The Varre-Sai chondrite, a Brazilian fall: petrology and geochemistry

The Varre-Sai meteorite fell along the border of the states of Espirito Santo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; on 19 June 2010 at 5:40 pm. Petrography and X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) indicate that the rock is an L5 S4 chondrite, with blastoporphyritic texture that has not been previously described. Geochemical data based on major and rare-earth elements (REEs) show that Varre-Sai is highly similar to the other L chondrites. In Harker diagrams, Varre-Sai, L, and LL chondrites form a single group, suggesting no significant chemical differences between them and contributing to the long-standing debate of whether LL chondrites form a distinct group or whether they are a subset of the L group. Harker diagrams also define a trend from E to H and L/LL chondrites, similar to the cosmochemical trends suggested by other authors. The behaviour of Fe2O3t and NiO indicates a relationship with Fe-Ni alloys, and their trend in the diagram suggests some chemical differentiation in the ordinary chondrite parental bodies. The REE content in Varre-Sai, normalized to C chondrites, falls in the field of L chondrites and others, but with slight REE enrichment. The chemical differences in chondrites, mainly in REEs, Fe2O3t and NiO could be alternatively interpreted as variations in the inherited agglutinated materials as chondrules, Ca–Al-rich inclusions and Fe–Ni nodules.