Thermal recalcitrance of the organic D-rich component of ordinary chondrites

L. Remusat, L. Piani, S. Bernard

Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 435
Available online 29 December 2015


“Carbonaceous and ordinary chondrites (CCs and OCs) contain insoluble organic matter (IOM) with large D-excess compared to other objects in the solar system. The higher the temperature experienced by CCs, the lower the D/H ratio of their IOM. It seems to be the opposite for OCs. Here, we report NanoSIMS H- (and N-) isotopic imaging of IOM of three OCs that experienced thermal metamorphism in the sequence Semarkona, Bishunpur and GRO 95502. In addition, we performed flash heating experiments on the IOM of GRO 95502 at 600 °C and characterized the residues using NanoSIMS, Raman and XANES spectroscopy. The present study shows that, in contrast to IOM of CI, CM and CR, IOM of OCs exhibits very few D-rich (or 15N-rich) hotspots. Furthermore, although the evolution of the molecular structure of OC and CC IOM is similar upon heating, their D/H ratios do not follow the same trend: the D/H of OC IOM drastically increases while the D/H of CC IOM decreases. In contrast to CC IOM, the D-rich component of which does not survive at high temperatures, the present results highlight the thermal recalcitrance of the D-rich component of OC IOM. This suggests that CCs and OCs did not accrete the same organic material, thereby challenging the hypothesis of a common precursor on chondritic parent bodies. The present results support the hypothesis that OC IOM contains an organic component that could originate from the interstellar medium.”