I-Xe dating of aqueous alteration in the CI chondrite Orgueil: I. Magnetite and ferromagnetic separates

O. Pravdivtseva, A.N. Krot, C.M. Hohenberg

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 12 February 2018


“The I-Xe system was studied in a ferromagnetic sample separated from the Orgueil CI carbonaceous chondrite with a hand-held magnet and in two magnetite samples, one chemically separated before and the other one after neutron irradiation. This work was done in order to investigate the effects of chemical separation by LiCl and NaOH on the I-Xe system in magnetite. Our test demonstrated that the chemical separation of magnetite before irradiation using either LiCl or NaOH, or both, does not contaminate the sample with iodine and thus cannot lead to erroneous I-Xe ages due to introduction of uncorrelated 128∗Xe.

The I-Xe ages of two Orgueil magnetite samples are mutually consistent within experimental uncertainties and, when normalized to an absolute time scale with the reevaluated Shallowater aubrite standard, place the onset of aqueous alteration on the CI parent body at 4564.3 ± 0.3 Ma, 2.9 ± 0.3 Ma after formation of the CV Ca-AI-rich inclusions (CAIs). The I-Xe age of the ferromagnetic Orgueil separate is 3.4 Ma younger, corresponding to a closure of the I-Xe system at 4560.9 ± 0.2 Ma. These and previously published I-Xe data for Orgueil (Hohenberg et al., 2002) indicate that aqueous alteration on the CI parent body lasted for at least 5 Ma.

Although the two magnetite samples gave indistinguishable I-Xe ages, their temperature release profiles differed. One of the two Orgueil magnetites released less radiogenic Xe than the other, 80% of it corresponding to the low-temperature peak of the release profile, compared to only 6% in case of the second Orgueil magnetite sample. This could be due to the difference in iodine trapping efficiencies for magnetite grains of different morphologies. Alternatively, the magnetite grains with the lower radiogenic Xe concentrations may have formed at a later stage of alteration when iodine in an aqueous solution was depleted.”