53Mn-53Cr systematics of sphalerite in enstatite chondrites

Jens Hopp, Julian-Christopher Storck, Thomas Ludwig, Smail Mostefaoui, Rainer Altherr, Ulrich Ott, Hans-Peter Meyer, Mario Trieloff

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Journal Pre-proof, Available online 23 July 2021



• Mn-Cr systematics of sphalerite in five E chondrites was established by SIMS.
• Mn-Cr system appears affected by weathering processes in MAC 88136.
• Other disturbances could relate to complex thermal histories.
• Substantial variation in initial 53Mn/55Mn still limits chronologic applications.
• Chronologic potential is recognizable but requires additional research.”

“We investigated the 53Mn-53Cr isotopic composition of a suite of enstatite chondrites by in situ analyses of various mineral phases with the Cameca IMS 1280-HR ion probe at Heidelberg, Germany, and a Cameca NanoSIMS at Paris, France. Only in sphalerite we found anomalies in 53Cr/52Cr-ratios correlating with 55Mn/52Cr which are due to decay of short-lived 53Mn (t1/2=3.7 Ma). A sphalerite in the EH-impact melt LAP 02225 showed the largest excess of 53Cr, with 53Cr/52Cr-ratios ranging up to 2.2. The calculated initial 53Mn/55Mn-ratios are within the range of previous Mn-Cr studies. We observed a spatial variation within a large sphalerite in LAP 02225, translating in distinct initial 53Mn/55Mn values. In case of the EL3 chondrite MAC 88136 the initial 53Mn/55Mn derived for one sphalerite is at the lower end of previously reported values and may reflect a variable influence of alteration-induced exchange of common Cr. This is supported by the total reset of the 53Cr/52Cr-ratio in another sphalerite in contact with an alteration vein irrespective of high Mn/Cr-ratios. Our observed initial 53Mn/55Mn-ratios of Sahara 97158, Indarch and EET 96135 correspond to the I-Xe systematics and hence, show that sphalerites can preserve reasonable age information. For Indarch however, if compared with other initial 53Mn/55Mn values from literature, a considerable scatter is obvious. This clearly demonstrates that the Mn-Cr system in sphalerite can be disturbed by various, still poorly investigated, processes (e.g., by thermal events, weathering, diffusion-controlled remobilization). Future application of Mn-Cr dating to sphalerite in enstatite chondrites thus requires a better understanding of how such processes influence the Mn-Cr systematics and demands for tools to identify the undoubtly present sphalerites carrying a true chronologic information.”