Olivine dissolution in molten silicates: An experimental study with application to chondrule formation.

Soulié, C., Libourel, G. and Tissandier, L.

Meteoritics & Planetary Science.
doi: 10.1111/maps.12792
First published: 11 November 2016


“Mg-rich olivine is a ubiquitous phase in type I porphyritic chondrules in various classes of chondritic meteorites. The anhedral shape of olivine grains, their size distribution, as well as their poikilitic textures within low-Ca pyroxene suggest that olivines suffer dissolution during chondrule formation. Owing to a set of high-temperature experiments (1450–1540 °C) we determined the kinetics of resorption of forsterite in molten silicates, using for the first time X-ray microtomography. Results indicate that forsterite dissolution in chondrule-like melts is a very fast process with rates that range from ~5 μm min−1 to ~22 μm min−1. Forsterite dissolution strongly depends on the melt composition, with rates decreasing with increasing the magnesium and/or the silica content of the melt. An empirical model based on forsterite saturation and viscosity of the starting melt composition successfully reproduces the forsteritic olivine dissolution rates as a function of temperature and composition for both our experiments and those of the literature. Application of our results to chondrules could explain the textures of zoned type I chondrules during their formation by gas-melt interaction. We show that the olivine/liquid ratio on one hand and the silica entrance from the gas phase (SiOg) into the chondrule melt on the other hand, have counteracting effects on the Mg-rich olivine dissolution behavior. Silica entrance would favor dissolution by maintaining disequilibrium between olivine and melt. Hence, this would explain the preferential dissolution of olivine as well as the preferential abundances of pyroxene at the margins of chondrules. Incipient dissolution would also occur in the silica-poorer melt of chondrule core but should be followed by crystallization of new olivine (overgrowth and/or newly grown crystals). While explaining textures and grain size distributions of olivines, as well as the centripetal distribution of low-Ca pyroxene in porphyritic chondrules, this scenario could also be consistent with the diverse chemical, isotopic, and thermal conditions recorded by olivines in a given chondrule.”