Late metal–silicate separation on the IAB parent asteroid: Constraints from combined W and Pt isotopes and thermal modelling

1Alison C. Hunt, 1David L. Cook, 2,3Tim Lichtenberg, 1Philip M. Reger,1 Mattias Ek, 4Gregor J. Golabek, 1Maria Schönbächler
Earth and Planetary Science Letters 482, 490-500 Link to Article []
1Institute of Geochemistry and Petrology, ETH Zürich, Clausiusstrasse 25, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland
2Institute of Geophysics, ETH Zürich, Sonneggstrasse 5, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland
3Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zürich, Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 27, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
4Bayerisches Geoinstitut, University of Bayreuth, Universitätsstrasse 30, 95440 Bayreuth, Germany
Copyright Elsevier

The short-lived 182Hf–182W decay system is a powerful chronometer for constraining the timing of metal–silicate separation and core formation in planetesimals and planets. Neutron capture effects on W isotopes, however, significantly hamper the application of this tool. In order to correct for neutron capture effects, Pt isotopes have emerged as a reliable in-situ neutron dosimeter. This study applies this method to IAB iron meteorites, in order to constrain the timing of metal segregation on the IAB parent body.

The ε182W values obtained for the IAB iron meteorites range from −3.61 ± 0.10 to −2.73 ± 0.09. Correlating εiPt with ε182W data yields a pre-neutron capture ε182W of −2.90 ± 0.06. This corresponds to a metal–silicate separation age of 6.0 ± 0.8 Ma after CAI for the IAB parent body, and is interpreted to represent a body-wide melting event. Later, between 10 and 14 Ma after CAI, an impact led to a catastrophic break-up and subsequent reassembly of the parent body. Thermal models of the interior evolution that are consistent with these estimates suggest that the IAB parent body underwent metal–silicate separation as a result of internal heating by short-lived radionuclides and accreted at around 1.4±0.1 Ma after CAIs with a radius of greater than 60 km.


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