Ironing Out Isotopic Differences Among Rocky Bodies

T he variability of iron isotopes among rocky bodies in the inner Solar System provides a window onto the diversity of materials and mechanisms from which they formed. The magnitude of isotopic variation in mantle-derived rocks within a given body is similar to that between different planetary bodies. Isotopic signatures arising from primordial events, namely, evaporation/condensation, core formation and melting/crystallization, may be progressively diluted, modified, and redistributed over time by global recycling processes such as plate tectonics. Here, we assess the relative influence of these primordial mechanisms on the iron isotope compositions of igneous rocks and their implications for the structure and accretion histories of rocky planets.

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