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Published February 1979 | public
Journal Article

Trace elements in shergottite meteorites: Implications for the origins of planets


The average concentrations of 19 siderophile and volatile elements in shergottite meteorites differ from those in terrestrial basalts by less than a factor of ten. This observation undermines claims that the abundances of siderophile and volatile elements in the Earth's upper mantle are uniquely terrestrial. Claims that similarities in the Moon's siderophile element pattern imply a terrestrial origin for the Moon are also weakened. The implication that basalt source regions on the asteroidal parent body of the shergottites resembled the terrestrial upper mantle constrains models of planetary formation and evolution. Heterogeneous accretion models may explain many of the similarities between these planets. Alternatively, separation of sulfide from basaltic magmas or their source regions on the Earth and the shergottite parent body may explain some of these similarities.

Additional Information

© 1979 Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company. Received 1 September 1978. Revised 20 November 1978. I thank E. Anders, R. Brett, J. Delano, M.J. Drake, J.F. Hays, A.E. Ringwood, and J. Wood for comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by NASA grant NGL-22-007-247.

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