Distribution of 26Al in the CR chondrite chondrule-forming region of the protoplanetary disk

Devin L. Schrader, Kazuhide Nagashima, Alexander N. Krot, Ryan C. Ogliore, Qing Zhu Yin, Yuri Amelin, Claudine H. Stirling, Angela Kaltenbach

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We report on the mineralogy, petrography, and in situ measured oxygen- and magnesium-isotope compositions of eight porphyritic chondrules (seven FeO-poor and one FeO-rich) from the Renazzo-like carbonaceous (CR) chondrites Graves Nunataks 95229, Grosvenor Mountains 03116, Pecora Escarpment 91082, and Queen Alexandra Range 99177, which experienced minor aqueous alteration and very mild thermal metamorphism. We find no evidence that these processes modified the oxygen- or Al–Mg isotope systematics of chondrules in these meteorites. Olivine, low-Ca pyroxene, and plagioclase within an individual chondrule have similar O-isotope compositions, suggesting crystallization from isotopically uniform melts. The only exceptions are relict grains in two of the chondrules; these grains are 16O-enriched relative to phenocrysts of the host chondrules. Only the FeO-rich chondrule shows a resolvable excesses of 26Mg, corresponding to an inferred initial 26Al/27Al ratio [(26Al/27Al)0] of (2.5 ± 1.6) × 10−6 (±2SE). Combining these results with the previously reported Al–Mg isotope systematics of CR chondrules (Nagashima et al., 2014, Geochem. J. 48, 561), 7 of 22 chondrules (32%) measured show resolvable excesses of 26Mg; the presence of excess 26Mg does not correlate with the FeO content of chondrule silicates. In contrast, virtually all chondrules in weakly metamorphosed (petrologic type 3.0–3.1) unequilibrated ordinary chondrites (UOCs), Ornans-like carbonaceous (CO) chondrites, and the ungrouped carbonaceous chondrite Acfer 094 show resolvable excesses of 26Mg. The inferred (26Al/27Al)0 in CR chondrules with resolvable excesses of 26Mg range from (1.0 ± 0.4) × 10−6 to (6.3 ± 0.9) × 10−6, which is typically lower than (26Al/27Al)0 in the majority of chondrules from UOCs, COs, and Acfer 094. Based on the inferred (26Al/27Al)0, three populations of CR chondrules are recognized; the population characterized by low (26Al/27Al)0 (<3 × 10−6) is dominant. There are no noticeable trends with major and minor element or O-isotope compositions between these populations. The weighted mean (26Al/27Al)0 of 22 CR chondrules measured is (1.8 ± 0.3) × 10−6. An apparent agreement between the 26Al–26Mg ages (using weighted mean value) and the revised (using 238U/235U ratio for bulk CR chondrites of 137.7789 ± 0.0085) 207Pb–206Pb age of a set of chondrules from CR chondrites (Amelin et al., 2002, Science 297, 1678) is consistent with the initial 26Al/27Al ratio in the CR chondrite chondrule-forming region at the canonical level (∼5.2 × 10−5), allowing the use of 26Al–26Mg systematics as a chronometer for CR chondrules. To prove chronological significance of 26Al for CR chondrules, measurements of Al–Mg and U–Pb isotope systematics on individual chondrules are required. The presence of several generations among CR chondrules indicates some chondrules that accreted into the CR chondrite parent asteroid avoided melting by later chondrule-forming events, suggesting chondrule-forming processes may have occurred on relatively limited spatial scales. Accretion of the CR chondrite parent body occurred at >4.0-0.3 +0.5 Ma after the formation of CAIs with the canonical 26Al/27Al ratio, although rapid accretion after formation of the major population of CR chondrules is not required by our data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-302
Number of pages28
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
StatePublished - Mar 15 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Accretion
  • Al
  • CR chondrite
  • Chondrule
  • Chronology
  • Oxygen isotopes
  • Renazzo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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