Silicon and Oxygen Isotope Evolution of the Inner Solar SystemOPEN ACCESS 

Ryoji Tanaka, Christian Potiszil and Eizo Nakamura

The Planetary Science Journal, Volume 2, Number 3


“Enstatite chondrites have been regarded as major building blocks of the Earth and other differentiated inner planetary bodies due to the similarity of Δ17O (deviation of the δ17O value from the terrestrial silicate fractionation line) and nucleosynthetic isotope anomalies. However, this hypothesis has been rebutted by the fact that the Earth and enstatite chondrites show distinct Si isotopic compositions. It has been debated whether the origin of this Si isotope difference is the result of nebular or planetary processes. Here we show that the δ30Si (deviation of 30Si/28Si relative to NBS 28 standard) and the Δ17O values of chondrules in unequilibrated enstatite chondrites are between −0.20‰ and −0.54‰ and −0.36‰ and +0.26‰, respectively. Furthermore, the chondrules with higher Δ17O values tend to have lower δ30Si. The data exhibit values consistent with most of the noncarbonaceous group differentiated planetary bodies. This consistency suggests that the Si and O isotopic compositions of enstatite chondrules record those of the major precursors that formed the differentiated planetary bodies in the inner solar system. Model calculations based on the results reveal that the Si and O isotope variations of the enstatite chondrite chondrules were generated by an interaction between the evaporation-driven SiO-rich gas and partially or fully melted forsterite-rich precursor chondrules. The Mg/Si of the evaporated dust-gas mixtures increased with increasing silicate/metal ratio in the evaporated dust, which may have increased the bulk Mg/Si and δ30Si value of the inner planetary bodies.”