Microscale oxygen isotopic exchange and magnetite formation in the Ningqiang anomalous carbonaceous chondrite
We report in situ measurements of O-isotopic compositions of magnetite, olivine and pyroxene in chondrules of the Ningqiang anomalous carbonaceous chondrite. The petrographic setting of Ningqiang magnetite is similar to those in oxidized-CV chondrites such as Allende, where magnetite is found together with Ni-rich metal and sulfide in opaque assemblages in chondrules. Both magnetite and silicate oxygen data fall close to the carbonaceous-chondrite-anhydrous-mineral line with relatively large ranges in δ 18O in magnetite (-4.9 to +4.2‰) and in silicates (-15.2 to -4.5‰). Magnetite and silicates are not in O-isotopic equilibrium: the weighted average ∆ 17O (=δ 17O - 0.52 × δ 18O) values of magnetite are 1.7 to 3.6‰ higher than those of the silicates in the same chondrules. The petrological characteristics and O-isotopic disequilibrium between magnetite and silicates suggest the formation of Ningqiang magnetite by the oxidation of preexisting metal grains by an aqueous fluid during parent body alteration. The weighted average ∆ 17O of -3.3 ± 0.3‰ is the lowest magnetite value measured in unequilibrated chondrites and there is a positive correlation between ∆ 17O values of magnetite and silicates in each chondrule. These observations indicate that, during aqueous alteration in the Ningqiang parent asteroid, the water/rock ratio was relatively low and O-isotopic exchange between the fluid and chondrule silicates occurred on the scale of individual chondrules.