Angrite meteorites record the onset and flux of water to the inner solar system

Adam R. Sarafian, Sune G. Nielsen, Horst R. Marschall, Glenn A. Gaetani, Erik H. Hauri, Kevin Righter, Emily Sarafian

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 7 June 2017


“Earth and the other rocky bodies that make up the inner solar system are systematically depleted in hydrogen (H) and other cosmochemically volatile elements (e.g., carbon (C), fluorine (F), chlorine (Cl), and thallium (Tl)) relative to primitive undifferentiated meteorites known as carbonaceous chondrites. If we are to understand how and when Earth gained its life-essential elements, it is critical to determine the timing, flux, and nature of the delivery of condensed volatiles into the presumed hot and dry early inner solar system. Here we present evidence preserved in ancient basaltic angrite meteorites for an addition of volatiles to the hot and dry inner solar system within the first two million years of solar system history. Our data demonstrate that the angrite parent body was enriched in highly volatile elements (H, C, F, and Tl) relative to those predicted on the basis of the angrite parent body’s overall volatile depletion trend (e.g., H is enriched by up to a factor of 106).This relative enrichment is best explained by mixing of extremely volatile-depleted material, located well inside the snow line, with volatile-rich material derived from outside the snow line.”