My goal in writing this book was to provide an introduction to meteorite science and a handbook on meteorite classification. Insofar as I succeeded it should prove useful both to the practicing professional and to university students at the upper-division and graduate levels. I originally intended the book to be nearly twice as long. The second half was to be a review of properties relating to the origin of each group of meteorites. Chapter XVIII is an example of how these later chapters would have looked, although most would not have been as interpretative. These chapters would have been useful chiefly to meteorite researchers looking for a quick summary of group properties; they were not written because of lack of time. Perhaps I will start to prepare this "second volume" in a year or so when my family and I have recovered from the preparation of the present volume. Although some parts of the classification portion are mildly icono clastic, I have attempted either to avoid the inclusion of speculative interpretations or to flag them with a caveat to the reader. I have relaxed these principles somewhat in Chapter XVIII to conserve space, but even there the discussion of alternative speculations should give the reader a feeling for the degree of uncertainty attached.
Table of ContentsI. Introduction: Meteorites as Probes of Processes Occurring Very Early in the History of the Solar System.- II. Classification of Meteorites.- A. Introduction.- B. Classification of Silicate-Rich Meteorites.- 1. Chondritic Meteorites.- 2. Differentiated Silicate-Rich Meteorites.- C. Classification of Metal-Rich Meteorites.- D. Summary.- III. The Study of Meteorites: Sources, Bibliographies, and History.- IV. Bulk Composition.- V. Mineralogy and Phase Composition.- A. General.- B. Pressure-Indicating Mineral Systems.- C. Temperature-Indicating Mineral Systems.- D. The System Fe-FeO-MgO-SiO2-O2 and Prior’s Rules.- E. The Fe-Ni System and Cooling Rates.- F. Other Mineral Systems.- VI. Petrology.- A. Petrographic Descriptions of Individual Meteorites.- B. Metallographic and Metallurgical Studies of Metal-Rich Meteorites.- C. Chondrules, Chondrite Petrology, and Metamorphism.- D. Calcium-Aluminium-Rich Inclusions.- E. Differentiated Silicate-Rich Meteorites.- F. Shock and Brecciation.- VII. Trace Elements.- A. Introduction: Mean Solar-System Abundances.- B. Partition between Coexisting Phases; Studies of Rare-Earth Elements.- C. Volatile Elements.- D. Refractory Elements.- E. Siderophilic Elements.- F. Miscellaneous Elements.- VIII. Stable Isotopes: Elements Other than Rare Gases.- IX. Stable Isotopes of the Rare-Gas Elements and Related Particle-Track Studies.- X. Primordial Radionuclides and Associated Chronologies.- A. Introduction.- B. Formation and Metamorphism Ages.- C. Formation Intervals.- XI. Breakup and Accretional History of Parent Bodies, Meteoroid Shape and Erosion, and Terrestrial Ages of Meteorites.- A. Cosmic-Ray Interactions.- B. Erosion and Preatmospheric Shapes.- C. Exposure-Age Distributions and Their Significance.- D. Accretional History.- E. Terrestrial Ages.- XII. Orbits.- XIII. Fall and Recovery.- XIV. Morphology and Macrostructure.- XV. Organic Matter.- XVI. Magnetic Properties.- XVII. Miscellaneous Physical Studies.- A. Density and Porosity.- B. Mechanical Properties.- C. Thermal Properties.- D. Electrical Properties.- E. Optical Properties.- XVIII. An Example of the Interpretation of Meteorite Properties: The Origin of Ordinary Chondrites.- A. Introduction.- B. Formation Ages and Intervals.- C. On the Number, Size, and Location of the Parent Bodies.- D. Evidence for Metamorphism.- E. Fractionation of Highly Volatile Elements.- F. Metamorphic Reheating.- 1. Temperatures.- 2. Heat Sources: Internal Versus External Heating.- 3. Internal Versus External Heat Sources.- G. Genomict Chondrites and Solar-Type Rare Gases.- H. Siderophilic-Element and Oxidation-State Fractionations.- I. Chondrule Formation.- J. Fractionation of Moderately Volatile Elements.- K. Fractionation of Refractory Elements.- L. Summary: Temperature History of the Nebula.- References.- Appendix I: Glossary.- Appendix II: Lists of Classified Meteorites.- A. Introduction: Alphabetical List of Well-Classified Meteorites.- B. Listing of Chondrites by Chemical Group and Petrologic Type.- C. Listing of Differentiated Silicate-Rich Meteorites by Chemical Group.- D. Listing of Differentiated Metal-Rich Meteorites by Chemical Group.