Tungsten isotopic constraints on the age and origin of chondrules

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Mar 15;113(11):2886-91. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1524980113. Epub 2016 Feb 29.


Chondrules may have played a critical role in the earliest stages of planet formation by mediating the accumulation of dust into planetesimals. However, the origin of chondrules and their significance for planetesimal accretion remain enigmatic. Here, we show that chondrules and matrix in the carbonaceous chondrite Allende have complementary (183)W anomalies resulting from the uneven distribution of presolar, stellar-derived dust. These data refute an origin of chondrules in protoplanetary collisions and, instead, indicate that chondrules and matrix formed together from a common reservoir of solar nebula dust. Because bulk Allende exhibits no (183)W anomaly, chondrules and matrix must have accreted rapidly to their parent body, implying that the majority of chondrules from a given chondrite group formed in a narrow time interval. Based on Hf-W chronometry on Allende chondrules and matrix, this event occurred ∼2 million years after formation of the first solids, about coeval to chondrule formation in ordinary chondrites.

Keywords: Hf-W chronometry; chondrule formation; complementarity; nucleosynthetic anomalies; planetesimal accretion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't