Origin and Metamorphic Redistribution of Silicon, Chromium, and Phosphorus in the Metal of Chondrites

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Science  23 Sep 1994:
Vol. 265, Issue 5180, pp. 1846-1849
DOI: 10.1126/science.265.5180.1846


Chromium, silicon, and phosphorus concentrations of 0.1 to 1 percent by weight are common in metal grains in the least metamorphosed ordinary and carbonaceous chondrites. These concentrations are fairly uniform within single chondrules (but different from chondrule to chondrule) and are inversely correlated with the fayalite concentrations of the chondrule olivines. This relation shows that these chromium, silicon, and phosphorus concentrations could not have been established by condensation or equilibration in the solar nebula but are the result of metal-silicate equilibration within chondrules. Two generations of inclusions made by the exsolution of those elements have been identified: One formed during chondrule cooling and the other formed during metamorphism. The distribution and composition of the latter in type 3 to type 5 chondrites are consistent with increasing metamorphism relative to type 2 and type 3.0 material.