Zinc isotope anomalies in primitive meteorites identify the outer solar system as an important source of Earth's volatile inventory
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The source of and timing of delivery of the volatile elements to Earth is a question that is fundamental to understanding how our planet evolved. Here, we show that primitive meteorites have resolved mass-independent Zn isotope anomalies from the terrestrial reservoir. Carbonaceous chondrites (CC), likely originating from the outer Solar System are distinct from non-CC, and Earth is intermediate between these two components. Modelling based on these data indicates that around 30% of Earth's budget of Zn and other moderately volatile material derives from the participation of 6% of CC-like materials during Earth's accretion, with the remaining coming from NC meteorites. This implies that, despite the relatively minor mass of Earth thought to derive from CC-like material, the CC component of Earth was relatively and significantly volatile-enriched; this is in line with the observation that the terrestrial elemental abundance pattern of moderately volatile elements could be explained by a carbonaceous source, and with the carbonaceous chondrite-like isotopic budget of more volatile-rich material accreted later in Earth's accretion history (e.g. Hg, Se, N, noble gases).
Savage , P S , Moynier , F & Boyet , M 2022 , ' Zinc isotope anomalies in primitive meteorites identify the outer solar system as an important source of Earth's volatile inventory ' , Icarus , vol. 386 , 115172 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2022.115172
Copyright © 2022 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/bync-nd/4.0/).
DescriptionFM acknowledge funding from ERC grant agreement No. 101001282 (METAL), the UnivEarthS Labex program (numbers: ANR-10-LABX-0023 and ANR-11-IDEX-0005-02), the IPGP multidisciplinary program PARI, the Region île-de-France SESAME Grants no. 12015908, EX047016, and the IdEx Université de Paris grant, ANR-18-IDEX-0001 and the DIM ACAV+.
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