Chemical evidence for the genesis of the ureilites, the achondrite Chassigny and the nakhlites

W. V. Boynton, P. M. Starzyk, R. A. Schmitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Major element and REE, Cr, Sc, V, Ni, Co, Ir, Au, Sr, Ba abundances were determined in three ureilites and the unique achondrite, Chassigny. Chondritic-normalized REE abundance patterns for the ureilites are v-shaped, similar to pallasites, indicating a possible deep-seated origin. The lithophile trace element abundances and v-shaped REE patterns of the ureilites are consistent with a two-stage formation process, the first of which is an extensive partial melting of chondrite-like matter to yield ureilite precursors in the residual solid, which is enriched in Lu relative to La. The second step consists of an admixture of small and variable amounts of material enriched in the light REE. Such contaminating material may be magmas derived from the first formed melt of partial melting of chondrite-like matter. In contrast to the ureilites, Chassigny has a chondritic-normalized REE pattern which decreases smoothly from La(1.8 × ) to Lu(0.4 × ) and is parallel to and ~0.25 × the REE pattern in the nakhlitic achondrites. The composition of the magma from which Chassigny crystallized was highly enriched in the light REE; e.g. chondritic normalized La/Lu ~ 7. The similarity in the fractionated REE patterns (no Eu anomalies) for the olivine-pyroxene Chassigny and for the nakhlites suggests a genetic relationship. Siderophile trace element relationships in ureilites can be interpreted by three components: (1) ultramafic silicates enriched in Co relative to Ni, (2) an indigenous metal phase remaining after the partial melting event, and (3) a component of the carbon-rich vein material added after the partial melting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1439-1447
Number of pages9
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


Dive into the research topics of 'Chemical evidence for the genesis of the ureilites, the achondrite Chassigny and the nakhlites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this