Forming chondrules in impact splashes – II Volatile retentionOPEN ACCESS 

Cornelis Petrus Dullemond, Daniel Harsono, Sebastian Markus Stammler, Anders Johansen

Accepted for publication in ApJ
Update (18 Nov. 2016):
The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 832, Number 1

“Solving the mystery of the origin of chondrules is one of the most elusive goals in the field of meteoritics. Recently the idea of planet(esimal) collisions releasing splashes of lava droplets, long considered out of favor, has been reconsidered as a possible origin of chondrules by several papers. One of the main problems with this idea is the lack of quantitative and simple models that can be used to test this scenario by directly comparing to the many known observables of chondrules. In Paper I of this series we presented a simple thermal evolution model of a spherically symmetric expanding cloud of molten lava droplets that is assumed to emerge from a collision between two planetesimals. In the present paper, number II of this series, we use this model to calculate whether or not volatile elements such as Na and K will remain abundant in these droplets or whether they will get depleted due to evaporation. The high density of the droplet cloud (e.g. small distance between adjacent droplets) causes the vapor to quickly reach saturation pressure and thus shutting down further evaporation. We show to which extent, and under which conditions, this keeps the abundances of these elements high, as is seen in chondrules. We find that for most parameters of our model (cloud mass, expansion velocity, initial temperature) the volatile elements Mg, Si and Fe remain entirely in the chondrules. The Na and K abundances inside the droplets will initially stay mostly at their initial values due to the saturation of the vapor pressure, but at some point start to drop due to the cloud expansion. However, as soon as the temperature starts to decrease, most or all of the vapor recondenses again. At the end the Na and K elements retain most of their initial abundances, albeit occasionally somewhat reduced, depending on the parameters of the expanding cloud model. “