A new meteorite find, named Khatyrka, was recovered from eastern Siberia as a result of a search for naturally occurring quasicrystals. The meteorite occurs as clastic grains within postglacial clay-rich layers along the banks of a small stream in the Koryak Mountains, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug of far eastern Russia. Some of the grains are clearly chondritic and contain Type IA porphyritic olivine chondrules enclosed in matrices that have the characteristic platy olivine texture, matrix olivine composition, and mineralogy (olivine, pentlandite, nickel-rich iron-nickel metal, nepheline, and calcic pyroxene [diopside-hedenbergite solid solution]) of oxidized-subgroup CV3 chondrites. A few grains are fine-grained spinel-rich calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions with mineral oxygen isotopic compositions again typical of such objects in CV3 chondrites. The chondritic and CAI grains contain small fragments of metallic copper-aluminum-iron alloys that include the quasicrystalline phase icosahedrite. One grain is an achondritic intergrowth of Cu-Al metal alloys and forsteritic olivine ± diopsidic pyroxene, both of which have meteoritic (CV3-like) oxygen isotopic compositions. Finally, some grains consist almost entirely of metallic alloys of aluminum + copper ± iron. The Cu-Al-Fe metal alloys and the alloy-bearing achondrite clast are interpreted to be an accretionary component of what otherwise is a fairly normal CV3 (oxidized) chondrite. This association of CV3 chondritic grains with metallic copper-aluminum alloys makes Khatyrka a unique meteorite, perhaps best described as a complex CV3 (ox) breccia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Space and Planetary Science