RELICT OLIVINES IN MICROMETEORITES: PRECURSORS AND INTERACTIONS IN THE EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE
Antarctica micrometeorites (∼1200) and cosmic spherules (∼5000) from deep sea sediments are studied using electron microscopy to identify Mg-rich olivine grains in order to determine the nature of the particle precursors. Mg-rich olivine (FeO<5wt%) in micrometeorites suffers insignificant chemical modification during its history and is a well-preserved phase. We examine 420forsterite grains enclosed in 162 micrometeorites of different types -unmelted, scoriaceous, and porphyritic-in this
... hyritic-in this study. Forsterites in micrometeorites of different types are crystallized during their formation in solar nebula; their closest analogues are chondrule components of CV-type chondrites or volatile rich CM chondrites. The forsteritic olivines are suggested to have originated from a cluster of closely related carbonaceous asteroids that have Mg-rich olivines in the narrow range of CaO (0.1-0.3wt%), Al 2 O 3 (0.0-0.3wt%), MnO (0.0-0.3wt%), and Cr 2 O 3 (0.1-0.7wt%). Numerical simulations carried out with the Chemical Ablation Model (CABMOD) enable us to define the physical conditions of atmospheric entry that preserve the original compositions of the Mg-rich olivines in these particles. The chemical compositions of relict olivines affirm the role of heating at peak temperatures and the cooling rates of the micrometeorites. This modeling approach provides a foundation for understanding the ablation of the particles and the circumstances in which the relict grains tend to survive.