Exploring the efficiency of stepwise dissolution in removal of stubborn non-radiogenic Pb in chondrule U-Pb dating

Renaud Merle, Yuri Amelin, Qing-Zhu Yin, Magdalena H. Huyskens, Matthew E. Sanborn, Kazuhide Nagashima, Katsuyuki Yamashita, Trevor R. Ireland, Alexander N.Krot, Melanie J. Sieber

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Journal Pre-proof, Available online 18 March 2020


“Chondrules in chondritic meteorites are unique witnesses of nebular and asteroidal processes that preceded large-scale planetary accretion. Together with refractory calcium-aluminium-rich inclusions (CAIs), they are the sources of our knowledge of the initial evolution of the early Solar System. We have investigated a single very large (>10 mm in longer dimension) chondrule, hereafter, the mega-chondrule A25-2, extracted from the Allende CV3 chondrite. We characterised texture, mineralogy and mineral chemistry of this chondrule, and studied its Al-Mg, U-Pb and U-isotope systematics. We also studied the distribution of U, Th and Pb, and measured Pb isotopic composition in individual minerals of A25-2 by secondary ion mass-spectrometry (SIMS). The main difficulty in absolute age determination was the presence of pervasive and resilient non-radiogenic Pb. In the search for the best way to separate radiogenic Pb from non-radiogenic Pb components of terrestrial and asteroidal origins, we used various protocols of multi-step leaching and assessed their efficiency in generating data suitable for the construction of an isochron. Testing the data filtering procedure led us to explore the behaviour of the stepwise leaching method in the presence of pervasive and resilient non-radiogenic Pb. The model age patterns observed in the final HF partial dissolution steps were probably induced by isotopic fractionation. Although step leaching did not yield fractions with highly radiogenic Pb, a Pb-Pb isochron age corrected for measured 238U/235U was obtained by: (1) data filtering process based on strict analytical and geochemical criteria to include in the Pb-Pb isochron only leaching steps free from terrestrial contamination and (2) arithmetically recombined analyses to cancel the effects of leaching-induced isotopic fractionation.

This extensive data processing yielded the age of 4568.5±3.0 Ma, which we consider reliable within its uncertainty limits, although it is not as precise as, and more model dependent than, the age that could have been obtained if Pb isotopic compositions were more radiogenic. The 238U/235U ratio of the mega-chondrule is 137.764±0.016, which is similar to the ratios obtained from single chondrules yet slightly different from small pooled Allende chondrules. The initial 27Al/26Al ratio inferred from internal isochron obtained from SIMS Al-Mg isotope measurements is (5.4±6.5)×10–6, which corresponds to 4565.0 +0.8/-∞ Ma, assuming homogeneous distribution of 26Al throughout the protoplanetary disk at the canonical level (∼5.2×10−5). This age is 3.5±3.1 Ma younger than the Pb-isotopic age. Calculation of 26Al-26Mg age assuming initial (27Al/26Al)0 of (1.36±0.72)×10–5 in the chondrule-forming region yields the age of 4566.4+0.8/-∞, which is consistent with the Pb-isotopic age.”