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Mesosiderites—I. Compositions of their metallic portions and possible relationship to other metal-rich meteorite groups

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0016-7037(74)90199-9


Abstract The metal from 17 mesosiderites has been analyzed for Ni, Ga, Ge and Ir by the techniques of atomic-absorption spectrometry and neutron activation. Most mesosiderite metal samples fall in a narrow compositional range: Ni, 7·0–9·0 per cent; Ga, 13–16 ppm; Ge, 47–58 ppm; and Ir, 2·4–4·4 ppm. Most of those falling outside these ranges belong to Powell's (1971) least-metamorphosed type. Mesosiderite metal falls in the same general composition range as IIIAB irons, IIIE irons, pallasites and H-group chondrite metal. There are distinct differences in detail, however, and firm evidence for a close genetic relationship between any of these groups and the mesosiderites is lacking. Metallic portions of Weekeroo-type irons tend to have slightly higher Ni, Ga, Ge and Ir contents than found in mesosiderite metal, and the two groups tend to form a single trend on all plots. The Weekeroo-type silicates closely resemble mesosiderites in terms of orthopyroxene composition and oxygen-isotope ratio. We interpret these similarities to indicate that the silicate and metallic portions of these two groups are closely related; if the mesosiderite silicates and metal were initially formed in separate parent bodies, these were of similar composition and formed at about the same distance from the Sun.

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