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Abstract

We combined high-resolution and space-resolved elemental distribution with investigations of magnetic minerals across Fe,Ni-alloy and troilite interfaces for two nonmagmatic (Morasko and Mundrabilla) IAB group iron meteorites and an octahedrite found in 1993 in Coahuila/Mexico (Coahuila II) preliminarily classified on Ir and Au content as IIAB group. The aim of this study was to elucidate the crystallization and thermal history using gradients of the siderophile elements Ni, Co, Ge, and Ga and the chalcophile elements Cr, Cu, and Se with a focus on magnetic minerals. The Morasko and Coahuila II meteorite show a several mm-thick carbon- and phosphorous-rich transition zone between Fe,Ni-alloy and troilite, which is characterized by magnetic cohenite and nonmagnetic or magnetic schreibersite. At Morasko, these phases have a characteristic trace element composition with Mo enriched in cohenite. In both Morasko and Coahuila II, Ni is enriched in schreibersite. The minerals have crystallized from immiscible melts, either by fractional crystallization and C- and P-enrichment in the melt, or by partial melting at temperatures slightly above the eutectic point. During crystallization of Mundrabilla, the field of immiscibility was not reached. Independent of meteorite group and cooling history, the magnetic mineralogy (daubreelite, cohenite and/or schreibersite, magnetite) is very similar to the troilite (and transition zone) for all three investigated iron meteorites. If these minerals can be separated from the metal, they might provide important information about the early solar system magnetic field. Magnetite is interpreted as a partial melting or a terrestrial weathering product of the Fe,Ni-alloy under oxidizing conditions.