Cosmogenic 180W variations in meteorites and re-assessment of a possible 184Os–180W decay system

Cook, David L.; Kruijer, Thomas S.; Leya, Ingo; Kleine, Thorsten (2014). Cosmogenic 180W variations in meteorites and re-assessment of a possible 184Os–180W decay system. Geochimica et cosmochimica acta, 140, pp. 160-176. Elsevier Science 10.1016/j.gca.2014.05.013

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We measured tungsten (W) isotopes in 23 iron meteorites and the metal phase of the CB chondrite Gujba in order to ascertain if there is evidence for a large-scale nucleosynthetic heterogeneity in the p-process isotope 180W in the solar nebula as recently suggested by Schulz et al. (2013). We observed large excesses in 180W (up to ≈ 6 ε) in some irons. However, significant within-group variations in magmatic IIAB and IVB irons are not consistent with a nucleosynthetic origin, and the collateral effects on 180W from an s-deficit in IVB irons cannot explain the total variation. We present a new model for the combined effects of spallation and neutron capture reactions on 180W in iron meteorites and show that at least some of the observed within-group variability is explained by cosmic ray effects. Neutron capture causes burnout of 180W, whereas spallation reactions lead to positive shifts in 180W. These effects depend on the target composition and cosmic-ray exposure duration; spallation effects increase with Re/W and Os/W ratios in the target and with exposure age. The correlation of 180W/184W with Os/W ratios in iron meteorites results in part from spallogenic production of 180W rather than from 184Os decay, contrary to a recent study by Peters et al. (2014). Residual ε180W excesses after correction for an s-deficit and for cosmic ray effects may be due to ingrowth of 180W from 184Os decay, but the magnitude of this ingrowth is at least a factor of ≈2 smaller than previously suggested. These much smaller effects strongly limit the applicability of the putative 184Os-180W system to investigate geological problems.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Leya, Ingo


500 Science > 530 Physics




Elsevier Science




Cléa Serpollier

Date Deposited:

21 Aug 2015 15:22

Last Modified:

21 Aug 2015 15:22

Publisher DOI:





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