Condensate evolution in the solar nebula inferred from combined Cr, Ti, and O isotope analyses of amoeboid olivine aggregatesOPEN ACCESS 

Christian A. Jansen, Christoph Burkhardt, Yves Marrocchi, Jonas M. Schneider, Elias Wölfer, Thorsten Kleine

Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume 627, 1 February 2024, 118567



  • First combined O, Ti, and Cr isotopic investigation of AOAs.
  • AOAs and CAIs share same isotopic composition, despite different formation T.
  • Indicates formation from a common isotopic reservoir in disk.
  • Isotopic variation in disk caused by time-varied infall from the protosolar cloud.”

“Refractory inclusions in chondritic meteorites, namely amoeboid olivine aggregates (AOAs) and Ca-Al-rich inclusions (CAIs), are among the first solids to have formed in the solar system. The isotopic composition of CAIs is distinct from bulk meteorites, which either results from extreme processing of presolar carriers in the CAI-forming region, or reflects an inherited heterogeneity from the Sun’s parental molecular cloud. Amoeboid olivine aggregates are less refractory than CAIs and provide a record of how the isotopic composition of solid material in the disk may have changed in time and space. However, the isotopic composition of AOAs and how this composition relates to that of CAIs and later-formed solids is unknown. Here, using new O, Ti, and Cr isotopic data for eight AOAs from the Allende CV3 chondrite, we show that CAIs and AOAs share a common isotopic composition, indicating a close genetic link and formation from the same isotopic reservoir. Because AOAs are less refractory than CAIs, this observation is difficult to reconcile with a thermal processing origin of the isotope anomalies. Instead, the common isotopic composition of CAIs and AOAs is readily accounted for in a model in which the isotopic composition of infalling material from the Sun’s parental molecular cloud changed over time. In this model, CAIs and AOAs record the isotopic composition of the early infall, while later-formed solids contain a larger fraction of the later, isotopically distinct infall. This model implies that CAIs and AOAs record the isotopic composition of the Sun and suggests that the nucleosynthetic isotope heterogeneity of the solar system is predominantly produced by mixing of solar nebula condensates, which acquired their distinct isotopic compositions as a result of time-varied infall from the protosolar cloud.”