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Journal Articles Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta Year : 2007

Organic matter and metamorphic history of CO chondrites


The metamorphic grades of a series of eight CO3 chondrites (ALHA77307, Colony, Kainsaz, Felix, Lancé, Ornans, Warrenton and Isna) have been quantified. The method used was based on the structural grade of the organic matter trapped in the matrix, which is irreversibly transformed by thermal metamorphism. The maturation of the organic matter is independent with respect to the mineralogical context and aqueous alteration. This metamorphic tracer is thus valid whatever the chemical class of chondrites. Moreover, it is sensitive to the peak metamorphic temperature. The structural grade of the organic matter was used along with other metamorphic tracers such as petrography of opaque minerals, Fa and Fs silicate composition in type I chondrules, presolar grains and noble gas (P3 component) abundance. The deduced metamorphic hierarchy and the attributed petrographic types are the following: ALHA77307 (3.03) < Colony (3.1) < Kainsaz (3.6) < Felix (3.6 (1)) < Ornans (3.6 (2)) < Lancé (3.6 (3)) < Warrenton (3.7 (1)) < Isna (3.7 (2)). For most metamorphosed objects, the peak metamorphic temperature can be estimated using a geothermometer calibrated with terrestrial metasediments [Beyssac O., Goffe B., Chopin C., and Rouzaud J. N. (2002) Raman spectrum of carbonaceous material in metasediments: a new geothermometer. J. Metamorph. Geol., 20, 859–871]. A value of 330 °C was obtained for Allende (CV chondrite), Warrenton and Isna, consistent with temperatures estimated from Fe diffusion [Weinbruch S., Armstrong J., and Palme H. (1994). Constraints on the thermal history of the Allende parent body as derive from olivine–spinel thermometry and Fe/Mg interdiffusion in olivine. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 58(2), 1019–1030.], from the Ni content in sulfide-metal assemblages [Zanda B., Bourot-Denise M., and Hewins R. (1995) Condensate sulfide and its metamorphic transformations in primitive chondrites. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 30, A605.] and from the d002 interlayer spacing in poorly graphitized carbon [Rietmeijer, F., and MacKinnon, I. (1985) Poorly graphitized carbon as a new cosmothermometer for primitive extraterrestrial materials. Nature, 315, 733–736]. The trapped noble gas and C content appear to be sensitive but not precise metamorphic tracers, indicating that the “Ornans paradox” does not exist. Major problems with the current petrologic types derived from Induced ThermoLuminescence are pointed out.

Dates and versions

insu-00359271 , version 1 (06-02-2009)



Lydie Bonal, Michèle Bourot-Denise, Eric Quirico, Gilles Montagnac, Eric Lewin. Organic matter and metamorphic history of CO chondrites. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 2007, 71 (6), pp.1605-1623. ⟨10.1016/j.gca.2006.12.014⟩. ⟨insu-00359271⟩
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