Fractionation of Highly Siderophile and Chalcogen Elements in Components of EH3 Chondrites

Yogita Kadlag, Harry Becker

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In press, available online 18 April 2015


Abundances of highly siderophile elements (HSE: Re, platinum group elements and Au), chalcogens (Te, Se and S), 187Os/188Os and the major and minor elements Mg, Ca, Mn, Fe, Ni and Co were determined in the components of Sahara 97072 (EH3, find) and Kota Kota (EH3, find) in order to understand the element fractionation processes. In a 187Re-187Os isochron diagram, most magnetic components lie close to the 4.56 Ga IIIA iron meteorite isochron, whereas most other components show deviations from the isochron caused by late redistribution of Re, presumably during terrestrial weathering. Metal- and sulfide rich magnetic fractions and metal-sulfide nodules are responsible for the higher 187Os/188Os in bulk rocks of EH chondrites compared to CI chondrites. The HSE and chalcogens are enriched in magnetic fractions relative to slightly magnetic and nonmagnetic fractions and bulk compositions, indicating that Fe-Ni metal is the main host phase of the HSE in enstatite chondrites. HSE abundance patterns indicate mixing of two components, a CI chondrite like end member and an Au-enriched end member. Because of the decoupled variations of Au from those of Pd or the chalcogens, the enrichment of Au in EH metal cannot be due to metal-sulfide-silicate partitioning processes. Metal and sulfide rich nodules may have formed by melting and reaction of pre-existing refractory element rich material with volatile rich gas. A complex condensation and evaporation history is required to account for the depletion of elements having very different volatility than Au in EH chondrites. The depletions of Te relative to HSE, Se and S in bulk EH chondrites are mainly caused by the depletion of Te in metal. S/Se and S/Mn are lower than in CI chondrites in almost all components and predominantly reflect volatility-controlled loss of sulfur. The latter most likely occurred during thermal processing of dust in the solar nebula (e. g., during chondrule formation), followed by the non-systematic loss of S during terrestrial weathering.