Oxygen Isotopic Variations in the Calcium, Aluminum-rich Inclusion–forming Region Recorded by a Single Refractory Inclusion from the CO3.1 Carbonaceous Chondrite Dar al Gani 083OPEN ACCESS 

Samuel Ebert, Kazuhide Nagashima, Alexander N. Krot, Markus Patzek, and Addi Bischoff

The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 966, Number 1


“Calcium, aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs) are the oldest solids dated that formed in the solar system. Most CAIs in unmetamorphosed chondritic meteorites (chondrites; petrologic type ≤3.0) have uniform solar-like 16O-rich compositions (Δ17O ∼ −24‰) and a high initial 26Al/27Al ratio [(26Al/27Al)0] of ∼(4–5)×10−5, consistent with their origin in a gas of approximately solar composition during a brief (<0.3 Ma) epoch at the earliest stage of our solar system. The nature of O-isotope heterogeneity in CAIs (Δ17O range from ∼−24 up to ∼+5‰) from weakly metamorphosed chondrites (petrologic type >3.0) remains an open issue. This heterogeneity could have recorded fluctuations of O-isotope composition of nebular gas in the CAI-forming region and/or postcrystallization O-isotope exchange of CAI minerals with aqueous fluids on the chondrite parent asteroids. To obtain insights into possible processes resulting in this heterogeneity, we investigated the mineralogy, rare-earth element abundances, and O- and Mg-isotope compositions of a CAI from the CO3.1 chondrite Dar al Gani 083. This concentrically zoned inclusion has a Zn-hercynite core surrounded by layers of (from core to edge) grossite, spinel, melilite, and Al-diopside. The various phases have heterogeneous Δ17O (from core to edge): −2.2 ± 0.6‰, −0.9 ± 2.1‰, −13.7 ± 2.1‰, −2.6 ± 2.3‰, and −22.6 ± 2.1‰, respectively. Magnesium-isotope compositions of grossite, spinel, melilite, and Al-diopside define an undisturbed internal Al–Mg isochron with (26Al/27Al)0of (2.60 ± 0.29)×10−6. We conclude that the variations in Δ17O of spinel and diopside recorded fluctuations in O-isotope composition of nebular gas in the CAI-forming region prior to injection and/or homogenization of 26Al at the canonical level. The 16O depletion of grossite and melilite resulted from O-isotope exchange with asteroidal fluid, which did not disturb Al–Mg isotope systematics of the CAI primary minerals.”