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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter April 2, 2015

Brearleyite, Ca12Al14O32Cl2, a new alteration mineral from the NWA 1934 meteorite

  • Chi Ma EMAIL logo , Harold C. Connolly Jr , John R. Beckett , Oliver Tschauner , George R. Rossman , Anthony R. Kampf , Thomas J. Zega , Stuart A. Sweeney Smith and Devin L. Schrader
From the journal American Mineralogist


Brearleyite (IMA 2010-062, Ca12Al14O32Cl2) is a Cl-bearing mayenite, occurring as fine-grained aggregates coexisting with hercynite, gehlenite, and perovskite in a rare krotite (CaAl2O4) dominant refractory inclusion from the Northwest Africa 1934 CV3 carbonaceous chondrite. The phase was characterized by SEM, TEM-SAED, micro-Raman, and EPMA. The mean chemical composition of the brearleyite is (wt%) Al2O3 48.48, CaO 45.73, Cl 5.12, FeO 0.80, Na2O 0.12, TiO2 0.03, -O 1.16, sum 99.12. The corresponding empirical formula calculated on the basis of 34 O+Cl atoms is (Ca11.91 Na0.06)Σ11.97(Al13.89Fe0.16Ti0.01)Σ14.06O31.89Cl2.11. The Raman spectrum of brealryeite indicates very close structural similarity to synthetic Ca12Al14O32Cl2. Rietveld refinement of an integrated TEM-SAED ring pattern from a FIB section quantifies this structural relationship and indicates that brearleyite is cubic, I4̅3d; a = 11.98(8) Å, V = 1719.1(2) Å3, and Z = 2. It has a framework structure in which AlO4 tetrahedra share corners to form eight-membered rings. Within this framework, the Cl atom is located at a special position (3/8,0,1/4) with 0.4(2) occupancy and Ca appears to be disordered on two partially occupied sites similar to synthetic Cl-mayenite. Brearleyite has a light olive color under diffuse reflected light and a calculated density of 2.797 g/cm3. Brearleyite is not only a new meteoritic Ca-,Al-phase, but also a new meteoritic Cl-rich phase. It likely formed by the reaction of krotite with Cl-bearing hot gases or fluids.

Received: 2010-12-5
Accepted: 2011-4-13
Published Online: 2015-4-2
Published in Print: 2011-8-1

© 2015 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

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