The geologic history of Vesta inferred from combined 207Pb/206Pb and 40Ar/39Ar chronology of basaltic eucrites

Tsuyoshi Iizuka, Fred Jourdan, Akira Yamaguchi, Piers Koefoed, Yuki Hibiya, Kengo T. M. Ito, Yuri Amelin

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Journal Pre-proof, Available online 26 September 2019


“Eucrites represent samples of mafic crust of the parent body, likely Vesta, and record a complex geologic history involving magmatism, metamorphism, impact processing, and metasomatism. For better understanding of the geologic history, we present combined 207Pb/206Pb and 40Ar/39Ar chronology of four basaltic eucrites showing distinct petrologic features: Agoult, an equilibrated eucrite with granulitic textures; Camel Donga, a brecciated equilibrated eucrite enriched in metallic iron; DaG 380, a partially equilibrated monomict eucrite; and NWA 049, a metasomatized polymict eucrite comprising mostly unequilibrated clasts. The 207Pb/206Pb dating in combination with the acid washing technique was applied to pyroxene-rich and plagioclase-rich fractions, while the 40Ar/39Ar dating was performed mainly on plagioclase grains using the laser incremental heating method. The Pb isotopic data for acid leaching residues are more radiogenic than those for acid washes, reflecting efficient removal of non-radiogenic Pb components by the acid washing. Among the residues, however, only those of the Agoult and Camel Donga plagioclase-rich fractions yielded isochrons, rather than errorchrons, with 207Pb/206Pb ages of 4532.39 ± 0.87 Ma and 4515.43 ± 0.42 Ma, respectively. The trace element systematics further suggest that these residues essentially represent contaminant oxide minerals such as ilmenite and chromite rather than plagioclase. On the other hand, the Ar isotopic data for Agoult and Camel Donga yielded plateau ages with weighted means of 4494 ± 9 Ma and 3749 ± 25 Ma, in contrast to those for DaG 380 and NWA 049 that did not return any plateau. The 207Pb/206Pb and 40Ar/39Ar ages of Agoult are interpreted to reflect the time of the U–Pb and K–Ar system closure during a prolonged thermal metamorphism. By combining the ages reported here and in the literature with the calculated closure temperatures, the cooling rate of Agoult is determined to be 11 ± 2 ˚C/Ma. This cooling rate corresponds to a burial depth of 10–20 km, indicating that granulitic eucrites were originally crystallized near the surface and were subsequently buried and metamorphosed. The ∼20 Ma younger 207Pb/206Pb ages of Camel Donga than Agoult are considered to reflect delayed burial metamorphism in the source region, whereas the plateau 40Ar/39Ar age would record the time of an impact causing brecciation and efficient Ar-degassing of the buried crust. Furthermore, the model 207Pb/206Pb dates calculated for acid-washed pyroxenes imply that the burial metamorphism of Agoult and DaG 380 were broadly contemporaneous and also that NWA 049 was metasomatized by fluids within the uppermost crust later than 4.4 Ga.”