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Isotopic records of solar nebula evolution and controls on planetary compositions

Objective

This project has three linked strands that will combine to constrain the birth environment of the solar system and the nebular processes that shape bulk planetary compositions. Firstly, I will use ultra-high precision isotope ratio measurements in bulk meteorites to determine the stellar origin of the pre-solar of material that controls the gross compositional differences between planetary bodies. Secondly I will identify the mineralogical hosts of this isotopic variability, using in situ laser ablation analyses with a unique collision-cell multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass-spectrometer, developed in close collaboration with an industrial partner (Thermo Fisher) as part of the project. Thirdly, I will establish a chronology for the mixing of the pre-solar material within the nebula, by dating individual meteorite components (chondrules) using ‘absolute’ Pb and relative 26Al-26Mg approaches and analysing the same aliquots for their mass-independent isotopic compositions. These observations will be quantitatively interpreted using novel numerical models of particle dynamics in the protoplanetary disk, in collaboration with Fred Cieala. This is an ambitious project that builds on the analytical prowess of the laboratory I have developed at Bristol and couples this with challenging technical developments and inter-disciplinary, modelling calculations. This work will radically improve our understanding of the history of the early solar system and the fundamental processes that shape its evolution.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/sociology/demography/fertility
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/planetary science/meteorites
  • /humanities/history and archaeology/history
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/optics/laser physics

Call for proposal

ERC-2012-ADG_20120216
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-AG - ERC Advanced Grant

Host institution

UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL
Address
Beacon House Queens Road
BS8 1QU Bristol
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 991 942,85
Principal investigator
Timothy Elliott (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Audrey Michael (Mrs.)

Beneficiaries (3)

UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 1 991 942,85
Address
Beacon House Queens Road
BS8 1QU Bristol
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Timothy Elliott (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Audrey Michael (Mrs.)
NATURAL ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH COUNCIL
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 95 040
Address
Polaris House, North Star Avenue
SN2 1EU Swindon Wiltshire
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Sheryl White (Mrs.)
THERMO FISHER SCIENTIFIC (BREMEN) GMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 1 338 288,15
Address
Hanna Kunath Strasse 11
28199 Bremen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Volker Blohberger (Mr.)