Presolar Silicates in the Matrix and Fine-grained Rims Around Chondrules in Primitive CO3.0 Chondrites: Evidence for Pre-Accretionary Aqueous Alteration of the Rims in the Solar Nebula

Pierre Haenecour, Christine Floss, Thomas J. Zega, Thomas K. Croat, Alian Wang, Bradley L. Jolliff, Paul Carpenter

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 8 June 2017


“To investigate the origin of fine-grained rims around chondrules (FGRs), we compared presolar grain abundances, elemental compositions and mineralogies in fine-grained interstitial matrix material and individual FGRs in the primitive CO3.0 chondrites Allan Hills A77307, LaPaz Icefield 031117 and Dominion Range 08006. The observation of similar overall O-anomalous (∼155 ppm) and C-anomalous grain abundances (∼40 ppm) in all three CO3.0 chondrites suggests that they all accreted from a nebular reservoir with similar presolar grain abundances. The presence of presolar silicate grains in FGRs combined with the observation of similar estimated porosity between interstitial matrix regions and FGRs in LAP 031117 and ALHA77307, as well as the identification of a composite FGR (a small rimmed chondrule within a larger chondrule rim) in ALHA77307, all provide evidence for a formation of FGRs by accretion of dust grains onto freely-floating chondrules in the solar nebula before their aggregation into their parent body asteroids. Our study also shows systematically lower abundances of presolar silicate grains in the FGRs than in the matrix regions of CO3 chondrites, while the abundances of SiC grains are the same in all areas, within errors. This trend differs from CR2 chondrites in which the presolar silicate abundances are higher in the FGRs than in the matrix, but similar to each other within 2σ errors. This observation combined with the identification of localized (micrometer-scaled) aqueous alteration in a FGR of LAP 031117 suggests that the lower abundance of presolar silicates in FGRs reflects pre-accretionary aqueous alteration of the fine-grained material in the FGRs. This pre-accretionary alteration could be due to either hydration and heating of freely floating rimmed chondrules in icy regions of the solar nebula or melted water ice associated with 26Al-related heating inside precursor planetesimals, followed by aggregation of FGRs into the CO chondrite parent-body.”