176Lu–176Hf and 87Rb–87Sr Systematics and Rare Earth Element Abundances of Nine Diogenite Meteorites: Evidence for Their Crystallization from Partial Melts of the Vestan Mantle

Takaharu Saito, Hiroshi Hidaka, and Seung-Gu Lee

The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 877, Number 2

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“Howardite–eucrite–diogenite meteorites are believed to originate in the crust of the asteroid 4 Vesta, whose differentiation processes are still controversial. In this study, the first 176Lu–176Hf isotopic data of nine diogenites are presented together with their 87Rb–87Sr isotopic compositions and rare earth element (REE) abundances to investigate the differentiation process of diogenites. The 176Lu–176Hf data sets of nine diogenites revealed the significantly higher initial 176Hf/177Hf ratio of diogenites than that of eucrites, while there are no resolvable differences between their ages. Based on the high initial ratio and the early formation of diogenites, their source material is estimated to be the Vestan mantle. The 87Rb–87Sr systematics of nine diogenites are entirely disturbed probably due to impact events on Vesta. The significant variation observed in the REE abundances of nine diogenites suggests their crystallization from compositionally diverse melts. Based on the mantle origin and compositional diversity of diogenites, we propose the crystallization of diogenites from partial melts of the Vestan mantle. The variation of the trace element abundances of diogenites can be explained by the variation of the degree of the partial melting. The timescale between the crystallization and partial melting of the Vestan mantle is estimated to be ~100–600 Ma from the 176Lu–176Hf isotopic data of nine diogenites, while a heat source for the partial melting is uncertain.”