Evaporation and recondensation of sodium in Semarkona Type II chondrules

Hewins, Roger H.; Zanda, Brigitte; Bendersky, Claire

We have investigated the Na distributions in Semarkona Type II chondrules by electron microprobe, analyzing olivine and melt inclusions in it, mesostasis and bulk chondrule, to see whether they indicate interactions with an ambient gas during chondrule formation. Sodium concentrations of bulk chondrule liquids, melt inclusions and mesostases can be explained to a first approximation by fractional crystallization of olivine ± pyroxene. The most primitive olivine cores in each chondrule are mostly between Fa8 and Fa13, with 0.0022–0.0069 ± 0.0013 wt.% Na2O. Type IIA chondrule olivines have consistently higher Na contents than olivines in Type IIAB chondrules. We used the dependence of olivine–liquid Na partitioning on FeO in olivine as a measure of equilibration. Extreme olivine rim compositions are ∼Fa35 and 0.03 wt.% Na2O and are close to being in equilibrium with the mesostasis glass. Olivine cores compared with the bulk chondrule compositions, particularly in IIA chondrules, show very high apparent DNa, indicating disequilibrium and suggesting that chondrule initial melts were more Na-rich than present chondrule bulk compositions. The apparent DNa values correlate with the Na concentrations of the olivine, but not with concentrations in the bulk melt. We use equilibrium DNa to find the Na content of the true parent liquid and estimate that Type IIA chondrules lost more than half their Na and recondensation was incomplete, whereas Type IIAB chondrules recovered most of theirs in their mesostases. Glass inclusions in olivine have lower Na than expected from fractionation of bulk composition liquids, and mesostases have higher Na than expected in calculated daughter liquids formed by fractional crystallization alone. These observations also require open system behavior of chondrules, specifically evaporation of Na before formation of melt inclusions followed by recondensation of Na in mesostases. Within this record of evaporation followed by recondensation, there is no indication of a stage with zero Na in the chondrules, which is predicted by models for shock wave cooling at canonical nebular pressures, suggesting high PT. The high Na concentrations in olivine and mesostases indicate very high PNa while chondrules were molten. This may be explained by local, very high particle densities where Type II chondrules formed. The high PT, PNa and number densities of chondrules implied suggest formation in debris clouds after protoplanetary collisions as an alternative to formation after passage of shock waves through large particle-rich clumps in the disk. Encounters of partially molten chondrules should have been frequent in these dense swarms. However, in many ordinary chondrites like Semarkona, "cluster chondrites", compound chondrules are not abundant but instead chondrules aggregated into clusters. Chondrule melting, cooling and clustering in dense swarms contributed to rapid accretion, possibly after collision, by fallback on the grandparent body and by reaccretion as a new body downrange.


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Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

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Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Published Here
January 31, 2012