The search for and analysis of direct samples of early Solar System aqueous fluids

Michael E. Zolensky, Robert J. Bodnar, Hisayoshi Yurimoto, Shoichi Itoh, Marc Fries, Andrew Steele, Queenie H.-S. Chan, Akira Tsuchiyama, Yoko Kebukawa, Motoo Ito

Review article
Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 2017 375 20150386
DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2015.0386.
Published 17 April 2017


“We describe the current state of the search for direct, surviving samples of early, inner Solar System fluids—fluid inclusions in meteorites. Meteoritic aqueous fluid inclusions are not rare, but they are very tiny and their characterization is at the state of the art for most analytical techniques. Meteoritic fluid inclusions offer us a unique opportunity to study early Solar System brines in the laboratory. Inclusion-by-inclusion analyses of the trapped fluids in carefully selected samples will, in the immediate future, provide us detailed information on the evolution of fluids as they interacted with anhydrous solid materials. Thus, real data can replace calculated fluid compositions in thermochemical calculations of the evolution of water and aqueous reactions in comets, asteroids, moons and the terrestrial planets.

This article is part of the themed issue ‘The origin, history and role of water in the evolution of the inner Solar System’.”