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Phyllosilicates and other layer-structured materials in stony meteorites*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 July 2018

D. J. Barber*
Physics Department, University of Essex, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ


Current thinking regarding the possible origins and probable evolutionary histories of meteorites is summarized. Selected data concerning the composition, petrology and other characteristics of the CI and CM groups of stony meteorites in which layered minerals principally occur are then presented. Layered compounds, mainly phyllosilicates, are shown to form a major part of the fine-grained matrix of the CI and CM meteorites, which are classified as carbonaceous chondrites. The results of recent investigations of matrix mineralogy are reviewed, with particular emphasis on the findings of electron microscopy. Several forms of Fe-Mg-serpentine have been identified as the principal phyllosilicates. ‘Poorly-characterized phases’ in CM meteorites have proved to be tochilinite and intergrowths of tochilinite with serpentines. The results generally indicate that the phyllosilicates and most other matrix minerals formed by aqueous alteration in the regoliths of the CI and CM parent bodies; but there is isotopic evidence for the incorporation of components and possibly mineral grains which predate the solar nebula. It is concluded that more detailed chemical and mineralogical information about the phyllosilicates and associated minerals will enable useful constraints to be placed on the possible identities of their precursors and the environments in which both they and the matrix minerals formed.

Research Article
Copyright © The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland 1985

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This is an expanded version of an invited paper presented to the Clay Minerals Group of the Mineralogical Society on 9 November 1984.


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