Isotopic signatures as tools to reconstruct the primordial architecture of the Solar System

1,2Jan Render,2Gregory A.Brennecka
Earth and Planetary Science Letters 555, 116705 Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116705]
1Institut für Planetologie, University of Münster, Wilhelm-Klemm-Straße 10, Münster, 48149, Germany
2Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 7000 East Ave., Livermore, CA, USA
Copyright Elsevier

The significant reorganization of the early Solar System due to giant planet migration has hampered our understanding of where planetary bodies formed. Previously employed proxies for reconstructing the primordial planetary architecture, such as water content or oxidation state, are complicated by post-accretionary processes. Here we investigate basaltic achondrites for their nucleosynthetic isotope signatures in the elements neodymium (Nd) and zirconium (Zr) and show that they are—similar to previously investigated chondritic meteorites—characterized by a relative deficit in isotopes produced by the s-process of nucleosynthesis. Importantly, these data are well correlated with nucleosynthetic signatures observed in other elements, demonstrating that s-process matter was heterogeneously distributed throughout the early Solar System. By comparing these isotopic signatures with potential proxies for Solar System reconstruction and computer modeling, we here argue that this isotopic heterogeneity in bulk meteoritic materials is linked to the original heliocentric distance of formation. Such scaling of nucleosynthetic signatures with heliocentric distance could permit reconstruction of the primordial architecture of the Solar System by ‘cosmolocating’ the accretion orbits of meteoritic parent bodies as a function of incorporated s-process matter.

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