Oxygen isotope systematics of chondrules in the Murchison CM2 chondrite and implications for the CO-CM relationship

Noël Chaumard, Céline Defouilloy, Noriko T. Kita

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Available online 5 March 2018


“High-precision oxygen three-isotope measurements of olivine and pyroxene were performed on 29 chondrules in the Murchison CM2 chondrite by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). The oxygen isotope ratios of analyzed chondrules all plot very close to the primitive chondrule minerals (PCM) line. In each of 24 chondrules, the olivine and/or pyroxene grains analyzed show indistinguishable oxygen isotope ratios. Exceptions are minor occurrences of isotopically distinguished relict olivine grains, which were found in nine chondrules. The isotope homogeneity of these phenocrysts is consistent with a co-magmatic crystallization of olivine and pyroxene from the final chondrule melts and a significant oxygen isotope exchange between the ambient gas and the melts. Homogeneous type I chondrules with Mg#’s of 98.9–99.5 have host chondrule Δ17O values ranging from –6.0‰ to –4.1‰, with one exception (Δ17O: –1.2‰; Mg#: 99.6). Homogeneous chondrules with Mg#’s <96, including four type II chondrules (Mg# ∼65–70), have Δ17O values of around –2.5‰. Five type I chondrules (Mg# ≥99) have internally heterogeneous oxygen isotope ratios with Δ17O values ranging from –6.5‰ to –4.0‰, similar to those of host chondrule values. These heterogeneous chondrules have granular or porphyritic textures, convoluted outlines, and contain numerous metal grains dispersed within fine-grained silicates. This is consistent with a low degree of melting of the chondrule precursors, possibly because of a low temperature of the melting event and/or a shorter duration of melting. The Δ17O values of relict olivine grains in nine chondrules range from –17.9‰ to –3.4‰, while most of them overlap the range of the host chondrule values. Similar to those reported from multiple carbonaceous chondrites (Acfer 094, Y-82094, CO, CR, and CV), the Δ17O ∼–5‰ and high Mg# (≥99) chondrules, which might derive from a reduced reservoir with limited dust enrichments (∼50× Solar System), dominate the population of chondrules in Murchison. Other chondrules in Murchison formed in more oxidizing environment (Mg#<96) with higher Δ17O values of –2.5‰, in agreement with the low Mg# chondrules in Acfer 094 and CO chondrites and some chondrules in CV and CR chondrites. They might form in environments containing the same anhydrous precursors as for the Δ17O ∼–5‰ and Mg# ∼99 chondrules, but enriched in 16O-poor H2O ice (∼0.3–0.4× the CI dust; Δ17O>0‰) and at dust enrichments of ∼300–2000×.

Regarding the Mg# and oxygen isotope ratios, the chondrule populations sampled by CM and CO chondrites are similar and indistinguishable. The similarity of these 16O-rich components in CO and CM chondrites is also supported by the common Fe/Mn ratio of olivine in type II chondrules. Although they accreted similar high-temperature silicates, CO chondrites are anhydrous compared to CM chondrites, suggesting they derived from different parent bodies formed inside and outside the snow line, respectively. If chondrules in CO and CM chondrites formed at the same disk locations but the CM parent body accreted later than the CO parent body, the snow line might have crossed the the common chondrule-forming region towards the Sun between the time of the CO and CM parent bodies accretion.”