Spectral and mineralogical alteration process of naturally-heated CM and CY chondrites

Moe Matsuoka, Tomoki Nakamura, Nobuyoshi Miyajima, Takahiro Hiroi, Naoya Imae, Akira Yamaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spectral and mineralogical analyses were performed using nine naturally hydrated and dehydrated carbonaceous chondrite samples which were classified into heating stages (HS) from I to IV based on previous X-ray diffraction results. In-situ heating of samples at 120–400 °C was performed during spectral measurements and successfully removed absorbed water and part of rehydrated water from chondrite samples. Reflectance spectra of HS-I samples show the positive slope in visible (Vis)-infrared (IR) range and the significant 0.7- and 3-μm absorption bands. The 0.7-μm band appears in only HS-I sample spectra. With increasing temperature of heating, (1) Vis-IR slope decreases, (2) the 3-μm band becomes shallower, and (3) Christiansen feature (CF) and Reststrahlen bands (RB) shift toward longer wavelength. TEM-EDX analyses showed that the matrix of strongly-heated chondrites consists of tiny olivine, low-Ca pyroxene, and FeNi metallic particles mostly smaller than 100 nm in diameter, instead of Fe-rich serpentines and tochilinite observed in the HS-I chondrite. Therefore, in proportion to the heating degree, amorphization and dehydration of serpentine and tochilinite from HS-I to HS-II may cause the 0.7- and 3-μm band weakening, spectral bluing and darkening of chondrite spectra. In addition, formation of secondary anhydrous silicates and FeNi-rich metal grains at HS-IV would be responsible for the 3-μm band depth decrease, spectral reddening and brightening, CF peak shift, and RB changes of chondrite spectra. Those spectral changes in response to mineralogical alteration processes will be useful to interpret planetary surface composition by remote-sensing observations using ground-based or airborne/space telescopes or spacecraft missions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-167
Number of pages18
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan 1


  • C-type asteroids
  • Chondrites
  • Spectroscopy
  • Thermal alteration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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