Carbonaceous chondrite meteorites experienced fluid flow within the past million yearsOPEN ACCESS 

Simon Turner, Lucy McGee, Munir Humayun, John Creech, Brigitte Zanda

Science 08 Jan 2021:
Vol. 371, Issue 6525, pp. 164-167
DOI: 10.1126/science.abc8116


Supplementary Materials

“Carbonaceous chondritic meteorites are primordial Solar System materials and a source of water delivery to Earth. Fluid flow on the parent bodies of these meteorites is known to have occurred very early in Solar System history (first <4 million years). We analyze short-lived uranium isotopes in carbonaceous chondrites, finding excesses of 234-uranium over 238-uranium and 238-uranium over 230-thorium. These indicate that the fluid-mobile uranium ion U6+ moved within the past few 100,000 years. In some meteorites, this time scale is less than the cosmic-ray exposure age, which measures when they were ejected from their parent body into space. Fluid flow occurred after melting of ice, potentially by impact heating, solar heating, or atmospheric ablation. We favor the impact heating hypothesis, which implies that the parent bodies still contain ice.”