Trace element analysis of ureilites: New constraints on their petrogenesis

A. H. Spitz, William V. Boynton

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35 Scopus citations


Six ureilites (ALHA77257, ALHA81101, ALH82130, PCA82506, Kenna, and Novo Urei) were analyzed using neutron activation analysis for Ca, Sc, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Zn, Ga, REE, W, Re, Os, Ir, and Au. We examined bulk samples as well as acid-treated samples. In the bulk samples the refractory siderophiles' concentrations range from approximately 0.1 to 1.0 times CI chondrites while the volatile siderophiles range from about 0.07 to 0.3 times CI chondrites. Rare earth elements (REEs) in ureilites are quite depleted and display light and heavy rare earth enrichments. The Antarctic meteorites display either much less pronounced v-shaped patterns or no enrichment in the light rare earths at all. In terms of the new trace-element results, ureilites do not fall into the coherent groups that other workers have defined by chemical or petrographic characteristics. Trace elements do provide additional constraints on the models for the petrogenesis of ureilites. In particular, the siderophile element abundances call for simplified models of chemical processing rather than the complex, multistage processing called for in silicate fractionation models. REE concentrations, on the other hand, imply multistage processing to produce the ureilites. None of the ureilite petrogenesis models extant account for the trace element data. These new data and the considerations of them with respect to the proposed ureilite petrogenesis models indicate that the direction of modelling should be toward contemplation of mixtures and how the components we observe in ureilites behave under such conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3417-3430
Number of pages14
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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