Bulk chemical compositions and oxygen isotopic compositions were analyzed for 48 stony cosmic spherules (melted micrometeorites) collected from the Antarctic ice sheet using electron- and ion-microprobes. No clear correlation was found between their isotopic compositions and textures. The oxygen isotopic compositions showed an extremely wide range from -28‰ to +93‰ in δ18O and from -21‰ to +13‰ in Δ17O. In δ18O-δ17O space, most samples (38 out of 48) plot close to the terrestrial fractionation line, but 7 samples plot along the carbonaceous chondrite anhydrous mineral (CCAM) line. Three samples plot well above the terrestrial fractionation line. One of these has a Δ17O of +13‰, the largest value ever found in solar system materials. One possible precursor for this spherule could be 16O-poor planetary material that is still unknown as a meteorite. The majority of the remaining spherules are thought to be related to carbonaceous chondrites.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology