Effects of dust enrichment on oxygen fugacity of cosmic gases.

Fedkin, A. V. and Grossman, L.

Meteoritics & Planetary Science. doi: 10.1111/maps.12627


“The degree to which dust enrichment enhances the oxygen fugacity (fO2) of a system otherwise solar in composition depends on the dust composition. Equilibrium calculations were performed at 10−3 bar in systems enriched by a factor of 104 in two fundamentally different types of dust to investigate the iron oxidation state in both cases. One type of dust, called SC for solar condensate, stopped equilibrating with solar gas at too high a temperature for FeO or condensed water to be stabilized in any form, and thus has the composition expected of a nebular condensate. The other has CI chondrite composition, appropriate for a parent body that accreted from SC dust and low-temperature ice. Upon total vaporization at 2300 K, both systems have high fO2, >IW. In the SC dust-enriched system, FeO of the bulk silicate reaches ~10 wt% at 1970 K but decreases to <1 wt% below 1500 K. The FeO undergoes reduction because consumption of gaseous oxygen by silicate recondensation causes a precipitous drop in fO2. Thus, enrichment in dust having the composition of likely nebular condensates cannot yield a sufficiently oxidizing environment to account for the FeO contents of chondrules. The fO2 of the system enriched in water-rich, CI dust, however, remains high throughout condensation, as gaseous water remains uncondensed until very low temperatures. This allows silicate condensates to achieve and maintain FeO contents of 27–35 wt%. Water-rich parent bodies are thus excellent candidate sources of chondrule precursors. Impacts on such bodies may have created the combination of high dust enrichment, total pressure, and fO2 necessary for chondrule formation."