Trace element redistributions during metamorphism of E-chondrites: implications for reduced bodies and the Earth

Jean-Alix Barrat, Addi Bischoff, Brigitte Zanda

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Journal Pre-proof, Available online 5 July 2023


“We report on new trace element analyses of enstatite chondrites (ECs) to clarify their behavior during the metamorphism. During the transition from a type 3 to a type 5 or higher, silicates lose a large portion of their trace elements to sulfides. Our procedure allows us to obtain trace element abundances of the silicate fraction of an EC quite easily. The element patterns of these fractions (especially REE patterns) are quite different for EH and EL chondrites, and are furthermore dependent on the metamorphic grade. This procedure can be usefull to classify meteorites, in particular when the sulfides are altered. Applied to anomalous ECs, it allows direct recognition of the EH affinity of QUE 94204, and suggests that Zakłodzie, NWA 4301, and NWA 4799 derive from the same EH-like body of previously unsampled composition.

We have used the concentrations obtained on the silicate fractions of the most metamorphosed chondrites to discuss the chemical characteristics of the primitive mantles of reduced bodies of EH or EL affinity (i.e., after core segregation). Our data indicate that these mantles are very depleted in refractory lithophile elements (RLEs), particularly in rare earth elements (REEs), and notably show significant positive anomalies in Sr, Zr, Hf, and Ti. These estimates imply that the cores contain most of the REEs, U and Th of these bodies. Interestingly, the inferred primitive mantles of these reduced bodies contrast with that of the Earth. If the Earth accreted essentially from ECs, one would expect similar signatures to be preserved, which is not the case. This mismatch can be explained either by a later homogenization of the bulk silicate Earth, or alternatively, that the materials that were accreted were isotopically similar to ECs, but mineralogically different (i.e., oldhamite-free).”