An experimental study of chondrule formation from chondritic precursors via evaporation and condensation in Knudsen cell: Shock heating model of dust aggregates

Naoya Imae, Hiroshi Isobe

Earth and Planetary Science Letters
In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 27 June 2017


• Type I chondrules were reproduced via the Fe evaporation and Si condensation in the Knudsen cell.
• Fine-grained ferroan matrices were included in the precursors.
• The recycling of chondrites rather than that of chondrules is plausible.
• Chondrules would have formed from dust aggregates.”

“Chondrules, igneous objects of ∼1 mm in diameter, formed in the earliest solar system via a transient heating event, are divided into two types: main (type I, FeO-poor) and minor (type II, FeO-rich). Using various chondritic materials for different redox conditions and grain sizes, chondrule reproduction experiments were carried out at IW-2 to IW-3.8, with cooling rates mainly ∼100°C/h, with peak temperatures mainly at 1450 °C, and mainly at 100 Pa in a Knudsen cell providing near chemical equilibrium between the charge and the surrounding gas at the peak temperatures. Vapor pressures in the capsule were controlled using solid buffers. After and during the significant evaporation of the iron component from the metallic iron-poor starting materials in near equilibrium, crystallization occurred. This resulted in the formation of a product similar to the type I chondrules. Dusty olivine grains occurred in charges that had precursor type II chondrules containing coarse ferroan olivine, but such grains are not common in type I chondrules. Therefore fine-grained ferroan matrices rather than type II chondrules are main precursor for type I chondrules. The type I chondrules would have evolved via evaporation and condensation in the similar conditions to the present experimental system. Residual gas, which escaped in experiments, could have condensed to form matrices, leading to complementary compositions. Clusters of matrices and primordial chondrules could have been recycled to form main-generation chondrules originated from the shock heating.”