The thallium isotope composition of carbonaceous chondrites - New evidence for live 205Pb in the early solar system

Baker, R. G. A. and Schönbächler, M. and Rehkämper, M. and Williams, H. M. and Halliday, A. N. (2010) The thallium isotope composition of carbonaceous chondrites - New evidence for live 205Pb in the early solar system. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 291 (1-4). pp. 39-47. ISSN 0012-821X DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2009.12.044

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Abstract

The extinct radionuclide 205Pb, which decays to 205Tl with a half-life of 15 Ma, is of considerable cosmochemical interest, as it is the only short-lived isotope that is produced exclusively by s-process nucleosynthesis. Evidence for the existence of 205Pb in the early solar system has only recently been obtained from analyses of IAB iron meteorites, but significant uncertainties remain about the initial 205Pb abundance and Tl isotope composition of the solar system. In an attempt to better constrain these values, a comprehensive 205Pb–205Tl isochron study was carried out on ten carbonaceous chondrites of groups CI, CM, CV, CO and CR. The Pb and Cd isotope compositions of the meteorites were also determined, to correct for terrestrial Pb contamination and eliminate samples that exhibit fractionated Tl isotope compositions from thermal processing. The analyses revealed only limited variation in ε205Tl, with values of between − 4.0 and + 1.2, but nonetheless the Tl isotope compositions correlate with Pb/Tl ratios. This correlation is unlikely to be due to stable isotope fractionation from terrestrial weathering or early solar system processes, and is most readily explained by in situ decay of 205Pb to 205Tl. Previous 53Mn–53Cr and 107Pd–107Ag studies of bulk carbonaceous chondrites provide evidence that the Pb–Tl isochron records volatile fractionation in the solar nebula at close to 4567 Ma. The isochron thus yields the initial 205Pb abundance and Tl isotope composition of the solar system, with values of 205Pb/204PbSS,0 = (1.0 ± 0.4) × 10− 3 and ε205TlSS,0 = − 7.6 ± 2.1, respectively. These results confirm the previous Pb–Tl data for IAB iron meteorites, which provided the first clear evidence for the existence of live 205Pb in the early solar system. The initial 205PbSS,0 abundance inferred from carbonaceous chondrites demonstrates that the 205Pb–205Tl decay system is well suited for chronological studies of early solar system processes that produce fractionations in Pb/Tl ratios, including core crystallization and the mobilization of volatiles during thermal processing. The 205PbSS,0 abundance is close to the upper limit of nucleosynthetic production estimates for AGB stars and thus in accord with contributions of such stars to the early solar system budget of freshly synthesized radioisotopes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: NILAREP
Subjects: 05 - Petrology - Igneous, Metamorphic and Volcanic Studies
Divisions: 05 - Petrology - Igneous, Metamorphic and Volcanic Studies
Journal or Publication Title: Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume: 291
Page Range: pp. 39-47
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.epsl.2009.12.044
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2016 13:41
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2016 13:41
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/3694

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