Europlanet Science Congress 2021
Virtual meeting
13 – 24 September 2021
Europlanet Science Congress 2021
Virtual meeting
13 September – 24 September 2021
EPSC Abstracts
Vol. 15, EPSC2021-846, 2021
European Planetary Science Congress 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Early and sequential formation of planetesimals in an outer region of the protoplanetary disc

Audrey Bouvier1, Ning Ma1, Wladimir Neumann2, Adrien Neri1, Winfried H. Schwarz2, Thomas Ludwig2, Mario Trieloff2, and Hubert Klahr3
Audrey Bouvier et al.
  • 1Bayerisches Geoinstitut, Universität Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany
  • 2Institut für Geowissenschaften, Universität Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 3Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany

Isotopic anomalies in meteorites have revealed two reservoirs of planetesimal formation corresponding to non-carbonaceous (NC) and carbonaceous (C) compositions sampling the inner and more outer regions of the disc respectively (Kruijer et al. 2020), or possibly formed at different periods (Lichtenberg et al. 2021). Chronological studies provide constraints on the timing of such separation lasting between 1 and 4 Myr after CAIs. Generally, differentiated planetesimals are found to be prevalent in the NC region and accreted within <0.5-2 Myr after solar system formation, forming before undifferentiated NC and C parent bodies (2 to 4 Myr). NC irons started accreting slightly before C irons but all within 1 Myr (Kruijer et al. 2020; Lichtenberg et al. 2021).

We present here a first group of 12 partially differentiated primitive C achondrites which are isotopically related to the CR2 chondrites. We propose the name of Tafassites after the Tafassasset meteorite. These meteorites are currently classed as CR6, CR7, ungrouped chondrites and achondrites, or primitive achondrites. Among these, we investigated Taffassasset, NWA 7317, NWA 11561 and NWA 12455 for their mineralogy and textures, and modelled their two-pyroxene equilibration temperatures (1334 to 1413 K), and fO2 (-1.4 ± 0.1 in log unit below the iron-wüstite buffer). We also obtained in-situ SIMS U-Pb ages in merrillite phosphates (closure temperature Tc ~720 K) ranging from the oldest at 4561.0 ± 2.9 Ma (n=21, uncertainties reported as ±1σ) for NWA 11561, 4560.1 ± 2.9 Ma (n=10) for NWA 7317, 4558.4 ± 3.5 Ma (n=16) for NWA 12455 and slightly younger 4549 ± 8 Ma (n=7) for Tafassasset (Schwarz et al. 2021). On average, the duration of cooling recorded by phosphates lasts for 8 ± 4 Myr after formation of calcium aluminium-rich inclusions (CAIs).

We use these observations and parameters along with geochemical and geochronological literature data to constrain the formation and thermal evolution of the Tafassite parent body (TPB). We performed numerical modelling of the accretion and thermal evolution of the TPB (Neumann et al. 2018). The best fit for accretion occurs at 0.9 ± 0.1 Myr after CAIs, with a corresponding radius of >50 km. This age is before the formation of two other CR-related differentiated achondrite and the CR2 chondrite PBs at ~1.5, ~1.7, and ~4 Myr, respectively (Sanborn et al. 2019). Our results indicate that TPB formed concurrently with NC primitive achondrite PB (Neumann et al. 2018).

Based on geochemistry and reported 17O-54Cr-50Ti isotopic anomalies (Sanborn et al. 2019), Tafassites can be further distinguished from CR2 chondrite and NWA 011 and NWA 6704 differentiated achondrite parent bodies (PB). While a high pebble flux is a preferred mechanism for regulating early planetesimal formation (Lenz et al. 2019; 2020), the close relationship of isotopic anomalies for 54Cr among these CR-related planetesimals suggest instead that limited radial mixing of pebbles as building material occurred after 1 Myr of disc evolution. The late formation and compositional observations of CR chondrites require both a change to less efficient planetesimal formation and a pebble storage mechanism, e.g., in disc ring structures (Hartlep and Cuzzi 2020). Our results therefore demonstrate that rocky parent bodies accreted early and sequentially, from 1 to 4 Myr after CAIs, and depict different accretion mechanisms within a limited region of the outer solar system.


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Kruijer, Kleine and Borg. 2020. The great isotopic dichotomy of the early Solar System, Nature Astronomy, 4: 32–40.

Lenz, Klahr and Birnstiel. 2019. Planetesimal population synthesis: Pebble flux-regulated planetesimal formation, The Astrophysical Journal, 874: 36.

Lenz, Klahr, Birnstiel, Kretke and Stammler. 2020. Constraining the parameter space for the solar nebula-The effect of disk properties on planetesimal formation, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 640: A61.

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Sanborn et al. 2019. Carbonaceous achondrites Northwest Africa 6704/6693: Milestones for early Solar System chronology and genealogy, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 245: 577-96.

Schwarz et al. 2021. Pb-Pb Ages of Chondritic Phosphates. Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Abstract # 1981.

How to cite: Bouvier, A., Ma, N., Neumann, W., Neri, A., Schwarz, W. H., Ludwig, T., Trieloff, M., and Klahr, H.: Early and sequential formation of planetesimals in an outer region of the protoplanetary disc, European Planetary Science Congress 2021, online, 13–24 Sep 2021, EPSC2021-846,, 2021.

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