The University of Arizona

A database of chondrite analyses including platinum group elements, Ni, Co, Au, and Cr: Implications for the identification of chondritic projectiles



Siderophile elements have been used to constrain projectile compositions in terrestrial and lunar impact melt rocks. To obtain a better knowledge of compositional differences between potential chondritic projectile types, meteorite analyses of the elements Ru, Rh, Pd, Os, Ir, Pt, Cr, Co, Ni, and Au were gathered into a database. The presented compilation comprises 806 analyses of 278 chondrites including new ICP-MS analyses of Allende and two ordinary chondrites. Each data set was evaluated by comparing element ratios of meteorites from the same chondrite group. Characteristic element abundances and ratios were determined for each group. Features observed in the element abundance patterns can be linked directly to the presence of certain components, such as the abundance of refractory elements Os, Ir, and Ru correlating with the occurrence of refractory inclusions in CV, CO, CK, and CM chondrites. The refined characteristic element ratios appear to be representative not only for meteorites, but also for related asteroidal bodies. Chondrite element ratios were compared to previously published values from impact melt rocks of the Popigai and Morokweng impact structures confirming that an identification of the specific type of projectile (L and LL chondrite, respectively) is possible. The assessment for Morokweng is supported by the recent discovery of an LL chondrite fragment in the impact melt rocks. Ultimately, the database provides valuable information for understanding processes in the solar nebula as they are recorded in chondrites. A new type of complementarity between element patterns of CK and EH chondrites is suggested to be the result of condensation, redox, and transportation processes in the solar nebula.


chondrites;PGE;impactor identification

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