Redox Conditions Among the Terrestrial PlanetsEarly solar system conditions should have been extremely reducing. The redox state of the early solar nebula was determined by the H2O/H2 of the gas, which is calculated (based on solar composition) to have been about IW-5. At high temperature under such conditions, ferrous iron would exist only as a trace element in silicates and the most common type of chondritic material should have been enstatite chondrites. The observation that E-chondrites form only a subset of the chondrite suite and that the terrestrial planets (Earth, Moon, Mars, Venus, 4 Vesta) contain ferrous and ferric iron as major and minor elements, respectively, implies that either most chondritic materials formed under conditions that were not solar or that early-formed metals oxidized at low temperature, producing FeO. For example, equilibrated ordinary chondrites (by definition, common chondritic materials), by their phase assemblage of olivine, orthopyroxene and metal, must fall not far from the QFI (Quartz-Fayalite-Iron) oxygen buffer. The QFI buffer is about IW-0.5 and, as we shall see, this fo2 is close to that inferred for many materials in the inner solar system.
Jones, J. H. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
August 21, 2013
January 1, 2004
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Special Session: Oxygen in the Solar System, I
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Public Use Permitted.
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