The University of Arizona

Selective release of D and 13C from insoluble organic matter of the Murchison meteorite by impact shock



We performed shock-recovery experiments on insoluble organic matter (IOM) purified from the Murchison meteorite, and determined the abundances and isotope ratios of hydrogen and carbon in the shocked IOM sample. We also performed shock experiments on type III kerogen and compared the results of these experiments with the experimental results regarding IOM. The shock selectively released D and 13C from the IOM, while it preferably released H and 12C from the kerogen. The release of these elements from IOM cannot be explained in terms of the isotope effect, whereas their release from kerogen can be explained by this effect. The selective release of heavier isotopes from IOM would be due to its structure, in which D and 13C-enriched parts are present as an inhomogeneity and are weakly attached to the main network. Shock gave rise to a high release of D even at a lower degree of dehydrogenation compared with the stepwise heating of IOM. This effective release of D is probably an inherent result of shock, in which a dynamic high pressure and high-temperature condition prevails. Thus, shock would effectively control the hydrogen isotope behavior of extraterrestrial organic matter during the evolution of the solar nebula.


Isotopes;insoluble Organic matter;geochemistry;Shock effect

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