TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space

Earth Planets Space, Vol. 63 (No. 10), pp. 1087-1096, 2011

A new constraint for chondrule formation: condition for the rim formation of barred-olivine textures

Hitoshi Miura1, Etsuro Yokoyama2, Ken Nagashima3, Katsuo Tsukamoto1, and Atul Srivastava1

1Department of Earth and Planetary Materials Science, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University, Aoba 6-3, Aramaki, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8578, Japan
2Computer Centre, Gakushuin University, Mejiro 1-5-1, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 171-8588, Japan
3Division of Electrical, Electronic and Information Engineering, Graduate School of Enginnering, Osaka Univerisity, Suita 565-0871, Japan

(Received October 18, 2010; Revised June 3, 2011; Accepted June 3, 2011; Online published February 2, 2012)

Abstract: A barred-olivine (BO) chondrule usually has an olivine rim that covers the chondrule surface. Numerous experiments have been carried out to reproduce the BO texture. However, the rim structure could be reproduced only in a few studies reported in the literature. The difficulty in reproducing the rim structure lies in the fact that its formation condition has not been constrained experimentally or theoretically. In the present paper, we have carried out numerical simulations of crystal growth of a highly-supercooled melt droplet of pure forsteritic composition (Mg2SiO4), and succeeded in reproducing the double structure, i.e. the rim and the dendrite. The droplet cools from the surface, the temperature of which should be cooler than the center of the droplet. Since a crystal grows faster along the cooler surface than across the hotter center, the rim was found to be formed when the temperature difference between the center of the droplet and its surface is large enough. From our results, both from numerical simulations and analytical consideration, we found that the double structure of rim and the dendrite could be formed only when the cooling rate is within a narrow range, which depends upon the degree of supercooling. Our results, for the first time, could explain why the formation of rim of BO texture was hardly reproduced in the previous experiments reported in the literature to date.
Key words: Chondrule solidification texture, melt growth, supercooling, hypercooling, phase-field simulation.

Corresponding author E-mail: miurah@m.tohoku.ac.jp

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