Chromium Isotopic Constraints on the Origin of the Ureilite Parent Body

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We report on the mass-independent Cr isotope compositions of 11 main group ureilites and an ureilitic trachyandesite (ALM-A). The 54Cr/52Cr ratios for main group ureilites vary from −1.06 ± 0.04 to −0.78 ± 0.05 and averaged at −0.91 ± 0.15 (2SD, N = 18) including the data from literature. We argue that this variation reflects primitive mantle heterogeneities within the ureilite parent body (UPB). As such, this body did not experience a global-scale magma ocean, which is consistent with heterogeneous O isotope in ureilites. Furthermore, the ε54Cr values, Mn/Cr ratios, C isotope ratios, Mg# values, and Fe/Mn ratios in the olivine cores of ureilites are correlated with each other, which suggests the mixing of ureilite precursors from at least two reservoirs, rather than a smelting process or the oxidation from ice melting. All the ureilite samples (including the ALM-A) fall on a well-defined 53Mn–53Cr isochron corresponding to a 53Mn/55Mn ratio of (6.02 ± 1.59) × 10−6, which translates to an age of 4566.7 ± 1.5 Ma (within 2 Ma after calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions; CAIs) when anchored to the U-corrected Pb–Pb age for the D'Orbigny angrite. This old age indicates early partial melting on the UPB, consistent with the early accretion of the UPB (within 1 Ma after CAIs) predicted by thermal modeling. Furthermore, there is a 4∼5 Ma age difference between the external isochron in this study and internal isochron ages for the feldspathic clasts in polymict ureilites, which likely reflects an impact history during the early evolution of the UPB.
Original languageEnglish
Article number126
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Astrochemistry, Cosmochemistry, Cosmochronology, Asteroids, Small solar system bodies, Solar system planets, Isotopic abundances, Nucleosynthesis

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