in grade follows an increase in cooling rate. This is the opposite relationship to that predicted by the onion-shell model.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Bennett, Marvin E. (Tennessee Univ. Knoxville, TN, United States)
Mcsween, Harry Y., Jr. (Tennessee Univ. Knoxville, TN, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 1: A-F
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

Related Records

IDRelationTitle19940007055Analytic PrimarySixth Annual Workshop on Space Operations Applications and Research (SOAR 1992), volume 219940007543Analytic PrimaryTwenty-fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 1: A-F