Distinct 238U/235U ratios and REE patterns in plutonic and volcanic angrites: Geochronologic implications and evidence for U isotope fractionation during magmatic processes

François L.H. Tissot, Nicolas Dauphas, Timothy L. Grove

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


“Angrites are differentiated meteorites that formed between 4 and 11 Myr after Solar System formation, when several short-lived nuclides (e.g., 26Al-26Mg, 53Mn-53Cr, 182Hf-182W) were still alive. As such, angrites are prime anchors to tie the relative chronology inferred from these short-lived radionuclides to the absolute Pb-Pb clock. The discovery of variable U isotopic composition (at the sub-permil level) calls for a revision of Pb-Pb ages calculated using an “assumed” constant 238U/235U ratio (i.e., Pb-Pb ages published before 2009-2010). In this paper, we report high-precision U isotope measurement for six angrite samples (NWA 4590, NWA 4801, NWA 6291, Angra dos Reis, D’Orbigny, and Sahara 99555) using multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass-spectrometry and the IRMM-3636 U double-spike. The age corrections range from -0.17 to -1.20 Myr depending on the samples. After correction, concordance between the revised Pb-Pb and Hf-W and Mn-Cr ages of plutonic and quenched angrites is good, and the initial (53Mn/55Mn)0 ratio in the Early Solar system (ESS) is recalculated as being (7±1)×10-6 at the formation of the solar system (the error bar incorporates uncertainty in the absolute age of Calcium, Aluminum-rich inclusions –CAIs). An uncertainty remains as to whether the Al-Mg and Pb-Pb systems agree in large part due to uncertainties in the Pb-Pb age of CAIs.

A systematic difference is found in the U isotopic compositions of quenched and plutonic angrites of +0.17 ‰. A difference is also found between the rare earth element (REE) patterns of these two angrite subgroups. The δ238U values are consistent with fractionation during magmatic evolution of the angrite parent melt. Stable U isotope fractionation due to a change in the coordination environment of U during incorporation into pyroxene could be responsible for such a fractionation. In this context, Pb-Pb ages derived from pyroxenes fraction should be corrected using the U isotope composition measured in the same pyroxene fraction.”