Angrite meteorites record the onset and flux of water to the inner solar system

1,2,3,4Adam R. Sarafian, 1,4Sune G. Nielsen, 1,5Horst R. Marschall, 1Glenn A. Gaetani, 6Erik H. Hauri, 7Kevin Righter, 2,3Emily Sarafian
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta (in Press) Link to Article []
1Department of Geology and Geophysics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02540
2Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering, Cambridge, MA 02139
3Geology and Geophysics Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543
4NIRVANA Laboratories, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02540, USA
5Institut für Geowissenschaften, Goethe Universität Frankfurt, Altenhöferallee 1, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
6Carnegie Institution for Science, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Washington, DC 20015
7NASA Johnson Space Center, 2101 NASA Parkway, Houston, TX 77058
Copyright Elsevier

Earth and the other rocky bodies that make up the inner solar system are systematically depleted in hydrogen (H) and other cosmochemically volatile elements (e.g., carbon (C), fluorine (F), chlorine (Cl), and thallium (Tl)) relative to primitive undifferentiated meteorites known as carbonaceous chondrites. If we are to understand how and when Earth gained its life-essential elements, it is critical to determine the timing, flux, and nature of the delivery of condensed volatiles into the presumed hot and dry early inner solar system. Here we present evidence preserved in ancient basaltic angrite meteorites for an addition of volatiles to the hot and dry inner solar system within the first two million years of solar system history. Our data demonstrate that the angrite parent body was enriched in highly volatile elements (H, C, F, and Tl) relative to those predicted on the basis of the angrite parent body’s overall volatile depletion trend (e.g., H is enriched by up to a factor of 106).This relative enrichment is best explained by mixing of extremely volatile-depleted material, located well inside the snow line, with volatile-rich material derived from outside the snow line.


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