Petrology and oxygen isotope compositions of chondrules in E3 chondrites

Michael K. Weisberg, Denton S. Ebel, Harold C. Connolly, Noriko T. Kita, Takayuki Ushikubo

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Chondrules in E3 chondrites differ from those in other chondrite groups. Many contain near-pure endmember enstatite (Fs<1). Some contain Si-bearing FeNi metal, Cr-bearing troilite, and, in some cases Mg, Mn- and Ca-sulfides. Olivine and more FeO-rich pyroxene grains are present but much less common than in ordinary or carbonaceous chondrite chondrules. In some cases, the FeO-rich grains contain dusty inclusions of metal. The oxygen three-isotope ratios (δ18O, δ17O) of olivine and pyroxene in chondrules from E3 chondrites, which are measured using a multi-collection SIMS, show a wide range of values. Most enstatite data plots on the terrestrial fractionation (TF) line near whole rock values and some plot near the ordinary chondrite region on the 3-isotope diagram. Pyroxene with higher FeO contents (∼2-10wt.% FeO) generally plots on the TF line similar to enstatite, suggesting it formed locally in the EC (enstatite chondrite) region and that oxidation/reduction conditions varied within the E3 chondrite chondrule-forming region. Olivine shows a wide range of correlated δ18O and δ17O values and data from two olivine-bearing chondrules form a slope ∼1 mixing line, which is approximately parallel to but distinct from the CCAM (carbonaceous chondrite anhydrous mixing) line. We refer to this as the ECM (enstatite chondrite mixing) line but it also may coincide with a line defined by chondrules from Acfer 094 referred to as the PCM (Primitive Chondrite Mineral) line (Ushikubo et al., 2011). The range of O isotope compositions and mixing behavior in E3 chondrules is similar to that in O and C chondrite groups, indicating similar chondrule-forming processes, solid-gas mixing and possibly similar 16O-rich precursors solids. However, E3 chondrules formed in a distinct oxygen reservoir.Internal oxygen isotope heterogeneity was found among minerals from some of the chondrules in E3 chondrites suggesting incomplete melting of the chondrules, survival of minerals from previous generations of chondrules, and chondrule recycling. Olivine, possibly a relict grain, in one chondrule has an R chondrite-like oxygen isotope composition and may indicate limited mixing of materials from other reservoirs. Calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs) in E3 chondrites have petrologic characteristics and oxygen isotope ratios similar to those in other chondrite groups. However, chondrules from E3 chondrites differ markedly from those in other chondrite groups. From this we conclude that chondrule formation was a local event but CAIs may have all formed in one distinct place and time and were later redistributed to the various chondrule-forming and parent body accretion regions. This also implies that transport mechanisms were less active at the time of and following chondrule formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6556-6569
Number of pages14
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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