Differentiation of asteroids in the early solar system from Hf-W systematics


The first major differentiation in primitive planetesimals is the formation of metal- or metal-sulfide cores. To constrain the time of asteroidal differentiation, meteoritic metals and silicates coexisting with metals were analyzed for Wisotopes and Hf and W concentrations. The study focused on silicate inclusions in non-magmatic IAB iron meteorites and the corresponding metal phases as well as on winonaites and acapulcoites were analyzed. IAB iron meteorites formed by crystallization of metal ponds under low pressure conditions at or near the surface of their asteroidal parent body. The presence of abundant silicate inclusions reflects either incomplete metal-silicate separation or mixing of metal and silicates by impacts. Hafnium-W measurements were performed on magnetic and non-magnetic separates from seven IAB iron meteorites to constrain the exact timing of metal separation, silicate differentiation and metamorphism. IAB metals have a deficit in 182W of - 3.1 ± 0.2 -units (relative to terrestrial standard materials)...
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