Cosmogenic Effects on Cu Isotopes in IVB Iron Meteorites

Heng Chen, Frédéric Moynier, Munir Humayun, Matthew C. Bishop, Jeffrey T. Williams

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 10 March 2016


“We measured Cu isotope compositions of 12 out of the 14 known IVB iron meteorites. Our results show that IVB iron meteorites display a very large range of δ65Cu values (-5.84 ‰ < δ65Cu < -0.24 ‰; defined as per mil deviation of the 65Cu/63Cu ratio from the NIST-976 standard). These Cu isotopic data display clear correlations with W, Pt, and Os isotope ratios, which are very sensitive to secondary neutron capture due to galactic cosmic ray (GCR) irradiation. This demonstrates that δ65Cu in IVB irons is majorly modified by neutron capture by the reaction 62Ni(n,γ)63Ni followed by beta decay to 63Cu. Using correlations with Pt and Os neutron dosimeters, we calculated a pre-exposure δ65Cu of -0.3 ± 0.8 ‰ (95% conf.) of IVB irons that agrees well with the Cu isotopic compositions of other iron meteorite groups and falls within the range of chondrites. This shows that the volatile depletion of the IVB parent body is not due to evaporation that should have enriched IVB irons in the heavy Cu isotopes."