A single stone weighing 116 g was found in the desert region of Dhofar, Oman. Analysis was conducted at the Vernadsky Institute, Moscow (Lorenz and Ivanova), and it was classified as an ungrouped primitive achondrite. This is a highly metamorphosed, recrystallized, polymict breccia, consisting of three separate lithologies within a pyroxeneplagioclase matrix:
Minor constituents include Ca-rich augite, Cr-rich troilite (20 vol% in ol-rich lithology), chromite (pyxplag lithology), and rare FeNi-metal. The modal content of the combined metallic component is only 0.3%, significantly less than the acapulcoite/lodranite clan and the winonaiteIAB iron complex meteorites. The Cr-enrichment of troilite suggests formation occurred in a more reducing environment than most other primitive achondrites. This meteorite has been significantly weathered (W4) and shocked (S4).
The olivine and orthopyroxene compositions of Dhofar 500 are similar to those of the winonaiteIAB iron complex meteorites, while the olivine also shows similarities to the ureilites (Lorenz et al., 2003). However, pyroxene has a chemical composition that differs from other achondrites; i.e., it is more magnesian and higher in TiO2 than that of the acapulcoite/lodranite clan, ureilites, and brachinites. In addition, the Fe/Mn ratio in pyroxene is close to that of ordinary chondrites, but differs from that of the acapulcoite/lodranite clan and ureilites. Although Dhofar 500 has a high Cr content in troilite similar to that of ureilites, possibly a result of reduction processes, its higher plagioclase content and more limited silicate compositional range distinguish it from ureilites.
Oxygen isotope studies have determined that Dhofar 500 does not plot among any of the known meteorite groups; however, it does plot along an extension of the trend line of the silicate component of the winonaiteIAB iron complex meteorites (see diagram below), and also near the trend line of the ureilites. Notably, Dhofar 500 has olivine and troilite compositions that are similar to those of polymict ureilites, but without a carbon-rich matrix.
click on image for a magnified view
Diagram credit: Greenwood et al., Chemie der ErdeGeochemistry, vol. 77, p. 23 (2017)
'Melting and differentiation of early-formed asteroids: The perspective from high precision oxygen isotope studies'
(open access: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemer.2016.09.005)
The ArAr age calculations for Dhofar 500 reflect a complex history with ages of 4.454 (±0.011) b.y. and 4.307 (±0.011) b.y., consistent with the range of ages for winonaites and silicates from IAB complex irons and some ordinary chondrites (Korochantseva et al., 2011). Another partial degassing event is indicated with an age younger than 3.2 b.y. The photo of Dhofar 500 shown above is a 0.43 g slice with fusion crust. The photo below shows an in situ view.