Petrography and mineral chemistry of the anhydrous component of the Tagish Lake carbonaceous chondrite
Most studies of Tagish Lake have considered features that were either strongly affected by or formed during the extensive hydrous alteration experienced by this meteorite. This has led to some ambiguity as to whether Tagish Lake should be classified a CI, a CM, or something else. Unlike previous workers, we have focused upon the primary, anhydrous component of Tagish Lake, recovered through freeze-thaw disaggregation and density separation and located by thin section mapping. We found many features in common with CMs that are not observed in CIs. In addition to the presence of chondrules and refractory forsterite (which distinguish Tagish Lake from the CIs), we found hibonite-bearing refractory inclusions, spinel-rich inclusions, forsterite aggregates, Cr-, Al-rich spinel, and accretionary mantles on many clasts, which clearly establishes a strong link between Tagish Lake and the CM chondrites. The compositions of isolated olivine crystals in Tagish Lake are also like those found in CMs. We conclude that the anhydrous inclusion population of Tagish Lake was, originally, very much like that of the known CM chondrites and that the inclusions in Tagish Lake are heavily altered, more so than even those in Mighei, which are more heavily altered than those in Murchison.