Geochemistry of diogenites: Still more diversity in their parental melts



Abstract— We report on the major and trace element abundances of 18 diogenites, and O-isotopes for 3 of them. Our analyses extend significantly the diogenite compositional range, both in respect of Mg-rich (e.g., Meteorite Hills [MET] 00425, MgO = 31.5 wt%) and Mg-poor varieties (e.g., Dhofar 700, MgO = 23 wt%). The wide ranges of siderophile and chalcophile element abundances are well explained by the presence of inhomogeneously distributed sulfide or metal grains within the analyzed chips. The behavior of incompatible elements in diogenites is more complex, as exemplified by the diversity of their REE patterns. Apart from a few diogenite samples that contain minute amounts of phosphate, and whose incompatible element abundances are unlike the orthopyroxene ones, the range of incompatible element abundances, and particularly the range of Dy/Yb ratios in diogenites is best explained by the diversity of their parental melts. We estimate that the FeO/MgO ratios of the diogenite parental melts range from about 1.4 to 3.5 and therefore largely overlap the values obtained for non-cumulate eucrites. Our results rule out the often accepted view that all the diogenites formed from parental melts more primitive than eucrites during the crystallization of a magma ocean. Instead, they point to a more complex history, and suggest that diogenites were derived from liquids produced by the remelting of cumulates formed from the magma ocean.