Hydrogen in chondrites: Influence of parent body alteration and atmospheric contamination on primordial components

Lionel G. Vacher, Laurette Piani, Thomas Rigaudier, Dorian Thomassin, Guillaume Florin, Maxime Piralla, Yves Marrocchi

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Journal Pre-proof, Available online 13 May 2020


“Hydrogen occurs at the near percent level in the most hydrated chondrites (CI and CM) attesting to the presence of water in the asteroid-forming regions. Their H abundances and isotopic signatures are powerful proxies for deciphering the distribution of H in the protoplanetary disk and the origin of Earth’s water. Here, we report H contents and isotopic compositions for a set of carbonaceous and ordinary chondrites, including previously analyzed and new samples analyzed after the powdered samples were degassed under vacuum at 120°C for 48 hours to remove adsorbed atmospheric water. By comparing our results to literature data, we reveal that the H budgets of both H-poor and H-rich carbonaceous chondrites are largely affected by atmospheric moisture, and that their precise quantification requires a specific pre-degassing procedure to correct for terrestrial contamination. Our results show that indigenous H contents of CI carbonaceous chondrites usually considered the most hydrated meteorites might be almost a factor of two lower than those previously reported, with uncontaminated D/H ratios differing significantly from that of Earth’s oceans. Without pre-degassing, the H concentrations of H-poor samples (e.g., CVs chondrites) are also affected by terrestrial contamination. After correction for contamination, it appears that the amount of water in chondrites is not controlled by the matrix modal abundance, suggesting that the different chondritic parent bodies accreted variable amounts of water-ice grains. Our results also imply that (i) thermal metamorphism play an important role in determining the H content of both CV and ordinary chondrites but without affecting drastically their H isotopic composition since no clear D enrichment is observed with the increase of petrographic type and (ii) the D enrichment of ordinary chondrite organics does not result from the loss of isotopically light H2 induced by metal oxidation but is rather linked to the persistence of a thermally resistant D-rich component.”