Re-examining the role of chondrules in producing the elemental fractionations in chondrites
AuthorAlexander, C. M. O'D.
MetadataShow full item record
CitationAlexander, C. M. O'D. (2005). Re‐examining the role of chondrules in producing the elemental fractionations in chondrites. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 40(7), 943-965.
PublisherThe Meteoritical Society
JournalMeteoritics & Planetary Science
AbstractThe matrices of all primitive chondrites contain presolar materials (circumstellar grains and interstellar organics) in roughly CI abundances, suggesting that all chondrites accreted matrix that is dominated by a CI-like component. The matrix-normalized abundances of the more volatile elements (condensation temperatures <750–800 K) in carbonaceous and ordinary chondrites are also at or slightly above CI levels. The modest excesses may be due to low levels of these elements in chondrules and associated metal. Subtraction of a CI-like matrix component from a bulk ordinary chondrite composition closely matches the average composition of chondrules determined by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) if some Fe-metal is added to the chondrule composition.Measured matrix compositions are not CI-like. Sampling bias and secondary redistribution of elements may have played a role, but the best explanation is that ∼10–30% of refractory-rich, volatile depleted material was added to matrix. If most of the more volatile elements are in a CI-dominated matrix, the major and volatile element fractionations must be largely carried by chondrules. There is both direct and indirect evidence for evaporation during chondrule formation. Type IIA and type B chondrules could haveformed from a mixture of CI material and material evaporated from type IA chondrules. The Mg-Si-Fe fractionations in the ordinary chondrites can be reproduced with the loss of type IA chondrule material and associated metal. The loss of evaporated material from the chondrules could explain the volatile element fractionations. Mechanisms for how these fractionations occurred are necessarily speculative, but two possibilities are briefly explored.