Ca–Al-rich inclusions in carbonaceous chondrites: the oldest solar system objects

M.A. Ivanova

Geochemistry International
May 2016, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 387-402
First online: 22 May 2016


“This paper presents a review of recent available data on the first solid condensates of the Solar System, which include refractory CAIs (Ca–Al-rich Inclusions) mostly composed of Ca, Al, Mg, and Ti minerals. A theoretical condensation sequence calculated from thermodynamic data confirmed that CAIs formed as fine-grained aggregates in the protoplanetary disk from an 16О-rich gas of solar composition at temperatures >1300° K and pressures <10–4 bar. Based on the diversity of CAI types, their mineralogical, bulk chemical, and isotopic compositions, it can be concluded that CAIs experienced melting and evaporation, possibly by shock waves, which may have occurred in the protoplanetary disk within a brief time interval. Some CAIs may have experienced multiple events such as melting, evaporation, and recycling back to the disk by means of a bipolar outflow. The CAIs having an absolute age of 4567.30 ± 0.16 Myr are the oldest objects in the Solar System. The study of CAIs revealed two distinct oxygen isotope reservoirs (16О-rich and 16О-poor) and established a chronology of the sequence of processes forming individual CAI components using Mg–Al, Cr–Mn and Pb–Pb isotopic systematics."