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Abstract— Diogenites are recognized as a major constituent of the howardite, eucrite and diogenite (HED) meteorite group. Recently, several papers (Mittlefehldt, 1994; Fowler et al, 1994, 1995) have identified trace-element systematics in diogenites that appeared to mimic simple magmatic processes that involved large degrees of crystallization (up to 95% orthopyroxene) of basalt with extremely high normative hypersthene. Such a crystallization scenario linking all the diogenites is highly unlikely. The purpose of this study is to explore other possible models relating the diogenites.

Computational major-element melting models of a variety of different potential bulk compositions for the eucrite parent body (EPB) mantle indicate that these compositions show a similar sequence in residuum mineral assemblage with increasing degrees of partial melting. Numerous bulk compositions would produce melts with Mg# appropriate for diogenitic parent magmas at low to moderate degrees of partial melting (15% to 30%). These calculations also show that melts with similar Mg# and variable incompatible element concentrations may be produced during small to moderate degrees of EPB mantle melting.

The trace-element characteristic of the orthopyroxene in diogenites does not support a model for large amounts of fractional crystallization of a single “hypersthene normative” basaltic magma following either small-scale or large-scale EPB mantle melting. Small degrees of fractional crystallization of a series of distinct basaltic magmas are much more likely. Only two melting models that we considered hold any promise for producing different batches of “diogenitic magmas.” The first model involves the fractional melting of a homogeneous source that produces parental magmas to diogenites with an extensive range of incompatible elements and limited variations in Mg#. There are several requirements for this model to work. The first requirement of this model is that the Dorthopyroxene/melt must change during melting or crystallization to compress the range of incompatible elements in the calculated diogenitic magmas. The second prerequisite is that either some of the calculated diogenitic magmas are parental to eucrites or the Mg# in diogenitic magmas are influenced by slight changes in oxygen fugacity during partial melting. The second model involves batch melting of a source that reflects accretional heterogeneities capable of generating diogenitic magmas with the calculated Mg# and incompatible element contents. Both of these models require small to moderate degrees of partial melting that may limit the efficiency of core separation.