The Effect of Jupiter's Formation on the Distribution of Refractory Elements and Inclusions in Meteorites

Steven Desch, Anusha Kalyaan, Conel M.O.D. Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Scopus citations


We present a comprehensive evolutionary model of the Sun's protoplanetary disk, constructed to resolve the "CAI storage problem" of meteoritics. We predict the abundances of calcium-rich, aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs) and refractory lithophile elements under the central assumption that Jupiter's ∼30 M core formed at about 3 au at around 0.6 Myr and opened a gap. CAIs were trapped in the pressure maximum beyond Jupiter; carbonaceous chondrites formed there. Inside Jupiter's orbit, CAIs were depleted by aerodynamic drag; ordinary and enstatite chondrites formed there. For 16 chondrites and achondrites, we review meteoritic data on their CAI and refractory abundances and their times of formation, constrained by radiometric dating and thermal models. We predict their formation locations, finding excellent consistency with other location information (water content, asteroid spectra, and parent bodies). We predict the size of particles concentrated by turbulence for each chondrite, finding excellent matches to each chondrite's mean chondrule diameter. These consistencies imply meteorite parent bodies assembled quickly from local materials concentrated by turbulence, and usually did not migrate far. We predict CI chondrites are depleted in refractory lithophile elements relative to the Sun, by about 12% (0.06 dex). We constrain the variation of the turbulence parameter α in the disk and find a limited role for magnetorotational instability, favoring hydrodynamical instabilities in the outer disk, plus magnetic disk winds in the inner disk. Between 3 and 4 Myr at least, gas persisted outside Jupiter but was depleted inside it, and the solar nebula was a transition disk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • accretion, accretion disks
  • planets and satellites: formation
  • planets and satellites: individual (Jupiter)
  • protoplanetary disks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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