Trace element geochemistry of CR chondrite metal

Emmanuel Jacquet*, Marine Paulhiac-Pison, Olivier Alard, Anton T. Kearsley, Matthieu Gounelle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


We report trace element analyses by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) of metal grains from nine different CR chondrites, distinguishing grains from chondrule interior ("interior grains"), chondrule surficial shells ("margin grains"), and the matrix ("isolated grains"). Save for a few anomalous grains, Ni-normalized trace element patterns are similar for all three petrographic settings, with largely unfractionated refractory siderophile elements and depleted volatile Au, Cu, Ag, S. All three types of grains are interpreted to derive from a common precursor approximated by the least-melted, fine-grained objects in CR chondrites. This also excludes recondensation of metal vapor as the origin of the bulk of margin grains. The metal precursors were presumably formed by incomplete condensation, with evidence for high-temperature isolation of refractory platinum-group-element (PGE)-rich condensates before mixing with lower temperature PGE-depleted condensates. The rounded shape of the Ni-rich, interior grains shows that they were molten and that they equilibrated with silicates upon slow cooling (1-100 K h-1), largely by oxidation/evaporation of Fe, hence their high Pd content, for example. We propose that Ni-poorer, amoeboid margin grains, often included in the pyroxene-rich periphery common to type I chondrules, result from less intense processing of a rim accreted onto the chondrule subsequent to the melting event recorded by the interior grains. This means either that there were two separate heating events, which formed olivine/interior grains and pyroxene/margin grains, respectively, between which dust was accreted around the chondrule, or that there was a single high-temperature event, of which the chondrule margin records a late "quenching phase," in which case dust accreted onto chondrules while they were molten. In the latter case, high dust concentrations in the chondrule-forming region (at least three orders of magnitude above minimum mass solar nebula models) are indicated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1981-1999
Number of pages19
JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


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