Experimental simulation of oxygen isotopic exchange in olivine and implication for the formation of metamorphosed carbonaceous chondrites

Ivanova MA, Lorenz CA, Franchi IA, Bychkov AY and Post JE

Meteoritics & Planetary Science
Volume 48, Issue 10, pages 2059–2070, October 2013


We have conducted hydration–dehydration experiments on terrestrial olivine to investigate the behavior of oxygen isotopic fractionation to test the hypothesis that multiple cycles of aqueous and thermal processing on a parent asteroid comprise a genetic relationship between CM2s and metamorphosed carbonaceous chondrites (MCCs). Two experiments were undertaken. In the first experiment, serpentine was obtained by hydrating terrestrial olivine (Fo90.9) in the laboratory. During this experiment, olivine was reacted with isotopically heavy water (δ18O 21.5‰) at T = 300 °C, = 300 bar, for 100 days. The oxygen isotopic composition of the experimental serpentine was enriched in 18O (by 10 ‰ in δ18O) due to exchange of oxygen isotopes between olivine and the 18O-rich water. Dehydrated serpentine was then produced during laboratory heating experiment in vacuum, at T = 930 °C, for 1 h. The oxygen isotopic composition of the dehydrated serpentine was enriched in 18O by a further 7 ‰. The net result of the hydration–dehydration process was an enrichment of 18O in the final material by approximately 17‰. The new experimental results suggest that the oxygen isotopic compositions of MCCs of the Belgica-like group, including Dhofar 225 and Dhofar 725, could be derived from those of typical CM2 chondrites via several cycles of hydration–dehydration caused by aqueous alteration and subsequent thermal metamorphism within their parent asteroids.