Closed System Step Etching of CI chondrite Ivuna reveals primordial noble gases in the HF-solubles

My E.I. Riebe, Henner Busemann, Rainer Wieler, Colin Maden

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 11 February 2017


“We analyzed all the noble gases in HF-soluble phases in the CI chondrite Ivuna by in-vacuum gas release using the “Closed System Step Etching” (CSSE) technique, which allows for direct noble gas measurements of acid-soluble phases. The main motivation was to investigate if there are primordial noble gases in HF-soluble phases in Ivuna, something that has not been done before in CI chondrites, as most primordial noble gases are known to reside in HF-resistant phases. The first steps under mild etching released He, Ne, and Ar with solar-like elemental and isotopic compositions, confirming that Ivuna contains implanted solar wind (SW) noble gases acquired in the parent body regolith. The SW component released in some etch steps was elementally unfractionated. This is unusual as trapped SW noble gases are elementally fractionated in most meteoritic material. In the intermediate etch steps under slightly harsher etching, cosmogenic noble gases were more prominent than SW noble gases. The HF-soluble portion of Ivuna contained primordial Ne and Xe, that was most visible in the last etch steps after all cosmogenic and most SW gases had been released. The primordial Ne and Xe in the HF-solubles have isotopic and elemental ratios readily explained as a mixture of the two most abundant primordial noble gas components in Ivuna bulk samples: HL and Q. Only small fractions of the total HL and Q in Ivuna were released during CSSE analysis; ∼3% of 20NeHL and ∼4% of 132XeQ. HL is known to reside in nanodiamond-rich separates and Q-gases are most likely carried by a carbonaceous phase known as phase Q. Q-gases were likely released from an HF-soluble portion of phase Q. However, nanodiamonds might not be the source of the HL-gases released upon etching, since nanodiamond-rich separates are very HF-resistant and the less tightly bound nanodiamond component P3 was not detected.”