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Rhenium-osmium concentration and isotope systematics in group IIAB iron meteorites

January 1, 1995

Rhenium and osmium abundances, and osmium isotopic compositions were measured by negative thermal ionization mass spectrometry in thirty samples, including replicates, of five IIA and eight IIB iron meteorites. Concentrations in HA irons range from 4800 ppb Re and 66000 ppb Os (Negrillos) to 160 ppb Re and 800 ppb Os (Lombard). In the IIB subgroup, concentrations vary from 28 ppb Re and 180 ppb Os (Navajo) down to 0.8 ppb Re and 9 ppb Os (São Julião de Moreira and Santa Luzia). Log plots of Os vs. Re abundances for HA and IIB irons describe straight lines that approximately converge on Lombard, which has the lowest Re and Os abundances and highest 187Re/188Os measured in a IIA iron to date. The linear HA trend may be exactly reproduced by fractional crystallization with constant kRe and kOs, but is not well fitted using variable partition coefficients. The IIB iron trend, however, cannot be entirely explained by simple fractional crystallization. One explanation is that small amounts of Re and Os were added to the asteroid core during the final stages of crystallization. Another possibility is that diffusional enrichment of Os may have occurred in samples most depleted in Re and Os.

The combined Re-Os isotopic data for HA irons give the following results: slope = 0.07803 ± 0.00076; intercept = 0.09609 ± 0.00045; age = 4584 ± 43 Ma (neglecting the uncertainty in the decay constant of ±3%). Four IIB iron meteorites (Mount Joy, Central Missouri, DRPA 78009, Santa Luzia) also plot within the analytical uncertainty of the HA isochron. These results are consistent with rapid (probably <50 Ma) core segregation, differentiation, and crystallization in the IIAB parent.

Several IIB irons (Navajo, Sandia Mountains, Smithsonian Iron, and perhaps São Julião de Moreira) lie beyond analytical uncertainty above the IIA iron isochron, averaging 8 ± 2% higher in 187Os/188Os. These irons may have crystallized significantly after the HA irons and Mount Joy, but only if the 187Re/188Os of the melt was ≥2.2. There is no evidence for a IIA iron crystallizing in equilibrium with a melt having such a high ratio. Alternatively, the osmium isotopic systematics of these irons may have been slightly disturbed long after crystallization at ca. 3.3 Ga ago.

Publication Year 1995
Title Rhenium-osmium concentration and isotope systematics in group IIAB iron meteorites
DOI 10.1016/0016-7037(95)00109-D
Authors J. W. Morgan, M.F. Horan, R.J. Walker, J. N. Grossman
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Index ID 70019204
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse