Kinetic stability of a melted iron globule during chondrule formation. I. Non-rotating model

Masayuki Uesugi, Minoru Sekiya, Tomoki Nakamura

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Abstract

We have investigated the kinematics of the separation of iron globules from chondrules during chondrule formation. A simple model, which assumes that the system has no angular momentum, was used to calculate the energy of a system with an iron globule and a chondrule. The energies of three different states were calculated: 1) a melted iron globule fully embedded in a melted chondrule, 2) a melted iron globule on the surface of a melted chondrule, and 3) a melted iron globule being separated from a melted chondrule. We also calculated the lowest energy shape for a melted iron globule on the surface of a melted chondrule, and compared our result with the shapes of four natural samples of chondrules and iron globules in thin sections. The shapes were calculated using an assumed value for the interface energy between the four couples of melted chondrules and the iron globules, and agree well with the natural shapes of chondrules and iron globules. The results of our calculations show that the iron globules of these four samples would be strongly bound to the surface of the melted chondrule during chondrule formation, and separation would be difficult, if the iron globules had been on the surface of precursors of these chondrules. Our results also show that if these iron globules were initially inside and transported to the surface of the melted chondrule, most of them would be ejected from the inside to outside because of surface tension forces, as long as the energy losses due to viscous dissipation when the globules pass through the surface of melted chondrules were sufficiently small. Although further improvement of the model is required, our results demonstrate that this ejection process may be responsible for the depletion of siderophile elements in natural chondrules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)717-730
Number of pages14
JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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