In situ Si isotope and chemical constraints on formation and processing of chondrules in the Allende meteoriteOPEN ACCESS 

Yogita Kadlag, Michael Tatzel, Daniel A. Frick, Harry Becker, Philipp Kühne

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Journal Pre-proof, Available online 23 April 2021


“Chondrules in undifferentiated meteorites are former silicate melt droplets of variable texture and composition. Although widely studied, the chondrule formation mechanisms and conditions that explain all properties of chondrules are yet to be identified. To further constrain the processes that affected chondrules in the solar nebula and on the meteorite parent body, we determined in situ Si isotope ratios and major and trace element compositions of minerals in chondrules of variable types and sizes from the Allende CV3 chondrite.

The δ30Si in chondrule minerals ranges from -1.28 ± 0.19 to 0.55 ± 0.20 ‰ (2SE). The δ30Si in chondrules shows no direct relationship with chondrule sizes or with distance between core and rim. Barred olivine-rich chondrules record the highest δ30Si, likely because of faster cooling and less interaction with isotopically light nebular gas. Type I non-porphyritic and some porphyritic chondrules show overall higher δ30Si compared to type II porphyritic chondrules. Furthermore, Mg-rich olivine and Mg-rich pyroxene have systematically higher δ30Si compared to Fe-rich olivine and Fe-rich pyroxene.

The variable δ30Si of type I chondrule silicates (Mg-rich) compared to type II chondrule silicates (Fe-rich) may be explained by variable interaction of chondrule silicates with the nebular gas in the solar nebula. We envision a combination of equilibrium and kinetic isotope fractionation of Si between nebular gas and Fe-poor silicates (such as forsterite, anorthite, enstatite and mesostasis) and Fe-rich olivine and orthopyroxene. Petrographic evidence suggests that the enrichment of Fe in some highly altered porphyritic chondrules and at chondrule rims was likely caused by hydrothermal alteration on the parent body. Therefore, the correlation of Fe and δ30Si of the chondrule minerals might serve as an indicator for the extent of further secondary processing of some chondrule minerals. The sum of these observations suggests that the formation and alteration of type II chondrules occurred by oxidation of originally reduced, metal-rich type I chondrules, both in the solar nebula and later on the meteorite parent body. Remaining 30Si depleted gas contributed to the isotopic composition of matrix silicates. The evidence favours the formation of chondrules and matrix of the Allende meteorite in nebular settings rather than by asteroid impacts.”