Micro-XCT chondrule classification for subsequent isotope analysisOPEN ACCESS 

Noah Jäggi, Antoine S. G. Roth, Miriam Rüfenacht, Maria Schönbächler, André Galli

Version of Record online: 23 June 2023


“Chondrules are microscopic, recrystallized melt droplets found in chondritic meteorites. High-resolution isotope analyses of minor elements require large enough element quantities which are obtained by dissolving entire chondrules. This work emphasizes the importance of X-ray computed tomography (XCT) to detect features that can significantly affect the bulk chondrule isotope composition. It thereby expands on other works by looking into chondrules from a wide range of chondrites including CR, CV, CB, CM, L, and EL samples before turning toward complex and time-consuming chemical processing. The features considered are metal and igneous rims, compound chondrules, matrix remnants, and metal contents. In addition to the identification of these features, computed tomography prevents the inclusion of non-chondrule samples (pure matrix or metal) as well as samples where two different chondrule fragments with potentially different isotope compositions are held together by matrix. Matrix surrounding chondrules is also easily detected and the affected chondrules can be omitted or reprocessed. The results strongly encourage to perform XCT before dissolution of chondrules for isotope analysis as a non-invasive method.”