Li and B isotopic variations in an Allende CAI: Evidence for the in situ decay of short-lived 10Be and for the possible presence of the short-lived nuclide 7Be in the early solar system
The concentrations and isotopic compositions of lithium, beryllium, and boron, analyzed in situ by ion microprobe in 66 spots of a type B1 Ca-Al-rich inclusion (CAI 3529-41) from the Allende meteorite, are reported. Large variations are observed for both the Li and the B isotopic ratios with 7Li/ 6Li ranging from 9.2 ± 0.22 to 12.22 ± 0.43 (a ≈250‰ range in δ7Li values) and 10B/ 11B ranging from 0.2468 ± 0.0057 to 0.4189 ± 0.0493 (a 410‰ range in δ11B values). The very low Li concentrations (<1 ppb) observed in several anorthite and fassaite grains require that a correction for the contribution of spallogenic Li produced during irradiation of the Allende meteoroid by galactic cosmic rays (GCR) be made (after this correction 7Li/ 6Li ranges from 9.2 ± 0.22 to 13.44 ± 0.56, i.e., a ≈350‰ range in δ7Li values). In 3529-41, the 10B/ 11B ratios are positively correlated with 9Be/ 11B in a manner indicating the in situ decay of short-lived 10Be (half-life = 1.5 Ma) with a 10Be/ 9Be ratio at the time of formation of the CAI of 8.8 ± 0.6 × 10 -4, which is in agreement with previous findings [McKeegan, K.D., Chaussidon, M., Robert, F., 2000. Incorporation of short-lived 10Be in a calcium-aluminum-rich inclusion from the Allende meteorite. Science289, 1334-1337]. The present detailed investigation demonstrates that only minor perturbations of the 10Be- 10B system are present in 3529-41, contrary to the 26Al/ 26Mg system for which numerous examples of isotopic redistribution following crystallization were observed [Podosek, F.A., Zinner, E.K., MacPherson, G.J., Lundberg, L.L., Brannon, J.C., Fahey, A.J., 1991. Correlated study of initial 87Sr/ 86Sr and Al-Mg systematics and petrologic properties in a suite of refractory inclusions from the Allende meteorite. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta55, 1083-1110]. Petrographically based criteria were developed to identify within the 66 analyzed spots in 3529-41, those where post-magmatic perturbation of the Li and Be distributions occurred. Li and Be concentrations measured in different analytical spots are compared with those predicted by using experimentally determined partition coefficients according to a model of closed-system crystallization of the CAI melt. These criteria show that 56% of the spots in melilite, 38% in anorthite, and 8% in fassaite suffered post-crystallization perturbations of Li and/or Be distributions. In the remaining spots, which do not show obvious indication of redistribution of Li or Be, the 7Li/ 6Li isotopic variations (corrected for GCR exposure) are positively correlated with 9Be/ 6Li suggesting the in situ decay of now-extinct 7Be. The derived isochron implies that at the time of its formation, the CAI melt had a 7Be/ 9Be ratio of 0.0061 ± 0.0013 and a 7Li/ 6Li ratio of 11.49 ± 0.13. In contrast, all the spots in 3529-41, which do show evidence for post-magmatic redistribution of Li and Be, have relatively constant 7Li/ 6Li, averaging 11.72 ± 0.56, which is consistent with mass balance calculations for Li isotopic homogenization in the CAI after the decay of 7Be. The incorporation of live 7Be in 3529-41 requires, because of the very short half-life of this nuclide (53 days), that it be produced essentially contemporaneously with the formation of the CAI. Therefore, the irradiation processes responsible for production of 7Be must have occurred within the solar accretion disk. Calculations developed in the framework of the x-wind model [Gounelle, M., Shu, F.H., Shang, H., Glassgold, A.E., Rehm, E.K., Lee, T., 2004. The origin of short-lived radionuclides and early Solar System irradiation (abstract). Lunar Planet. Sci.35, 1829] reproduce the 7Be and 10Be abundances observed in 3529-41. The correlated presence of 7Be and 10Be in 3529-41 is thus a strong argument that 10Be, which is observed rather ubiquitously in CAIs, is also a product of irradiation in the early solar system, as might be a significant fraction of other short-lived radionuclides observed in early solar system materials.