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Published July 1, 2010 | public
Journal Article

Ruthenium endemic isotope effects in chondrites and differentiated meteorites


We report on the abundances of Ru isotopes in (1) iron meteorites, (2) stony-iron meteorites (pallasites), (3) ordinary and carbonaceous chondrites, and (4) in refractory inclusions from the carbonaceous meteorite Allende. We have developed improved Multiple-Collector, Negative-ion Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometric (MC-NTIMS) techniques for Ru, with high ionization efficiency of 4% and with chemical separation techniques for Ru, which reduce mass interferences to the ppm level, so that no mass interference corrections needed to be applied. Our data were normalized to ^(99)Ru/^(101)Ru to correct for mass-dependent fractionation. We find no Ru isotopic effects in the ordinary chondrites and group IAB iron meteorites we have measured. There are significant effects (deficits) in the pure s-process nuclide ^(100)Ru, in the Allende whole-rock and in refractory inclusions of up to 1.7 parts in 10,000 (εu). There are also endemic deficits in ^(100)Ru in iron meteorites and in pallasites of up to 1.1 εu. The Ru data suggest a wide spread and large scale heterogeneity in p-, s-, and r-process components resulting in a deficit in s-process nuclides or enhancements in both p- and r-process nuclides, in refractory siderophiles condensing in the early solar nebula. In contrast, the data on bulk Murchison suggest an excess in ^(100)Ru and in ^(104)Ru, which are distinct from the rest of the measured patterns. Our results establish the presence of significant isotopic heterogeneity for Ru in the early solar nebula. The observation of endemic Ru effects in planetary differentiates, such as iron meteorites and pallasites, must reflect the siderophile nature of Ru and the preservation in condensing FeNi metal of refractory metal condensate grains formed in the early solar nebula. Once incorporated in the metal phase, the refractory siderophiles remained in the metal phase through the melting and differentiation of planetesimals to form FeNi cores and silicate mantles and crusts.

Additional Information

© 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Received 18 May 2009; accepted 7 April 2010. Associate editor: Sara S. Russell. Available online 21 April 2010. We thank Rasmus Andreasen, Andrew Davis, and Laurence Nyquist for constructive reviews of the paper. J.H.C. and the laboratories at J.P.L. were supported by NASA Cosmochemistry; D.A.P. was supported by J.P.L. (RTD); and G.J. Wasserburg was supported by NASA Cosmochemistry through J. Nuth.

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