I-Xe ages of enstatite chondrites

Jens Hopp, Mario Trieloff, Ulrich Ott

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 23 November 2015


“In order to elucidate the early thermal history of enstatite chondrite parent bodies we determined 129I-129Xe whole rock ages of enstatite chondrites (5 EH, 2 EL, one EH impact melt) relative to the Shallowater reference meteorite (4562.3±0.4 Ma, all errors are 1σ). I-Xe ages of both EL6 chondrites (LON 94100: -4.38±0.60 Ma and Neuschwanstein: -3.87±0.73 Ma – negative sign indicates ages younger than Shallowater) agree well with data of other EL6 chondrites. LON 94100 displayed a second isochron at lower temperatures equivalent to a younger age of -5.25±1.17 Ma, perhaps reflecting different retention temperatures of respective carrier phases during sequential cooling. The enstatite chondrites Abee (EH4), Indarch (EH4), EET 96135 (EH4/5) and St. Marks (EH5) encompass a I-Xe age range of +0.57±1.05 Ma (EET 96135 #1) to -0.45±0.72 Ma (Abee), again in agreement with previously reported ages of EH chondrites. Only the age of St. Marks differs strongly from previously reported younger ages, now being more in accordance with other members of the EH clan. The EH3 chondrite Sahara 97096 showed the youngest I-Xe age of -7.87±0.46 Ma distinctly younger than other I-Xe ages of EH chondrites, including other EH3s. Due to the apparent high retention temperature of the I-Xe system in enstatite (estimated >800°C) this young age implies a later resetting of the I-Xe system by a severe thermal, likely impact-induced, event. The EH impact melt LAP 02225 records a similarly young thermal event. Though no isochron relationship could be established, the data fall within an apparent I-Xe age range of +5 to +15 Ma, similar to Sahara 97096. Overall, EH chondrite parent body experienced a thermal history determined by a complex interplay between impact disturbances and parent body metamorphism.”