Pd-Ag chronometry of IVA iron meteorites and the crystallization and cooling of a protoplanetary core

M. Matthes, M. Fischer-Gödde, T.S. Kruijer, T. Kleine

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 7 September 2017


“To constrain the timescales and processes involved in the crystallization and cooling of protoplanetary cores, we examined the Pd-Ag isotopic systematics of the IVA iron meteorites Muonionalusta and Gibeon. A Pd-Ag isochron for Muonionalusta provides an initial 107Pd/108Pd = (2.57±0.07) × 10-5. The three metal samples analyzed from Gibeon plot below the Muonionalusta isochron, but these samples also show significant effects of cosmic ray-induced neutron capture reactions, as is evident from 196Pt excesses in the Gibeon samples. After correction for neutron capture effects on Ag isotopes, the Gibeon samples plot on the Muonionalusta isochron, indicating that these two IVA irons have indistinguishable initial 107Pd/108Pd. Collectively, the Pd-Ag data indicate cooling of the IVA core below Pd-Ag closure between 2.9±0.4 Ma and 8.9±0.6 Ma after CAI formation, where this age range reflects uncertainties in the initial 107Pd/108Pd ratios of the solar system, which in turn result from uncertainties in the Pb-Pb age of Muonionalusta. The Ag isotopic data indicate that the IVA core initially evolved with a modestly elevated Pd/Ag, but the low Ag concentrations measured for some metal samples indicate derivation from a source with much lower Ag contents and, hence, higher Pd/Ag. These contrasting observations can be reconciled if the IVA irons crystallized from an initially more Ag-rich core, followed by extraction of Fe-S melts during compaction of the nearly solidified core. Owing to its strong tendency to partition into Fe-S melts, Ag was removed from the IVA core during compaction, leading to the very low Ag concentration observed in metal samples of IVA irons. Alternatively, Ag was lost by evaporation from a still molten metallic body just prior to the onset of crystallization. The Pd-Ag isotopic data indicate that Muonionalusta cooled at >500 K/Ma through the Pd-Ag closure temperature of ∼900 K, consistent with the rapid cooling inferred from metallographic cooling rates for IVA irons. Combined, these observations are consistent with cooling of the IVA irons in a metallic body with little or no silicate mantle.”