Encyclopedia of Geochemistry

2018 Edition
| Editors: William M. White


  • Sara RussellEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-39312-4_323


Chondrites are the most common type of meteorites, making up around 80% of all known meteorite falls. Chondrites are stony meteorites and most are dark brown, gray, and/or black in color. Chondrites are accreted material from nebular components formed within the dusty cloud that circulated around the young Sun. They avoided igneous differentiation and so contain approximately solar proportions of the elements. Therefore, they likely originated on minor planets (mainly asteroids) which were not large enough to generate heat to melt. Most chondrites preserve an original texture from the time of their accretion. This texture consists of ~mm sized spherical silicate balls called chondrules surrounded by a submicron sized material called matrix (Fig. 1). In some chondrites, metal and/or sulfides are common and in some can be found refractory inclusions, including calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs). Less heated chondrites typically contain primordial organic material and...
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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesThe Natural History MuseumLondonUK