Origin and abundance of water in carbonaceous asteroids

Yves Marrocchi, David V. Bekaert, Laurette Piani

Earth and Planetary Science Letters,
Volume 482, 15 January 2018, Pages 23-32



• Bulk, matrix and fayalite grains of CV chondrites define a continuous trend.
• O-isotopic compositions of C-rich asteroids are established by isotopic exchange.
• We estimated the abundance of water accreted by carbonaceous chondrites.
• Carbonaceous asteroids formed in the asteroid belt and accreted local water.
• Our results support low influx of 17O- and 18O-rich water ice from the outer Solar System.”

“The origin and abundance of water accreted by carbonaceous asteroids remains underconstrained, but would provide important information on the dynamic of the protoplanetary disk. Here we report the in situ oxygen isotopic compositions of aqueously formed fayalite grains in the Kaba and Mokoia CV chondrites. CV chondrite bulk, matrix and fayalite O-isotopic compositions define the mass-independent continuous trend (δ17O = 0.84 ± 0.03 × δ18O − 4.25 ± 0.1), which shows that the main process controlling the O-isotopic composition of the CV chondrite parent body is related to isotopic exchange between 16O-rich anhydrous silicates and 17O- and 18O-rich fluid. Similar isotopic behaviors observed in CM, CR and CO chondrites demonstrate the ubiquitous nature of O-isotopic exchange as the main physical process in establishing the O-isotopic features of carbonaceous chondrites, regardless of their alteration degree. Based on these results, we developed a new approach to estimate the abundance of water accreted by carbonaceous chondrites (quantified by the water/rock ratio) with CM (0.3–0.4) ≥ CR (0.1–0.4) ≥ CV (0.1–0.2) > CO (0.01–0.10). The low water/rock ratios and the O-isotopic characteristics of secondary minerals in carbonaceous chondrites indicate they (i) formed in the main asteroid belt and (ii) accreted a locally derived (inner Solar System) water formed near the snowline by condensation from the gas phase. Such results imply low influx of D- and 17O- and 18O-rich water ice grains from the outer part of the Solar System. The latter is likely due to the presence of a Jupiter-induced gap in the protoplanetary disk that limited the inward drift of outer Solar System material at the exception of particles with size lower than 150 μm such as presolar grains. Among carbonaceous chondrites, CV chondrites show O-isotopic features suggesting potential contribution of 17–1817–18O-rich water that may be related to their older accretion relative to other hydrated carbonaceous chondrites.”