Oxygen isotope variations in Mg-rich olivines from type I chondrules in carbonaceous chondrites

Guy Libourel, Kazuhide Nagashima, Marc Portail, Alexander N. Krot

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Journal Pre-proof, Available online 31 December 2021


“Using high-resolution cathodoluminescence (HR-CL) panchromatic imaging for the location of high-precision oxygen three-isotope analyses by secondary ion mass-spectrometry (SIMS), this study is aimed at characterizing the oxygen-isotope variations in Mg-rich olivines (≥ Fo99) of selected type I chondrules from the Yamato (Y) -81020 CO3.05 (Ornans-type) carbonaceous chondrite. Cathodoluminescence being extremely sensitive to faint changes in CL activator/quencher concentrations (Al, Cr, Mn, Fe) allows us to describe various overlooked cycles of growth and dissolution in Mg-rich olivines, which strongly suggest an intimate relationship with their gaseous environment during their formation. The present study confirms significant Δ17O variations of ten ‰ in Mg-rich olivines but does not support the relationship previously found between Mg# [MgO/(MgO+FeO)×100, mol%] and Δ17O among type I chondrules, nor the interpretation of redox changes that has been made of it. We instead show that Mg-rich olivines in Y-81020 chondrules exhibit a prominent 16O-enriched and 16O-depleted bimodal distribution, which is considered as the most primordial signature of type I chondrules from Y-81020 and very likely other carbonaceous chondrites. This signature is interpreted as a snapshot of the early stages of a mixing occurring between two clouds/environments in which chondrules formed and evolved by gas-melt interaction and mixed according to hydrodynamical instabilities imposed by the process responsible for the mixing. As far as this study allows, O-isotope variations of Mg-rich olivines seems to account for large scale dynamical instabilities while chemical variations highlighted by HR-CL (dissolution/growth) bear witness of smaller scale instabilities very likely occurring in the immediate vicinity of the chondrules. Without being able to decide on plausible astrophysical settings yet, we note however that processes like disruptive and vaporizing collisions between planetesimals offer a range of processes and physicochemical conditions, e.g., expansion, decompression, dynamical instabilities, that deserve to be explored in more detail, some of which resembling those highlighted in this study, e.g., gas-melt interaction, partial pressure fluctuations, heterogeneous materials, gas mixing.”