Rare Meteorite In Assam Contains Mineral Present In Earth’s Mantle

In a major development, a team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) analysed a shocked meteorite found in Assam that is constituted by a substance called ‘Olivine’ which also found in Earth’s lower mantle.

The meteorite that is mostly located between the asteroid belts of Mars and Jupiter struck Kamargaon village of Assam on November 13, 2015. Kamargaon is near Numaligarh in Golaghat. The meteorite was classified as an L6 chondrite – categories of meteorites.

A shocked meteorite is a debris that has been formed due to an impact event that creates high pressure.

In a report by India Today, the researchers’ findings that were published in Geophysical Research Letters, stated that an important mineral ‘Olivine’ which is found in the Earth’s mantle is a rock-forming mineral found in dark-coloured igneous rocks that has a high crystallization temperature. Therefore, the Olivine is found in the Earth’s mantle is the same material that has constituted the Assam meteorite.

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Notably, the mantle is the second layer of Earth located nearly 660 kilometers under the surface and stretches to 2,700 kilometers.

The findings in the report also revealed that “the meteorite found in Kamargaon experienced the kind of pressure found in Earth’s mantle — around 24 Giga Pascal, which is 2,50,000 times more than the atmospheric pressure that we experience on the surface”.

“The layer also sees temperatures ranging up to 2,500 degrees Celsius. The samples found in the meteorite are similar to those observed on plate tectonics and could prove useful in studying earthquakes and volcanic activities,” it said.

According to the report, to conduct the study, the IIT-K researchers used a “high-resolution electron microscope to image and scan the meteorite and conduct a set of complex analyses on a nanometer scale to find evidence of the complex chemical reaction that forms the Earth’s mantle”.

Further, scientists are conducting researches to study the dissection of Olivine through lab experiments.

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