Microdistribution of primordial Ne and Ar in fine-grained rims, matrices, and dark inclusions of unequilibrated chondrites--Clues on nebular processes
The low temperature fine-grained material in unequilibrated chondrites, which occurs as matrix, rims, and dark inclusions, carries information about the solar nebula and the earliest stages of planetesimal accretion. The microdistribution of primordial noble gases among these components helps to reveal their accretionary and alteration histories. We measured the Ne and Ar isotopic ratios and concentrations of small samples of matrix, rims, and dark inclusions from the unequilibrated carbonaceous chondrites Allende (CV3), Leoville (CV3), and Renazzo (CR2) and from the ordinary chondrites Semarkona (LL3.0), Bishunpur (LL3.1), and Krymka (LL3.1) to decipher their genetic relationships. The primordial noble gas concentrations of Semarkona, and--with certain restrictions--also of Leoville, Bishunpur, and Allende decrease from rims to matrices. This indicates a progressive accretion of nebular dust from regions with decreasing noble gas contents and cannot be explained by a formation of the rims on parent bodies. The decrease is probably due to dilution of the noble-gas-carrying phases with noble-gas-poor material in the nebula. Krymka and Renazzo both show an increase of primordial noble gas concentrations from rims to matrices. In the case of Krymka, this indicates the admixture of noble gas-rich dust to the nebular region from which first rims and then matrix accreted. This also explains the increase of the primordial elemental ratio 36Ar/ 20Ne from rims to matrix. Larger clasts of the noble-gas-rich dust form macroscopic dark inclusions in this meteorite, which seem to represent unusually pristine material. The interpretation of the Renazzo data is ambiguous. Rims could have formed by aqueous alteration of matrix or--as in the case of Krymka--by progressive admixture of noble gas-rich dust to the reservoir from which the Renazzo constituents accreted. The Leoville and Krymka dark inclusions, as well as one dark inclusion of Allende, show noble gas signatures different from those of the respective host meteorites. The Allende dark inclusion probably accreted from the same region as Allende rims and matrix but suffered a higher degree of alteration. The Leoville and Krymka dark inclusions must have accreted from regions different from those of their respective rims and matrices and were later incorporated into their host meteorites. The noble gas data imply a heterogeneous reservoir with respect to its primordial noble gas content in the accretion region of the studied meteorites. Further studies will have to decide whether these differences are primary or evolved from an originally uniform reservoir.