New Evidence for Wet Accretion of Inner Solar System Planetesimals from Meteorites Chelyabinsk and Benenitra

Ziliang Jin, Maitrayee Bose, Tim Lichtenberg, Gijs D. Mulders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We investigated the hydrogen isotopic compositions and water contents of pyroxenes in two recent ordinary chondrite falls, namely, Chelyabinsk (2013 fall) and Benenitra (2018 fall), and compared them to three ordinary chondrite Antarctic finds, namely, Graves Nunataks GRA 06179, Larkman Nunatak LAR 12241, and Dominion Range DOM 10035. The pyroxene minerals in Benenitra and Chelyabinsk are hydrated (∼0.018–0.087 wt.% H2O) and show D-poor isotopic signatures (δDSMOW from −444 to −49). On the contrary, the ordinary chondrite finds exhibit evidence of terrestrial contamination with elevated water contents (∼0.039–0.174 wt.%) and δDSMOW values (from −199 to −14). We evaluated several small parent-body processes that are likely to alter the measured compositions in Benenitra and Chelyabinsk and inferred that water loss in S-type planetesimals is minimal during thermal metamorphism. Benenitra and Chelyabinsk hydrogen compositions reflect a mixed component of D-poor nebular hydrogen and water from the D-rich mesostases. A total of 45%–95% of water in the minerals characterized by low δDSMOW values was contributed by nebular hydrogen. S-type asteroids dominantly composed of nominally anhydrous minerals can hold 254–518 ppm of water. Addition of a nebular water component to nominally dry inner solar system bodies during accretion suggests a reduced need of volatile delivery to the terrestrial planets during late accretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number14
JournalPlanetary Science Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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