The case for the angrite parent body as the archetypal first-generation planetesimal: Large, reduced and Mg-enriched

1,2François L.H.Tissot,1,3Max Collinet,4,5Olivier Namur,1Timothy L.Grove
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta (in Press) Link to Article []
1Department of the Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA
2The Isotoparium, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
3Institute of planetary research, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Rutherfordstaße 2, 12489 Berlin, Germany
4Institute of Mineralogy, Leibniz University Hannover, Callinstrasse 3, 30167 Hannover, Germany
5Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200e, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium
Copyright Elsevier

Angrites are silica-undersaturated achondrites formed very early in the history of the Solar System, and the most volatile-depleted known meteorites. As such, the study of angrites can provide critical insights into the early stages of planetary formation, melting and differentiation. Yet, understanding the origins of angrites and the nature of their parent body has long been hindered by the initially small number of specimens available. Here, we leverage (i) the rapidly growing number of known angrites, and (ii) equilibrium crystallization experiments at various pressure, temperature and oxygen fugacity conditions (P-T-fO2), to revisit the petrogenesis of angrites and constrain key features of the angrite parent body (APB), such as its composition and size.

We observe that quenched (i.e., volcanic) angrites define two compositional groups, which we show are readily related by fractional crystallization. This crystallization trend converges on an olivine-clinopyroxene-plagioclase (Ol + Cpx + Plag) multiple saturation boundary, whose composition is sampled by D’Orbigny, Sahara 99555 and NWA 1296. Using the observation that some quenched specimens represent primitive angritic melts, we derive a self-consistent bulk composition for the APB. We find that this composition matches the proposed Mg/Si ratio of 1.3 derived from the angrite δ30Si values, and yields a core size (18 ± 6 wt%) in agreement with the siderophile elements depletion in the APB mantle. Our results support a primary control of nebular fractionation (i.e., partial condensation) on the composition of the APB. To establish the liquid phase equilibria of angrites, a series of 1 atmosphere and high-pressure crystallization experiments (piston cylinder and internally heated pressure vessel) was performed on a synthetic powder of D’Orbigny. The results suggest that the APB was a large (possibly Moon-sized) body, formed from materials condensed at relatively high-temperature (∼1300-1400 K), and whose fO2 changed from mildly reducing (∼IW-1.5) to relatively oxidizing (∼IW+1±1) in the ∼3 Myr between its core formation and the crystallization of D’Orbigny-like (Group 2) angrites. Based on its timing of accretion and differentiation, its composition, redox, and size, we argue that the APB represents the archetype of the first-generation of refractory-enriched planetesimals and embryos formed in the innermost part of the inner Solar System (<1 AU), and which accreted in the telluric planets.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s