The University of Arizona

Alkali elemental and potassium isotopic compositions of Semarkona chondrules

C. M. O'd. Alexander, J. N. Grossman

Abstract


We report measurements of K isotope ratios in 28 Semarkona chondrules with a wide range of petrologic types and bulk compositions as well as the compositions of CPX-mesostasis pairs in 17 type I Semarkona chondrules, including two chondrules with radial alkali zonation and 19 type II chondrules. Despite the wide range in K/Al ratios, no systematic variations in K isotopic compositions were found. Semarkona chondrules do not record a simple history of Rayleigh-type loss of K. Experimentally determined evaporation rates suggest that considerable alkali evaporation would have occurred during chondrule formation. Nevertheless, based on Na CPX-mesostasis distribution coefficients, the alkali contents of the cores of most chondrules in Semarkona were probably established at the time of final crystallization. However, Na CPX-mesostasis distribution coefficients also show that alkali zonation in type I Semarkona chondrules was produced by entry of alkalis after solidification, probably during parent body alteration. This alkali metasomatism may have gone to completion in some chondrules. Our preferred explanation for the lack of systematic isotopic enrichments, even in alkali depleted type I chondrule cores, is that they exchanged with the ambient gas as they cooled.

Keywords


Elemental fractionations;Chondrule

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