REE and Hf distribution among mineral phases in the CV-CK clan: a way to explain present-day Hf isotopic variations in chondrites

Céline Martin, Vinciane Debaille, P. Lanari, Steven Goderis, Isabelle Vandendael, Frank Vanhaecke, O Vidal, Philippe Claeys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


Chondrites are among the most primitive objects in the Solar System and constitute the main building blocks of telluric planets. Among the radiochronometers currently used for dating geological events, Sm-Nd and Lu-Hf are both composed of refractory, lithophile element. They are thought to behave similarly as the parent elements (Sm and Lu) are generally less incompatible than the daughter elements (Nd and Hf) during geological processes. As such, their respective average isotopic compositions for the solar system should be well defined by the average of chondrites, called Chondritic Uniform Reservoir (CHUR). However, while the Sm-Nd isotopic system shows an actual spread of less than 4% in the average chondritic record, the Lu-Hf system shows a larger variation range of 28% [Bouvier A., Vervoort J. D. and Patchett P. J. (2008) The Lu-Hf and Sm-Nd isotopic composition of CHUR: Constraints from unequilibrated chondrites and implications for the bulk composition of terrestrial planets. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett.273, 48-57]. To better understand the contrast between Sm-Nd and Lu-Hf systems, the REE and Hf distribution among mineral phases during metamorphism of Karoonda (CK) and Vigarano-type (CV) carbonaceous chondrites has been examined. Mineral modes were determined from elemental mapping on a set of five CK chondrites (from types 3-6) and one CV3 chondrite. Trace-element patterns are obtained for the first time in all the chondrite-forming minerals of a given class (CK chondrites) as well as one CV3 sample. This study reveals that REE are distributed among both phosphates and silicates. Only 30-50% of Sm and Nd are stored in phosphates (at least in chondrites types 3-5); as such, they are not mobilized during early stages of metamorphism. The remaining fraction of Sm and Nd is distributed among the same mineral phases; these elements are therefore not decoupled during metamorphism. Of the whole-rock total of Lu, the fraction held in phosphate decreases significantly as the degree of metamorphism increases (30% for types 3 and 4, less than 5% in type 6). In contrast to Lu, Hf is mainly hosted by silicates with little contribution from phosphates throughout the CK metamorphic sequence. A significant part of Sm and Nd are stored in phosphates in types 3-5, and these elements behave similarly during CK chondrite metamorphism. That explains the robustness of the Sm/Nd ratios in chondrites through metamorphism, and the slight discrepancies observed in the present-day isotopic Nd values in chondrites. On the contrary, Lu and Hf are borne by several different minerals and consequently they are redistributed during metamorphism-induced recrystallization. The Lu/Hf ratios are therefore significantly disturbed during chondrites metamorphism, leading to the high discrepancies observed in present-day Hf isotopic values in chondrites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-513
Number of pages18
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013


  • Chondrites
  • Rare Earth
  • Lu-Hf isotopes


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