Zirconium isotope evidence for incomplete admixing of r-process components in the solar nebula

Schönbächler, Maria; Lee, Der-Chuen; Rehkämper, Mark; Halliday, Alex N.; Fehr, Manuela A.; Hattendorf, Bobo and Günther, Detlef (2003). Zirconium isotope evidence for incomplete admixing of r-process components in the solar nebula. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 216(4) pp. 467–481.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0012-821X(03)00547-8


Isotopic anomalies in Mo and Zr have recently been reported for bulk chondrites and iron meteorites and have been interpreted in terms of a primordial nucleosynthetic heterogeneity in the solar nebula. We report precise Zr isotopic measurements of carbonaceous, ordinary and enstatite chondrites, eucrites, mesosiderites and lunar rocks. All bulk rock samples yield isotopic compositions that are identical to the terrestrial standard within the analytical uncertainty. No anomalies in 92Zr are found in any samples including high Nb/Zr eucrites and high and low Nb/Zr calcium–aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs). These data are consistent with the most recent estimates of <10-4 for the initial 92Nb/93Nb of the solar system. There exists a trace of isotopic heterogeneity in the form of a small excess of r-process96Zr in some refractory CAIs and some metal-rich phases of Renazzo. A more striking enrichment in96Zr is found in acetic acid leachates of the Allende CV carbonaceous chondrite. These data indicate that the r- and s-process Zr components found in presolar grains were well mixed on a large scale prior to planetary accretion. However, some CAIs formed before mixing was complete, such that they were able to sample a population of r-process-enriched material. The maximum amount of additional r-process component that was added to the otherwise well-mixed Zr in the molecular cloud or disk corresponds to ~0.01%.

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