A revised trapped melt model for iron meteorites applied to the IIIAB groupOPEN ACCESS 

Nancy L. Chabot, Bidong Zhang

Meteoritics & Planetary Science
Version of Record online: 18 October 2021


“As the largest magmatic iron meteorite group, the IIIAB group is often used to investigate the process of core crystallization in asteroid-sized bodies. However, previous IIIAB crystallization models have not succeeded in both explaining the scatter among IIIAB irons around the main crystallization trends and using elemental partitioning behavior consistent with experimental determinations. This study outlines a revised approach for modeling the crystallization of irons that uses experimentally determined partition coefficients and can reproduce the IIIAB trends and their associated scatter for 12 siderophile elements simultaneously. A key advancement of this revised trapped melt model is the inclusion of an effect on the resulting solid metal composition due to the formation of troilite. The revised trapped melt model supports the previous conclusion that trapped melt played an important role in the genesis of IIIAB irons and matches the trace element fractionation trends observed in the Cape York suite as due to different amounts of trapped melt. Applying the revised trapped melt model to 16 elements as well as S and Fe, the bulk composition of the IIIAB core is found to have a composition consistent with that expected from a chondritic precursor for refractory siderophile elements but with evidence for depletions of more volatile elements. The bulk S composition of the IIIAB core is estimated as 9 ± 1 wt%, implying that a substantial amount of S-rich material from the IIIAB core is underrepresented in our meteorite collections. Future applications of the revised trapped melt model to other magmatic iron meteorite groups can enable comparisons between the core compositions and crystallization processes across the early solar system.”