Compositional constraints on the genesis of diogenites

Authors

  • David W. MITTLEFEHLDT,

    Corresponding author
    1. Mail Code KR, Astromaterials Research Office, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas 77058, USA
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  • Andrew W. BECK,

    1. Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Planetary Geoscience Institute, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996–1410, USA
    2. Present address: Department of Mineral Sciences, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, 10th and Constitution NW, Washington, D.C. 20560–0112, USA
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  • Cin-Ty A. LEE,

    1. Department of Earth Science, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77005, USA
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  • Harry Y. McSWEEN Jr.,

    1. Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Planetary Geoscience Institute, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996–1410, USA
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  • Paul C. BUCHANAN

    1. Kilgore College, 1100 Broadway Blvd., Kilgore, Texas 75662, USA
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Corresponding author. E-mail: david.w.mittlefehldt@nasa.gov

Abstract

Abstract– We have done bulk rock compositional analyses (INAA, ICP-MS) and petrologic study of a suite of diogenite meteorites. Most contain orthopyroxenes with mg#s of 70.6–79.0. Meteorite Hills (MET) 00425 is magnesian (mg# of 83.9). Lewis Cliff (LEW) 88011 contains orthopyroxene grains of varying mg# (76.3–68.6). Queen Alexandra Range (QUE) 93009 (orthopyroxene mg# 70.6) contains coarse-grained noritic clasts (plagioclase An84.7–88.3), and is rich in incompatible trace elements. It has Eu/Eu* < 1, indicating that cumulate norites do not dominate its trace element inventory. Queen Alexandra Range 93009 may be transitional between diogenites and magnesian cumulate eucrites. Lewis Cliff 88679, a dimict breccia of harzburgite and orthopyroxenite, has anomalously low concentrations of highly incompatible elements (e.g., Nb, La, Ta, U) compared to other diogenites, but is similar to them in less highly incompatible elements (e.g., Y, Zr, Yb, Hf). It is unlikely that this characteristic reflects a low proportion of a trapped melt component. The highly incompatible elements were likely mobilized after impact mixing of the two parent lithologies. Graves Nunataks 98108 shows an extreme range in Eu/Eu* attributable to the heterogeneous distribution of plagioclase; one sample has the lowest Eu/Eu* among diogenites. We find no compelling evidence to support the hypothesis that diogenite parent magmas were contaminated by partial melts of the eucritic crust. We posit that subsolidus equilibration between orthopyroxene and minor/trace phases (including phosphates) resulted in preferential redistribution of Eu2+ relative to Eu3+ and other rare earth elements, and results in anomalously low Eu/Eu* in samples leached in acids that dissolve phosphates.

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