Aligned Olivine in the Springwater Pallasite

Friday, 19 December 2014
Neva Fowler-Gerace1, Kimberly Tait1,2, Desmond Moser3, Ivan Barker3 and Bob Yunsheng Tian1, (1)University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, (2)Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, ON, Canada, (3)University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
The mechanism by which olivine grains became embedded within iron-nickel alloy in pallasite meteorites continues to be a matter of scientific debate. Geochemical and textural observations have failed to fully elucidate the origin and history of the olivine crystals; however, little research attention has been devoted to their crystallographic orientations within the metal matrix. Klosterman and Buseck [1] found no crystallographic preferred orientation of olivine in nine pallasites, but the Leitz five-axis universal stage method imposed limitations on precision (estimated within ∼4◦) and sample size (only 10 crystals were measured in the Springwater pallasite, for instance). Using Electron Backscatter Diffraction, we have collected crystallographic orientation data (accurate to ±0.5◦ [2]) for 343 crystals within ∼65 cm2 sample surface from Springwater. Though no global crystallographic preferred orientation exists, very low misorientations are observed among [100] axes of olivine crystals within specific texturally-defined domains. Combined with our thorough characterization of large-scale Springwater textures, the definitively non-random spatial distribution of olivine orientations reveals the nature of the olivine’s initial formation environment as well as the sequence of events subsequent to metal incorporation.

[1] Klosterman and Buseck. 1973. J Geophys Res 78(32):7581-7588. [2] Oxford Instruments. 2013. http://www.ebsd.com/.