Formation of Carbonates in the Tatahouine Meteorite

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Abstract

The Tatahouine meteorite, in southern Tunisia, shows terrestrial contamination that developed during 63 years of exposure on Earth's surface.Samples collected on the day of the fall in 1931 contained fractures, with no secondary minerals, whereas samples collected in 1994 contain calcite aggregates (70 to 150 micrometers) and rod-shaped forms (100 to 600 nanometers in length and 70 to 80 nanometers in diameter) on the fractures. Carbon isotope analysis of the carbonates within the Tatahouine meteorite [delta13 C = -2.0 per mil Pee Dee belemnite standard (PDB)] and the underlying ground (delta13 C = -3.2 per mil PDB) confirm their terrestrial origin.

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