Extended chondrule formation intervals in distinct physicochemical environments: Evidence from Al-Mg isotope systematics of CR chondrite chondrules with unaltered plagioclase

Travis J. Tenner, Daisuke Nakashima, Takayuki Ushikubo, Naotaka Tomioka, Makoto Kimura, Michael K. Weisberg, Noriko T.Kita

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 22 June 2019


“Al-Mg isotope systematics of twelve FeO-poor (type I) chondrules from CR chondrites Queen Alexandra Range 99177 and Meteorite Hills 00426 were investigated by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). Five chondrules with Mg#’s of 99.0 to 99.2 and Δ17O of −4.2‰ to −5.3‰ have resolvable excess 26Mg. Their inferred (26Al/27Al)0 values range from (3.5 ± 1.3) × 10−6 to (6.0 ± 3.9) × 10−6. This corresponds to formation times of 2.2 (–0.5/+1.1) Myr to 2.8 (−0.3/+0.5) Myr after CAIs, using a canonical (26Al/27Al)0 of 5.23 × 10-5, and assuming homogeneously distributed 26Al that yielded a uniform initial 26Al/27Al in the Solar System. Seven chondrules lack resolvable excess 26Mg. They have lower Mg#’s (94.2 to 98.7) and generally higher Δ17O (−0.9‰ to −4.9‰) than chondrules with resolvable excess 26Mg. Their inferred (26Al/27Al)0 upper limits range from 1.3 × 10−6 to 3.2 × 10−6, corresponding to formation >2.9 to >3.7 Myr after CAIs. Al-Mg isochrons depend critically on chondrule plagioclase, and several characteristics indicate the chondrule plagioclase is unaltered: (1) SIMS 27Al/24Mg depth profile patterns match those from anorthite standards, and SEM/EDS of chondrule SIMS pits show no foreign inclusions; (2) transmission electron microscopy (TEM) reveals no nanometer-scale micro-inclusions and no alteration due to thermal metamorphism; (3) oxygen isotopes of chondrule plagioclase match those of coexisting olivine and pyroxene, indicating a low extent of thermal metamorphism; and (4) electron microprobe data show chondrule plagioclase is anorthite-rich, with excess structural silica and high MgO, consistent with such plagioclase from other petrologic type 3.00-3.05 chondrites. We conclude that the resolvable (26Al/27Al)0 variabilities among chondrules studied are robust, corresponding to a formation interval of at least 1.1 Myr.

Using relationships between chondrule (26Al/27Al)0, Mg#, and Δ17O, we interpret spatial and temporal features of dust, gas, and H2O ice in the FeO-poor chondrule-forming environment. Mg# ≥ 99, Δ17O ∼−5‰ chondrules with resolvable excess 26Mg initially formed in an environment that was relatively anhydrous, with a dust-to-gas ratio of ∼100×. After these chondrules formed, we interpret a later influx of 16O-poor H2O ice into the environment, and that dust-to-gas ratios expanded (100× to 300×). This led to the later formation of more oxidized Mg# 94-99 chondrules with higher Δ17O (−5‰ to –1‰), with low (26Al/27Al)0, and hence no resolvable excess 26Mg.

We refine the mean CR chondrite chondrule formation age via mass balance, by considering that Mg# ≥ 99 chondrules generally have resolved positive (26Al/27Al)0 and that Mg# < 99 chondrules generally have no resolvable excess 26Mg, implying lower (26Al/27Al)0. We obtain a mean chondrule formation age of 3.8 ± 0.3 Myr after CAIs, which is consistent with Pb-Pb and Hf-W model ages of CR chondrite chondrule aggregates. Overall, this suggests most CR chondrite chondrules formed immediately before parent body accretion.”