Meteoritic evidence suggests that oxygen isotopic exchange between 16O-rich amorphous silicate dust and 16O-poor water vapor occurred in the early solar system. In this study, we experimentally investigated the kinetics of oxygen isotopic exchange between submicron-sized amorphous forsterite grains and water vapor at protoplanetary disk-like low pressures of water vapor. The isotopic exchange reaction rate is controlled either by diffusive isotopic exchange in the amorphous structure or by the supply of water molecules from the vapor phase. The diffusive oxygen isotopic exchange occurred with a rate constant D (m2 s-1) = (1.5 ± 1.0) × 10-19 exp[-(161.5 ± 14.1 (kJ mol-1))R -1(1/T-1/1200)] at temperatures below ∼800-900 K, and the supply of water molecules from the vapor phase could determine the rate of oxygen isotopic exchange at higher temperatures in the protosolar disk. On the other hand, the oxygen isotopic exchange rate dramatically decreases if the crystallization of amorphous forsterite precedes the oxygen isotopic exchange reaction with amorphous forsterite. According to the kinetics for oxygen isotopic exchange in protoplanetary disks, original isotopic compositions of amorphous forsterite dust could be preserved only if the dust was kept at temperatures below 500-600 K in the early solar system. The 16O-poor signatures for the most pristine silicate dust observed in cometary materials implies that the cometary silicate dust experienced oxygen isotopic exchange with 16O-poor water vapor through thermal annealing at temperatures higher than 500-600 K prior to their accretion into comets in the solar system.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science