Cosmogenic and trapped noble gases in individual chondrules: clues to chondrule formation

Das, J. P. ; Murty, S. V. S. (2009) Cosmogenic and trapped noble gases in individual chondrules: clues to chondrule formation Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 44 (11). pp. 1797-1818. ISSN 1086-9379

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We studied the elemental and isotopic abundances of noble gases (He, Ne, Ar in most cases, and Kr, Xe also in some cases) in individual chondrules separated from six ordinary, two enstatite, and two carbonaceous chondrites. Most chondrules show detectable amounts of trapped 20Ne and 36Ar, and the ratio (36Ar/20Ne)t (from ordinary and carbonaceous chondrites) suggests that HL and Q are the two major trapped components. A different trend between (36Ar/20Ne)t and trapped 36Ar is observed for chondrules in enstatite chondrites indicating a different environment and/or mechanism for their formation compared to chondrules in ordinary and carbonaceous chondrites. We found that a chondrule from Dhajala chondrite (DH-11) shows the presence of solar-type noble gases, as suggested by the (36Ar/20Ne)t ratio, Ne-isotopic composition, and excess of 4He. Cosmic-ray exposure (CRE) ages of most chondrules are similar to their host chondrites. A few chondrules show higher CRE age compared to their host, suggesting that some chondrules and/or precursors of chondrules have received cosmic ray irradiation before accreting to their parent body. Among these chondrules, DH-11 (with solar trapped gases) and a chondrule from Murray chondrite (MRY-1) also have lower values of (21Ne/22Ne)c, indicative of SCR contribution. However, such evidences are sporadic and indicate that chondrule formation event may have erased such excess irradiation records by solar wind and SCR in most chondrules. These results support the nebular environment for chondrule formation.

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