The trace element composition of chondrule constituents: Implications for sample return methodologies and the chondrule silicate reservoir

Tak Kunihiro, Tsutomu Ota, Masahiro Yamanaka, Christian Potiszil, Eizo Nakamura

Meteoritics & Planetary Science
Version of Record online: 10 June 2021


“Sample return missions represent great opportunities to study terrestrially uncontaminated solar system materials. However, the size of returned samples will be limited, and thus, it is necessary to understand the most appropriate techniques to apply. Accordingly, the sensitivity of laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS) and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) was compared through the analyses of trace elements in reference materials and the Allende CV3 chondrite. While the SIMS method was found to be more sensitive than the laser method toward all elements of interest, the LA-ICPMS appears to be more suitable in terms of precision for certain elements. Using both analytical techniques, we measured chemical composition of an Allende chondrule and its igneous rim. These data were used to understand the nature of the reservoir that interacted with the host chondrule during formation of its igneous rim. We find that the igneous rim is enriched in silica, alkalis, and rare earth elements compared to the host chondrule. We suggest that the igneous rim could be explained by melting of a mixture of the chondrule-like and REE-enriched CAI-like precursors that accreted on the surface of the host chondrule followed by gas-melt interaction with a silica- and alkali-rich gas. Alternatively, these observations could be interpreted as a result of interaction between the chondrule and the melt resulting from partial melting of a pre-existing planetesimal in the early stages of its differentiation.”