Chromium isotopic systematics of the Sutter’s Mill carbonaceous chondrite: Implications for isotopic heterogeneities of the early solar system

Akane Yamakawa and Qing-Zhu Yin

Meteoritics & Planetary Science
Article first published online: 13 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/maps.12346



Recent studies have shown that major meteorite groups possess their own characteristic 54Cr values, demonstrating the utility of Cr isotopes for identifying genetic relationships between the planetary materials in conjunction with other classical tools, such as oxygen isotopes. In this study, we performed Cr isotope analyses for whole rocks and chemically separated phases of the new CM2 chondrite, Sutter’s Mill (SM 43 and 51). The two whole rocks of Sutter’s Mill show essentially identical ε54Cr excesses (SM 43 = +0.95 ± 0.09ε, SM 51 = +0.88 ± 0.07ε), relative to the Earth. These values are the same within error with that of the CM2-type Murchison (+0.89 ± 0.08ε), suggesting that parent bodies of Sutter’s Mill and Murchison were formed from the same precursor materials in the solar nebula. Large ε54Cr excess of up to 29.40ε is observed in the silicate phase of Sutter’s Mill, while that of Murchison shows 15.74ε. Importantly, the leachate fractions of both Sutter’s Mill and Murchison form a steep linear anticorrelation between ε54Cr and ε53Cr, cross-cutting the positive correlation previously observed in carbonaceous chondrites. The fact that L4 acid leachate fraction contains higher 54Cr excesses than that of L5 step designed to dissolve refractory minerals suggests that spinel is not a major 54Cr carrier. We also note that L5 contains 53Cr anomalies lower than the solar initial value, suggesting it carries a component of nucleosynthetic anomaly unrelated to the 53Mn decay. We have identified five endmember components of nucleosynthetic origin among the early solar system materials.