Are C1 chondrites chemically fractionated? a trace element study

Mitsuru Ebihara*, Rainer Wolf, Edward Anders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Six C1 chondrite samples and a C2 xenolith from the Plainview H5 chondrite were analyzed by radiochemical neutron activation for the elements Ag, Au, Bi, Br, Cd, Ce, Cs, Eu, Ge, In, Ir, Lu, Nd, Ni, Os, Pd, Pt, Rb, Re, Sb, Se, Sn, Tb, Te, Tl, Yb, and Zn. The data were combined with 9 earlier analyses from this laboratory and examined for evidence of chemical fractionation in C1 chondrites. A number of elements (Br, Rb, Cs, Au, Re, Os, Ni, Pd, Sb, Bi, In, Te) show small but correlated variations. Those of the first 8 probably reflect hydrothermal alteration in the meteorite parent body, whereas those of Sb, Bi, In, and Te may at least in part involve nebular processes. Br and Au show systematic abundance differences from meteorite to meteorite, which suggests hydrothermal transport on a kilometer scale. The remaining elements vary from sample to sample, suggesting transport on a centimeter scale. There is no conclusive evidence for nebular fractionation affecting C1 's. Though C1 chondrites have lower Zr Hf and Ir Re ratios than do other chondrite classes, these ratios vary in other classes, suggesting that those classes rather than C1's are fractionated. Three fractionation-prone REE-Ce, Eu, and Yb have essentially the same relative abundances in C1's and all other chondrite classes, and hence apparently are not fractionated in C1's. We did not confirm the large Tb and Yb variations in C1's reported by other workers. We present revised mean C1 abundances for 35 elements, based on the new data and a critical selection of literature data. Changes are generally less than 10%, except for Br, Rb, Ag, Sb, Te, Au, and the REE. The Plainview C2 xenolith has normal trace element abundances, except for 3 elements falling appreciably above the C2 range: Rb, Cs, and Bi. Hydrothermal alteration may be the reason for all 3, though nebular fractionation remains a possibility for Bi.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1849-1861
Number of pages13
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1982 Oct
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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