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  Composition and petrology of HED polymict breccias: The regolith of (4) Vesta

Mittlefehldt, D. W., Herrin, J. S., Quinn, J. E., Mertzman, S. A., Cartwright, J. A., Mertzman, K. R., et al. (2013). Composition and petrology of HED polymict breccias: The regolith of (4) Vesta. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 48(11), 2105-2134.

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Mittlefehldt, D. W., Author
Herrin, J. S., Author
Quinn, J. E., Author
Mertzman, S. A., Author
Cartwright, J. A.1, Author           
Mertzman, K. R., Author
Peng, Z. X., Author
Affiliations:
1Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society, ou_1826286              

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 Abstract: We have done petrologic and compositional studies on a suite of polymict eucrites and howardites to better understand regolith processes on their parent asteroid, which we accept is (4) Vesta. Taking into account noble gas results from companion studies, we interpret five howardites to represent breccias assembled from the true regolith: Elephant Moraine (EET) 87513, Grosvenor Mountains (GRO) 95535, GRO 95602, Lewis Cliff (LEW) 85313, and Meteorite Hills (MET) 00423. We suggest that EET 87503 is paired with EET 87513, and thus is also regolithic. Pecora Escarpment (PCA) 02066 is dominated by melt-matrix clasts, which may have been formed from true regolith by impact melting. These meteorites display a range in eucrite:diogenite mixing ratio from 55:45 to 76:24. There is no correlation between degree of regolith character and Ni content. The Ni contents of howardite, eucrite, and diogenites (HEDs) are mostly controlled by the distribution of coarse chondritic clasts and metal grains, which in some cases resulted from individual, low-velocity accretion events, rather than extensive regolith gardening. Trace element compositions indicate that the mafic component of HED polymict breccias is mostly basalt similar to main-group eucrites; Stannern-trend basaltic debris is less common. Pyroxene compositions show that some trace element-rich howardites contain abundant debris from evolved basalts, and that cumulate gabbro debris is present in some breccias. The scale of heterogeneity varies considerably; regolithic howardite EET 87513 is more homogeneous than fragmental howardite Queen Alexandra Range (QUE) 97001. Individual samples of a given howardite can have different compositions even at roughly 5g masses, indicating that obtaining representative meteorite compositions requires multiple or large samples.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2013-11
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Internal
 Identifiers: eDoc: 675661
ISI: 000328543300004
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Title: Meteoritics & Planetary Science
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 48 (11) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 2105 - 2134 Identifier: ISSN: 1086-9379