Barred olivine chondrules in ordinary chondrites: Constraints on chondrule formationOPEN ACCESS 

Alan E. Rubin, Tasha L. Dunn, Kyla Garner, Malena Cecchi, Mitchel Hernandez

First published: 11 July 2023


“In general, barred olivine (BO) chondrules formed from completely melted precursors. Among BO chondrules in unequilibrated ordinary chondrites, there are significant positive correlations among chondrule diameter, bar thickness, and rim thickness. In the nebula, smaller BO precursor droplets cooled faster than larger droplets (due to their higher surface area/volume ratios) and grew thinner bars and rims. There is a bimodal distribution in the olivine FeO content in BO chondrules, with a hiatus between 11 and 19 wt% FeO. The ratio of (FeO rich)/(FeO poor) BO chondrules decreases from 12.0 in H to 1.6 in L to 1.3 in LL. This is the opposite of the case for porphyritic chondrules: the mean (FeO rich)/(FeO poor) modal ratio increases from 0.8 in H to 1.8 in L to 2.8 in LL. During H chondrite agglomeration, most precursor dustballs were small with low bulk FeO/(FeO + MgO) ratios and moderately high melting temperatures. The energy available for chondrule melting from flash heating was relatively low, capable of completely melting many ferroan dusty precursors (to form FeO-rich BO chondrules), but incapable of completely melting many magnesian dusty precursors (to form FeO-poor BO chondrules). When L and LL chondrites agglomerated somewhat later, significant proportions of precursor dustballs were relatively large and had moderately high bulk FeO/(FeO + MgO) ratios. The energy available from flash heating was higher, capable of completely melting higher proportions of magnesian dusty precursors to form FeO-poor BO chondrules. These differences may have resulted from an increase in the amplitude of lightning discharges in the nebula caused by enhanced charge separation.”