ERC – METAL
Coordinator(s): Frederic Moynier
Understanding the formation and early evolution of terrestrial planets is one of the most important goals of science. The objectives of METAL (Making tErresTriAl pLanets), are to study the accretion and differentiation processes that shaped the present composition of the Earth, Moon, Mars, and differentiated asteroids, including understanding the origin and timing of delivery of their volatile and siderophilic elements. To achieve this goal, we have identified the most suitable isotopic tools that are sensitive to the different physicochemical processes acting at different stages of planetary formation. This work will include 1) The development and use of new state-of-the-art stable isotopic systems for moderately volatile elements (e.g. In, Sb, Sn) in terrestrial, lunar, and meteoric materials to constrain the origin of solar system volatile element depletion. 2) Experimentally quantify isotopic effects during metal/silicate separation and evaporation under all conditions relevant to planetary accretion and differentiation. 3) Construct a physical model of volatile loss. 4) Investigate the proportions, fate, and nature of the material that accreted to Earth and Mars after core formation (i.e., the end of the worshipping period) using a new method based on stable isotopes of a highly siderophilic element, Pt. This approach combines novel isotopic systems, experiments under extreme conditions, and dynamical modeling to address major scientific questions related to the formation and evolution of terrestrial planets.