Nucleosynthetic Pt isotope anomalies and the Hf-W chronology of core formation in inner and outer solar system planetesimalsOPEN ACCESS 

Fridolin Spitzer, Christoph Burkhardt, Francis Nimmo, Thorsten Kleine

Accepted for publication in Earth and Planetary Science Letters


Update (6 October 2021): Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 576, 15 December 2021

“The 182Hf-182W chronology of iron meteorites provides crucial information on the timescales of accretion and differentiation of some of the oldest planetesimals of the Solar System. Determining accurate Hf-W model ages of iron meteorites requires correction for cosmic ray expo-sure (CRE) induced modifications of W isotope compositions, which can be achieved using in-situ neutron dosimeters such as Pt isotopes. Until now it has been assumed that all Pt isotope variations in meteorites reflect CRE, but here we show that some ungrouped iron meteorites display small nucleosynthetic Pt isotope anomalies. These provide the most appropriate starting composition for the correction of CRE-induced W isotope variations in iron meteorites from all major chemical groups, which leads to a ~1 Ma upward revision of previously reported Hf-W model ages. The revised ages indicate that core formation in non-carbonaceous (NC) iron meteorite parent bodies occurred at ~1-2 Ma after CAI formation, whereas most carbonaceous (CC) iron meteorite parent bodies underwent core formation ~2 Ma later. We show that the younger CC cores have lower Fe/Ni ratios than the earlier-formed NC cores, indicating that core formation under more oxidizing conditions occurred over a more protracted timescale. Thermal modeling of planetesimals heated by 26Al-decay reveals that this protracted core formation timescale is consistent with a higher fraction of water ice in CC compared to NC planetesimals, implying that in spite of distinct core formation timescales, NC and CC iron meteorite parent bodies accreted about contemporaneously within ~1 Ma after CAI formation, but at different radial locations in the disk. “