We report the results of our petrological and mineralogical study of Fe-Ni metal in type 3 ordinary and CO chondrites, and the ungrouped carbonaceous chondrite Acfer 094. Fe-Ni metal in ordinary and CO chondrites occurs in chondrule interiors, on chondrule surfaces, and as isolated grains in the matrix. Isolated Ni-rich metal in chondrites of petrologic type lower than type 3.10 is enriched in Co relative to the kamacite in chondrules. However, Ni-rich metal in type 3.15-3.9 chondrites always contains less Co than does kamacite. Fe-Ni metal grains in chondrules in Semarkona typically show plessitic intergrowths consisting of submicrometer kamacite and Ni-rich regions. Metal in other type 3 chondrites is composed of fine- to coarse-grained aggregates of kamacite and Ni-rich metal, resulting from metamorphism in the parent body. We found that the number density of Ni-rich grains in metal (number of Ni-rich grains per unit area of metal) in chondrules systematically decreases with increasing petrologic type. Thus, Fe-Ni metal is a highly sensitive recorder of metamorphism in ordinary and carbonaceous chondrites, and can be used to distinguish petrologic type and identify the least thermally metamorphosed chondrites. Among the known ordinary and CO chondrites, Semarkona is the most primitive. The range of metamorphic temperatures were similar for type 3 ordinary and CO chondrites, despite them having different parent bodies. Most Fe-Ni metal in Acfer 094 is martensite, and it preserves primary features. The degree of metamorphism is lower in Acfer 094, a true type 3.00 chondrite, than in Semarkona, which should be reclassified as type 3.01. ?? The Meteoritical Society, 2008.
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Fe-Ni metal in primitive chondrites: Indicators of classification and metamorphic conditions for ordinary and CO chondrites