The University of Arizona

Cooling rates of porphyritic olivine chondrules in the Semarkona (LL3.00) ordinary chondrite: A model for diffusional equilibration of olivine during fractional crystallization



Cooling rates of chondrules provide important constraints on the formation process of chondrite components at high temperatures. Although many dynamic crystallization experiments have been performed to obtain the cooling rate of chondrules, these only provide a possible range of cooling rates, rather than providing actual measured values from natural chondrules. We have developed a new model to calculate chondrule cooling rates by using the Fe-Mg chemical zoning profile of olivine, considering diffusional modification of zoning profiles as crystals grow by fractional crystallization from a chondrule melt. The model was successfully verified by reproducing the Fe-Mg zoning profiles obtained in dynamic crystallization experiments on analogs for type II chondrules in Semarkona. We applied the model to calculating cooling rates for olivine grains of type II porphyritic olivine chondrules in the Semarkona (LL3.00) ordinary chondrite. Calculated cooling rates show a wide range from 0.7 °C/h to 2400 °C/h and are broadly consistent with those obtained by dynamic crystallization experiments (10-1000 °C/h). Variations in cooling rates in individual chondrules can be attributed to the fact that we modeled grains with different core Fa compositions that are more Fe-rich either because of sectioning effects or because of delayed nucleation. Variations in cooling rates among chondrules suggest that each chondrule formed in different conditions, for example in regions with varying gas density, and assembled in the Semarkona parent body after chondrule formation.


Cooling rate(s);Chondrule(s);Olivine;Diffusion coefficient

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