Coupled W–Os–Pt isotope systematics in IVB iron meteorites: In situ neutron dosimetry for W isotope chronology

Wittig, N.; Humayun, M.; Brandon, A.D.; Huang, S.; Leya, Ingo (2013). Coupled W–Os–Pt isotope systematics in IVB iron meteorites: In situ neutron dosimetry for W isotope chronology. Earth and planetary science letters, 361, pp. 152-161. Elsevier 10.1016/j.epsl.2012.10.013

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Tungsten isotope compositions of magmatic iron meteorites yield ages of differentiation that are within ±2 Ma of the formation of CAIs, with the exception of IVB irons that plot to systematically less radiogenic compositions yielding erroneously old ages. Secondary neutron capture due to galactic cosmic ray (GCR) irradiation is known to lower the ε182W of iron meteorites, adequate correction of which requires a measure of neutron dosage which has not been available, thus far. The W, Os and Pt isotope systematics of 12 of the 13 known IVB iron meteorites were determined by MC-ICP-MS (W, Os, Pt) and TIMS (Os). On the same dissolutions that yield precise ε182W, stable Os and Pt isotopes were determined as in situ neutron dosimeters for empirical correction of the ubiquitous cosmic-ray induced burn-out of 182W in iron meteorites. The W isotope data reveal a main cluster with ε182W of ∼−3.6, but a much larger range than observed in previous studies including irons (Weaver Mountains and Warburton Range) that show essentially no cosmogenic effect on their ε182W. The IVB data exhibits resolvable negative anomalies in ε189Os (−0.6ε) and complementary ε190Os anomalies (+0.4ε) in Tlacotepec due to neutron capture on 189Os which has approximately the same neutron capture cross section as 182W, and captures neutrons to produce 190Os. The least irradiated IVB iron, Warburton Range, has ε189Os and ε190Os identical to terrestrial values. Similarly, Pt isotopes, which are presented as ε192Pt, ε194Pt and ε196Pt range from +4.4ε to +53ε, +1.54ε to −0.32ε and +0.73ε to −0.20ε, respectively, also identify Tlacotepec and Dumont as the most GCR-damaged samples. In W–Os and W–Pt isotope space, the correlated isotope data back-project toward a 0-epsilon value of ε192Pt, ε189Os and ε190Os from which a pre-GCR irradiation ε182W of −3.42±0.09 (2σ) is derived. This pre-GCR irradiation ε182W is within uncertainty of the currently accepted CAI initial ε182W. The Pt and Os isotope correlations in the IVB irons are in good agreement with a nuclear model for spherical irons undergoing GCR spallation, although this model over-predicts the change of ε182W by ∼2×, indicating a need for better W neutron capture cross section determinations. A nucleosynthetic effect in ε184W in these irons of −0.14±0.08 is confirmed, consistent with the presence of Mo and Ru isotope anomalies in IVB irons. The lack of a non-GCR Os isotope anomaly in these irons requires more complex explanations for the production of W, Ru and Mo anomalies than nebular heterogeneity in the distribution of s-process to r-process nuclides.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Leya, Ingo


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
600 Technology > 620 Engineering
500 Science > 530 Physics








Cléa Serpollier

Date Deposited:

26 Sep 2014 15:25

Last Modified:

08 Oct 2015 09:30

Publisher DOI:


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