Noble gas variations in ureilites and their implications for ureilite parent body formationOPEN ACCESS 

Michael W. Broadley, David V. Bekaert, Bernard Marty, Akira Yamaguchi, Jean-Alix Barrat

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Journal Pre-proof, Available online 5 December 2019



“Ureilites are equilibrated carbon-rich olivine-pyroxene rocks from the partially melted mantle of a large (>500 km diameter) heterogeneous parent body. Recently the ureilite parent body was interpreted as an incomplete mixture of material from two carbon-rich chondritic reservoirs, one (Mg-rich) with reduced iron, low Δ17O and low δ13C, and the other with oxidised iron, high Δ17O and high δ13C. Here we analyse noble gases (Ar, Kr and Xe) in six equilibrated (unbrecciated) ureilites from Northwest Africa (NWA 2236, NWA 7686, NWA 8049, NWA 8172, NWA 11032 and NWA 11368). We observe weak positive and negative correlations of Δ17O and Mg# with the elemental ratios of Ar/Xe and Kr/Xe, respectively, as well as a weak positive correlation of Mg# with the heavy isotopes of Xe. These correlations broadly support the idea of the two-component mixing hypothesis. Our analyses further suggest that the Mg-rich endmember was rich in Xe from presolar grains (HL-Xe) while the Mg-poorer component may have contained solar-derived noble gases. The observed correlations are less straightforward to reconcile with a recent model for the origin of the ureilite parent body, involving oxidation of metal by H2O from accreted ice with ‘heavy’ oxygen isotopes.”