Abstract

Recent developments in planet formation theory and measurements of low D/H in deep mantle material support a solar nebula source for some of Earth's hydrogen. Here we present a new model for the origin of Earth's water that considers both chondritic water and nebular ingassing of hydrogen. The largest embryo that formed Earth likely had a magma ocean while the solar nebula persisted and could have ingassed nebular gases. The model considers iron hydrogenation reactions during Earth's core formation as a mechanism for both sequestering hydrogen in the core and simultaneously fractionating hydrogen isotopes. By parameterizing the isotopic fractionation factor and initial bulk D/H ratio of Earth's chondritic material, we explore the combined effects of elemental dissolution and isotopic fractionation of hydrogen in iron. By fitting to the two key constraints (three oceans' worth of water in Earth's mantle and on its surface; and D/H in the bulk silicate Earth close to 150 × 10−6), the model searches for best solutions among ~10,000 different combinations of chondritic and nebular contributions. We find that ingassing of a small amount, typically >0–0.5 oceans of nebular hydrogen, is generally demanded, supplementing seven to eight oceans from chondritic contributions. About 60% of the total hydrogen enters the core, and attendant isotopic fractionation plausibly lowers the core's D/H to ~130 × 10−6. Crystallized magma ocean material may have D/H ≈ 110 × 10−6. These modeling results readily explain the low D/H in core-mantle boundary material and account for Earth's inventory of solar neon and helium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

hydrogen
Hydrogen
Earth (planet)
oceans
Water
isotope fractionation
fractionation
water
isotopic fractionation
solar nebula
Fractionation
ocean
magma
Earth mantle
Earth core
iron
core-mantle boundary
hydrogen isotopes
Iron
neon

Keywords

  • D/H ratio
  • Earth's water
  • hydrogen isotope fractionation
  • magma ocean
  • nebular ingassing
  • planetary embryo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Palaeontology

Cite this

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title = "Origin of Earth's Water: Chondritic Inheritance Plus Nebular Ingassing and Storage of Hydrogen in the Core",
abstract = "Recent developments in planet formation theory and measurements of low D/H in deep mantle material support a solar nebula source for some of Earth's hydrogen. Here we present a new model for the origin of Earth's water that considers both chondritic water and nebular ingassing of hydrogen. The largest embryo that formed Earth likely had a magma ocean while the solar nebula persisted and could have ingassed nebular gases. The model considers iron hydrogenation reactions during Earth's core formation as a mechanism for both sequestering hydrogen in the core and simultaneously fractionating hydrogen isotopes. By parameterizing the isotopic fractionation factor and initial bulk D/H ratio of Earth's chondritic material, we explore the combined effects of elemental dissolution and isotopic fractionation of hydrogen in iron. By fitting to the two key constraints (three oceans' worth of water in Earth's mantle and on its surface; and D/H in the bulk silicate Earth close to 150 × 10−6), the model searches for best solutions among ~10,000 different combinations of chondritic and nebular contributions. We find that ingassing of a small amount, typically >0–0.5 oceans of nebular hydrogen, is generally demanded, supplementing seven to eight oceans from chondritic contributions. About 60{\%} of the total hydrogen enters the core, and attendant isotopic fractionation plausibly lowers the core's D/H to ~130 × 10−6. Crystallized magma ocean material may have D/H ≈ 110 × 10−6. These modeling results readily explain the low D/H in core-mantle boundary material and account for Earth's inventory of solar neon and helium.",
keywords = "D/H ratio, Earth's water, hydrogen isotope fractionation, magma ocean, nebular ingassing, planetary embryo",
author = "Jun Wu and Steven Desch and Laura Schaefer and Linda Elkins-Tanton and Kaveh Pahlevan and Buseck, {P R}",
year = "2018",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1029/2018JE005698",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres",
issn = "2169-897X",
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T1 - Origin of Earth's Water

T2 - Chondritic Inheritance Plus Nebular Ingassing and Storage of Hydrogen in the Core

AU - Wu, Jun

AU - Desch, Steven

AU - Schaefer, Laura

AU - Elkins-Tanton, Linda

AU - Pahlevan, Kaveh

AU - Buseck, P R

PY - 2018/1/1

Y1 - 2018/1/1

N2 - Recent developments in planet formation theory and measurements of low D/H in deep mantle material support a solar nebula source for some of Earth's hydrogen. Here we present a new model for the origin of Earth's water that considers both chondritic water and nebular ingassing of hydrogen. The largest embryo that formed Earth likely had a magma ocean while the solar nebula persisted and could have ingassed nebular gases. The model considers iron hydrogenation reactions during Earth's core formation as a mechanism for both sequestering hydrogen in the core and simultaneously fractionating hydrogen isotopes. By parameterizing the isotopic fractionation factor and initial bulk D/H ratio of Earth's chondritic material, we explore the combined effects of elemental dissolution and isotopic fractionation of hydrogen in iron. By fitting to the two key constraints (three oceans' worth of water in Earth's mantle and on its surface; and D/H in the bulk silicate Earth close to 150 × 10−6), the model searches for best solutions among ~10,000 different combinations of chondritic and nebular contributions. We find that ingassing of a small amount, typically >0–0.5 oceans of nebular hydrogen, is generally demanded, supplementing seven to eight oceans from chondritic contributions. About 60% of the total hydrogen enters the core, and attendant isotopic fractionation plausibly lowers the core's D/H to ~130 × 10−6. Crystallized magma ocean material may have D/H ≈ 110 × 10−6. These modeling results readily explain the low D/H in core-mantle boundary material and account for Earth's inventory of solar neon and helium.

AB - Recent developments in planet formation theory and measurements of low D/H in deep mantle material support a solar nebula source for some of Earth's hydrogen. Here we present a new model for the origin of Earth's water that considers both chondritic water and nebular ingassing of hydrogen. The largest embryo that formed Earth likely had a magma ocean while the solar nebula persisted and could have ingassed nebular gases. The model considers iron hydrogenation reactions during Earth's core formation as a mechanism for both sequestering hydrogen in the core and simultaneously fractionating hydrogen isotopes. By parameterizing the isotopic fractionation factor and initial bulk D/H ratio of Earth's chondritic material, we explore the combined effects of elemental dissolution and isotopic fractionation of hydrogen in iron. By fitting to the two key constraints (three oceans' worth of water in Earth's mantle and on its surface; and D/H in the bulk silicate Earth close to 150 × 10−6), the model searches for best solutions among ~10,000 different combinations of chondritic and nebular contributions. We find that ingassing of a small amount, typically >0–0.5 oceans of nebular hydrogen, is generally demanded, supplementing seven to eight oceans from chondritic contributions. About 60% of the total hydrogen enters the core, and attendant isotopic fractionation plausibly lowers the core's D/H to ~130 × 10−6. Crystallized magma ocean material may have D/H ≈ 110 × 10−6. These modeling results readily explain the low D/H in core-mantle boundary material and account for Earth's inventory of solar neon and helium.

KW - D/H ratio

KW - Earth's water

KW - hydrogen isotope fractionation

KW - magma ocean

KW - nebular ingassing

KW - planetary embryo

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