The Stannern trend eucrites: Contamination of main group eucritic magmas by crustal partial melts

Barrat, J. A.; Yamaguchi, A.; Greenwood, R. C.; Bohn, M.; Cotten, J.; Benoit, M. and Franchi, I. A. (2007). The Stannern trend eucrites: Contamination of main group eucritic magmas by crustal partial melts. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 71(16) pp. 4108–4124.



We report on the petrology of a new eucrite belonging to the Stannern trend and discuss the origin of this trend. The eucrite Northwest Africa 4523 (NWA 4523) is an equilibrated eucrite consisting of dark clasts embedded in a fine-grained crystallized matrix. Two types of clasts have been observed: medium-grained ophitic/subophitic clasts, and very fine-grained clasts. Despite textural differences, the clasts display the same mineralogy, in particular the same kind of pyroxenes with pigeonitic cores containing sparse exsolution lamellae, and augitic rims, zoned plagioclases and the occurrence of K-feldspar. The major and trace element abundances of a large medium-grained clast are very similar to Stannern or Bouvante.

The Stannern trend eucrites are characterized by high incompatible trace element abundances. Their trace element patterns normalized to a representative Main Group eucrite, exhibit significant Eu, Sr and Be negative anomalies. In this paper, we show that contamination of Main Group eucritic magmas by melts derived by partial melting of the asteroid’s crust can successfully explain both the high incompatible trace elements concentrations and the distinctive Eu, Sr, Be anomalies shown by the Stannern trend eucrites. This model is in agreement with the view that Stannern and some Main Group-Nuevo Laredo trend eucrites have been contemporaneously erupted, and with the probable assumption that Stannern trend eucrites formed rather late in the history of the 4-Vesta’s crust.

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