Fractionation in the solar nebula: condensation of yttrium and the rare earth elements

William V. Boynton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

216 Scopus citations


The condensation of Y and the rare earth elements (REE) from the solar nebula may be controlled by thermodynamic equilibrium between gas and condensed solids. Highly fractionated REE patterns may result if condensates are removed from the gas before condensation is complete. It is found that the fractionation is not a smooth function of REE ionic radius but varies in an extremely irregular pattern. Both Yb and Eu are predicted to be extremely depleted in the early condensate without the requirement of condensation in the divalent state. The model is discussed with respect to a highly fractionated pattern observed by Tanaka and Masuda (Icarus 19, 523-530 1973), in a pink Ca-Al-rich inclusion from the Allende meteorite and can account for the abundances of each REE determined. According to the model this inclusion represents a condensate from a previously fractionated gas rather than from a gas of solar composition. Before the condensation of this inclusion, an earlier condensate was formed and was removed from equilibrium with the gas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-584
Number of pages16
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1975

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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