Radial mixing and Ru–Mo isotope systematics under different accretion scenarios

1,2,3Rebecca A. Fischer, 2Francis Nimmo, 4David P. O’Brien
Earth and Planetary Science Letters 482, 105-114 Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2017.10.055]
1Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Mineral Sciences, United States
2University of California Santa Cruz, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, United States
3Harvard University, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, United States
4Planetary Science Institute, United States
Copyright Elsevier

The Ru–Mo isotopic compositions of inner Solar System bodies may reflect the provenance of accreted material and how it evolved with time, both of which are controlled by the accretion scenario these bodies experienced. Here we use a total of 116 N-body simulations of terrestrial planet accretion, run in the Eccentric Jupiter and Saturn (EJS), Circular Jupiter and Saturn (CJS), and Grand Tack scenarios, to model the Ru–Mo anomalies of Earth, Mars, and Theia analogues. This model starts by applying an initial step function in Ru–Mo isotopic composition, with compositions reflecting those in meteorites, and traces compositional evolution as planets accrete. The mass-weighted provenance of the resulting planets reveals more radial mixing in Grand Tack simulations than in EJS/CJS simulations, and more efficient mixing among late-accreted material than during the main phase of accretion in EJS/CJS simulations. We find that an extensive homogeneous inner disk region is required to reproduce Earth’s observed Ru–Mo composition. EJS/CJS simulations require a homogeneous reservoir in the inner disk extending to ≥3–4 AU (≥74–98% of initial mass) to reproduce Earth’s composition, while Grand Tack simulations require a homogeneous reservoir extending to ≥3–10 AU (≥97–99% of initial mass), and likely to ≥6–10 AU. In the Grand Tack model, Jupiter’s initial location (the most likely location for a discontinuity in isotopic composition) is ∼3.5 AU; however, this step location has only a 33% likelihood of producing an Earth with the correct Ru–Mo isotopic signature for the most plausible model conditions. Our results give the testable predictions that Mars has zero Ru anomaly and small or zero Mo anomaly, and the Moon has zero Mo anomaly. These predictions are insensitive to wide variations in parameter choices.

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