- © 2008 by the Mineralogical Society of America
Due to their “iron-loving” properties, platinum-group elements (PGE) are expected to be stored in the Earth's core. Although very low, at a few parts per billion, PGE concentrations measured in mantle-derived rocks are too high to be in chemical equilibrium with the core. The “late veneer” model offers the best explanation for this paradox—it postulates that a flux of primitive meteorites hit the early Earth after core formation had ceased. However, the inferred PGE composition of the hypothetical primitive mantle exhibits slight positive excesses of Ru, Rh, and Pd compared to the canonical chondritic signature. Such deviations have triggered considerable debate about the composition of the late veneer and the extent of reworking of PGE signatures by igneous processes within the Earth's mantle.