Early inner solar system origin for anomalous sulfur isotopes in differentiated protoplanets Academic Article uri icon

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  • Achondrite meteorites have anomalous enrichments in (33)S, relative to chondrites, which have been attributed to photochemistry in the solar nebula. However, the putative photochemical reactions remain elusive, and predicted accompanying (33)S depletions have not previously been found, which could indicate an erroneous assumption regarding the origins of the (33)S anomalies, or of the bulk solar system S-isotope composition. Here, we report well-resolved anomalous (33)S depletions in IIIF iron meteorites (<-0.02 per mil), and (33)S enrichments in other magmatic iron meteorite groups. The (33)S depletions support the idea that differentiated planetesimals inherited sulfur that was photochemically derived from gases in the early inner solar system (<∼2 AU), and that bulk inner solar system S-isotope composition was chondritic (consistent with IAB iron meteorites, Earth, Moon, and Mars). The range of mass-independent sulfur isotope compositions may reflect spatial or temporal changes influenced by photochemical processes. A tentative correlation between S isotopes and Hf-W core segregation ages suggests that the two systems may be influenced by common factors, such as nebular location and volatile content.


  • Antonelli, Michael A
  • Kim, Sang-Tae
  • Peters, Marc
  • Labidi, Jabrane
  • Cartigny, Pierre
  • Walker, Richard J
  • Lyons, James R
  • Hoek, Joost
  • Farquhar, James

publication date

  • December 16, 2014