Short lived 36Cl and its decay products 36Ar and 36S in the early solar system

G. Turner, S. A. Crowther, R. Burgess, J. D. Gilmour, S. P. Kelley, G. J. Wasserburg

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    Variable excesses of 36S have previously been reported in sodalite in the Allende and Ningqiang meteorites and used to infer the presence of 36Cl in the early solar system. Until now no unambiguous evidence of the major decay product, 36Ar (98%), has been found. Using low fluence fast neutron activation we have measured small amounts of 36Ar in the Allende sodalite Pink Angel, corresponding to 36Cl/35Cl=(1.9±0.5)×10-8. This is a factor of 200 lower than the highest value inferred from 36S excesses in sodalite. High resolution I-Xe analyses confirm that the sodalite formed between 4561 and 4558Ma ago. The core of Pink Angel sodalite yielded a precise formation age of 4559.4±0.6Ma. Deposition of sodalite containing live 36Cl, seven million years or so after the formation of the CAI, appears to require a local production mechanism involving intense neutron irradiation within the solar nebula. The constraint imposed by the near absence of neutron induced 128Xe is most easily satisfied if the 36Cl were produced in a fluid precursor of the sodalite. The low level of 36Ar could be accounted for as a result of residual in-situ 36Cl decay, up to 1-2Ma after formation of the sodalite, and/or later diffusive loss, in line with the low activation energy for Ar diffusion in sodalite. © 2013 The Authors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)358-367
    Number of pages10
    JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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