Actinide abundances in ordinary chondrites

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

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Measurements of 244Pu fission Xe, U, Th, and light REE (LREE) abundances, along with modal petrographic determinations of phosphate abundances, were carried out on equilibrated ordinary chondrites in order to define better the solar system Pu abundance and to determine the degree of variation of actinide and LREE abundances. Our data permit comparison of the directly measured Pu/ U ratio with that determined indirectly as (Pu/Nd) ?? (Nd/U) assuming that Pu behaves chemically as a LREE. Except for Guaren??a, and perhaps H chondrites in general, Pu concentrations are similar to that determined previously for St. Se??verin, although less precise because of higher trapped Xe contents. Trapped 130Xe 136Xe ratios appear to vary from meteorite to meteorite, but, relative to AVCC, all are similar in the sense of having less of the interstellar heavy Xe found in carbonaceous chondrite acid residues. The Pu/U and Pu/Nd ratios are consistent with previous data for St. Se??verin, but both tend to be slightly higher than those inferred from previous data on Angra dos Reis. Although significant variations exist, the distribution of our Th/U ratios, along with other precise isotope dilution data for ordinary chondrites, is rather symmetric about the CI chondrite value; however, actinide/(LREE) ratios are systematically lower than the CI value. Variations in actinide or LREE absolute and relative abundances are interpreted as reflecting differences in the proportions and/or compositions of more primitive components (chondrules and CAI materials?) incorporated into different regions of the ordinary chondrite parent bodies. The observed variations of Th/U, Nd/U, or Ce/U suggest that measurements of Pu/U on any single equilibrated ordinary chondrite specimen, such as St. Se??verin, should statistically be within ??20-30% of the average solar system value, although it is also clear that anomalous samples exist. ?? 1990.

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Actinide abundances in ordinary chondrites
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Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
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Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
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