Fine-grained rim formation – high speed, kinetic dust aggregation in the early Solar System

1Kurt Liffman
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta (in Press) Link to Article []
1Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122, Australia
Copyright Elsevier

Type 3 chondritic meteorites often contain chondrules and refractory inclusions that are coated with accretionary, fine-grained rims (FGRs). FGRs are of low porosity, were subject to centrally directed pressure, may contain high temperature products like microchondrules and there is a linear relationship between the rim thickness and the radius of the enclosed object.

FGRs are thought to have formed by the gentle adhesion of dust onto the central object with the subsequent compression of this fluffy rim within the parent body. However, this model does not explain the low porosity, micro-chondrules and centralized pressure. This model also has difficulties explaining the linear relationship between rim thickness and object size including the existence of a non-zero constant in that linear relationship.

We propose that FGRs formed by the relatively high-speed interaction between dust and the object, where high initial impact speed produced abrasion and, possibly, microchondrules. FGR formation occurred over a range of lower speeds aided by vacuum adhesion of fragments from the impacting dust particles. This model naturally produces the rim thickness linear relationship with non-zero constant, low porosity and centrally directed pressure. We call this process kinetic dust aggregation (KDA), which is another name for the aerosol deposition processes used in industry. KDA may be a tentative, part explanation of how dust aggregation occurs in protostellar disks on the pathway from dust to planets.


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