Rhenium-Osmium Isotope Systematics of Carbonaceous Chondrites

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Science  27 Jan 1989:
Vol. 243, Issue 4890, pp. 519-522
DOI: 10.1126/science.243.4890.519


Rhenium and osmium concentrations and Os isotopic compositions of eight carbonaceous chondrites, one LL3 ordinary chondrite, and two iron meteorites were determined by resonance ionization mass spectrometry. Iron meteorite 187Re/186Os and l87Os/l86Os ratios plot on the previously determined iron meteorite isochron, but most chondrite data plot 1 to 2 percent above this meteorite isochron. This suggests either that irons have significantly younger Re-Os closure ages than chondrites or that chondrites were formed from precursor materials with different chemical histories from the precursors of irons. Some samples of Semarkona (LL3) and Murray (C2M) meteorites plot 4 to 6 percent above the iron meteorite isochron, well above the field delineated by other chondrites. Murray may have lost Re by aqueous leaching during its preterrestrial history. Semarkona could have experienced a similar loss of Re, but only slight aqueous alteration is evident in the meteorite. Therefore, the isotopic composition of Semarkona could reflect assembly of isotopically heterogeneous components subsequent to 4.55 billion years ago or Os isotopic heterogeneities in the primordial solar nebula.