Nickel and chromium stable isotopic composition of ureilites: implications for the Earth’s core formation and differentiation of the ureilite parent body

Type Article
Date 2022-04
Language English
Author(s) Zhu (朱柯) KeORCID1, 2, Barrat Jean-Alix3, 4, Yamaguchi Akira5, Rouxel OlivierORCID6, Germain Yoan6, Langlade Jessica4, Moynier FredericORCID2
Affiliation(s) 1 : Freie Universität Berlin Institut für Geologische Wissenschaften Malteserstr. 74‐10012249 Berlin ,Germany
2 : Université de Paris Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris CNRS UMR 7154 1 rue Jussieu Paris75005 ,France
3 : Institut Universitaire de France, France
4 : Univ Brest, CNRS, IRD, Ifremer, LEMAR F‐29280 Plouzané, France
5 : National Institute of Polar Research 10‐3 Midori‐choTachikawa Tokyo190‐8518, Japan
6 : Unité de Géosciences Marines IFREMER, Z.I. Pointe du diable BP 70‐29280 Plouzané ,France
Source Geophysical Research Letters (0094-8276) (American Geophysical Union (AGU)), 2022-04 , Vol. 49 , N. 7 , P. e2021GL095557 (11p.)
DOI 10.1029/2021GL095557
WOS© Times Cited 3
Keyword(s) ureilites, Ni stable isotopes, Cr stable isotopes, core formation, partial melting, mantle heterogeneity
Abstract

We report the first Ni and Cr stable isotope data for ureilite meteorites that are the mantle residue of a carbon-rich differentiated planet. Ureilites have similar Ni stable isotope compositions as chondrites, suggesting the core-mantle differentiation of ureilite parent body did not fractionate Ni isotopes. Since the size of Earth is potentially larger than that of ureilite parent body (UPB; with diameter > 690 km), resulting in higher temperatures at the core-mantle boundary of Earth, it can be predicted that the terrestrial core formation may not directly cause Ni stable isotope fractionation. On the other hand, we also report high-precision Cr stable isotope composition of ureilites, including one ureilitic trachyandesite (ALM-A) that is enriched in lighter Cr stable isotopes relative to the main-group ureilites, which suggests the partial melting occurred on UPB. The globally heavy Cr in the UPB compared to chondrites can be caused by sulfur-rich core formation processes.

Plain Language Summary

The stable isotope fractionation of siderophile elements is robust to trace the planetary core formation processes. However, whether nickel (Ni) isotopes fractionate during the core formation is highly debated, since the origin of Ni stable isotope difference between bulk silicate Earth (BSE) and chondrites is not clear. Here, we report high-precision Ni stable isotope data (expressed as δ60/58Ni, the per mil deviation of 60Ni/58Ni ratios relative to NIST SRM 986) for ureilite meteorites that come from the mantle of a carbon-rich differentiated body. Ureilites have an average δ60/58Ni value of 0.26 ± 0.13‰ (2SD, N = 22) that is highly consistent with that of chondrites with δ60/58Ni = 0.23 ± 0.14‰ (2SD, N = 37), which suggests planetary core formation does not effectively fractionate Ni stable isotopes. There is a ureilite trachyandesite that enriches lighter Cr stable isotopes (δ53Cr = -0.11 ± 0.02‰; δ53Cr as the per-mil deviation of 53Cr/52Cr ratios relative to NIST SRM 979) relative to the main-group ureilites (δ53Cr = -0.05 ± 0.04‰; 2SD, N = 10), which suggests the partial melting occurred on ureilite parent body (UPB). The globally heavy Cr in the UPB compared to chondrites can be caused by sulfur-rich core formation processes.

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How to cite 

Zhu (朱柯) Ke, Barrat Jean-Alix, Yamaguchi Akira, Rouxel Olivier, Germain Yoan, Langlade Jessica, Moynier Frederic (2022). Nickel and chromium stable isotopic composition of ureilites: implications for the Earth’s core formation and differentiation of the ureilite parent body. Geophysical Research Letters, 49(7), e2021GL095557 (11p.). Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GL095557 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00756/86794/