Volume 628, August 2019
|Number of page(s)||21|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||09 August 2019|
Thermal history modelling of the L chondrite parent body
Zentrum für Astronomie, Institut für Theoretische Astrophysik, Universität Heidelberg,
2 Klaus-Tschira-Labor für Kosmochemie, Institut für Geowissenschaften, Universität Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 236, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Accepted: 26 June 2019
Context. The cooling history of individual meteorites can be reconstructed if closure temperatures and closure ages of different radioisotopic chronometers are available for a couple of meteorites. If a close similarity in chemical and isotopic composition suggests a common origin from the same parent body, some basic properties of this body can be derived.
Aims. The radius of the L chondrite parent body, its formation time, and its evolution history are determined by fitting theoretical models to empirical data of radioisotopic chronometers for L chondrites.
Methods. A simplified evolution model for the L chondrite parent body was constructed considering sintering of the initially porous material, temperature dependent heat conductivity, and an insulating regolith layer. Such models were fitted to thermochronological data of five meteorites for which precise data for the Hf-W and U-Pb-Pb thermochronometers have been published.
Results. A set of parameters for the L chondrite parent body is found that yields excellent agreement (within error bounds) between a thermal evolution model and thermochonological data of five examined L chondrites. Empirical cooling rate data also agree with the model results within error bounds such that there is no conflict between cooling rate data and the onion-shell model. Two models are found to be compatible with the presently available empirical data: one model with a radius of 115 km and a formation time of 1.89 Ma after CAI formation, and another model with 160 km radius and formation time of 1.835 Ma. The central temperature of the smaller body remains well below the Ni,Fe-FeS eutectic melting temperature and is consistent with the apparent non-existence of primitive achondrites related to the L chondrites. For the bigger model, incipient melting in the central core region is predicted, which opens the possibility that primitive achondrites related to L chondrites could be found.
Key words: planets and satellites: physical evolution / planets and satellites: composition / minor planets, asteroids: general / meteorites, meteors, meteoroids
© ESO 2019
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