Chronological constraints on the thermal evolution of ordinary chondrite parent bodies from the 53Mn-53Cr systemOPEN ACCESS 

Aryavart Anand, Jonas Pape, Martin Wille, Klaus Mezger

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Journal Pre-proof, Available online 1 May 2021


“The 53Mn-53Cr isotope systematics in ordinary chondrites constrains the accretion and thermal history of their parent bodies. Mineralogical observations and olivine-spinel geothermometry suggest that chromite in ordinary chondrites formed during prograde thermal metamorphism with the amount of chromite increasing with petrologic grades in type 3 to type 6 ordinary chondrites. Assuming a chondritic evolution of the respective parent bodies, 53Cr/52Cr model ages for chromite range from 3.99 (+0.93/-0.79) to 11.1 (+6.0/-2.8) Ma after the formation of calcium-aluminium-rich inclusions (CAIs). Chromite and silicate-metal-sulphide isochrons define an age range from 3.49 (+0.55/-0.50) to 16.1 (+2.4/-1.6) Ma. Both chromite model ages and isochron ages correlate with the petrological grade of the samples, which is consistent with an onion-shell structure of the chondrite parent bodies. The study shows that unlike the isochron ages, which are prone to impact-related disturbances or partial re-equilibration during cooling from high temperatures, the chromite model ages are not easily affected by thermal metamorphism or later events and yield robust mineral growth ages. The results are consistent with a homogenous distribution of 53Mn and an initial canonical 53Mn/55Mn = 6.28 x 10-6. The estimated closure temperatures for the Mn-Cr system in chromites range from ∼760 °C for type 6 to ∼540-620 °C for type 3 ordinary chondrites. The high closure temperatures estimated for type 3 and type 6 ordinary chondrites imply that the chromite ages correspond to the peak metamorphic temperature reached during the thermal history of the chondrite parent bodies. The oldest chromite model age obtained for type 3 samples along with the established Al-Mg chondrule formation ages constrain the accretion of the parent bodies to > 2.1 Ma after CAI formation, implying that planetesimal accretion immediately followed chondrule formation.”