Siderophile element systematics of IAB complex iron meteorites: New insights into the formation of an enigmatic group

1Emily A. Worsham, 1Katherine R. Bermingham, 1Richard J. Walker
1Department of Geology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, 20742 USA

Siderophile trace element abundances and the 187Re-187Os isotopic systematics of the metal phases of 58 IAB complex iron meteorites were determined in order to investigate formation processes and how meteorites within chemical subgroups may be related. Close adherence of 187Re-187Os isotopic data of most IAB iron meteorites to a primordial isochron indicates that the siderophile elements of most members of the complex remained closed to elemental disturbance soon after formation. Minor, presumably late-stage open-system behavior, however, is observed in some members of the sLM, sLH, sHL, and sHH subgroups. The new siderophile element abundance data are consistent with the findings of prior studies suggesting that the IAB subgroups cannot be related to one another by any known crystallization process. Equilibrium crystallization, coupled with crystal segregation, solid-liquid mixing, and subsequent fractional crystallization can account for the siderophile element variations among meteorites within the IAB main group (MG). The data for the sLM subgroup are consistent with equilibrium crystallization, combined with crystal segregation and mixing. By contrast, the limited fractionation of siderophile elements within the sLL subgroup is consistent with metal extraction from a chondritic source with little subsequent processing. The limited data for the other subgroups were insufficient to draw robust conclusions about crystallization processes involved in their formation. Collectively, multiple formational processes are represented in the IAB complex, and modeling results suggest that fractional crystallization within the MG may have been a more significant process than has been previously recognized.

Reference
Worsham EA, Bermingham KR, Walker RJ (2016) Siderophile element systematics of IAB complex iron meteorites: New insights into the formation of an enigmatic group. Geochimica et Cosmochmica Acta (in Press)
Link to Article [doi:10.1016/j.gca.2016.05.019]
Copyright Elsevier

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