Fractionation in the solar nebula, II. Condensation of Th, U, Pu, and Cm

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Abstract

Reasonable assumptions concerning activity coefficients allow the calculation of the relative volatility of the actinide elements under conditions expected during the early history of the solar system. Several of the light rare earths have volatilities similar to Pu and Cm and can be used as indicators of the degree of fractionation of these extinct elements. Uranium is considerably more volatile than either Pu or Cm, leading to fractionations of about a factor of 50 and 90 in the Pu/U and Cm/U ratio in the earliest condensates from the solar nebula. Ca, Al-rich inclusions from the Allende meteorite, including the coarse-grained inclusions, have a depletion of U relative to La of about a factor of three, suggesting that these inclusions may have been isolated from the nebular gas before condensation of U was complete. The inclusions, however, can be used to determine solar Pu/U and Cm/U ratios if the rare earth patterns are determined in addition to the other normal measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-70
Number of pages8
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1978

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solar nebula
Fractionation
fractionation
condensation
Condensation
Allende meteorite
inclusions
actinide
activity coefficient
volatility
condensate
Rare earths
solar system
uranium
rare earth elements
Actinoid Series Elements
Meteorites
Uranium
Solar system
Activity coefficients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics

Cite this

Fractionation in the solar nebula, II. Condensation of Th, U, Pu, and Cm. / Boynton, William V.

In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 40, No. 1, 1978, p. 63-70.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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