Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Platinum Group Elements

  • Nicholas Arndt
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1175-3

Synonyms

PGE

Definition

The platinum group elements (PGE) or metals (PGM) – ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium, and platinum – have similar chemical characteristics and behave as a group during geochemical processes. They are strongly siderophile (iron-loving) and chalcophile (sulfur-loving) and are therefore concentrated in the core of the Earth and in iron meteorites, in sulfide ore deposits, and to a lesser extent in the Earth’s mantle. An important geological application of the PGE is the use of iridium as a tracer of meteoritic material, most famously in the development of the meteorite impact hypothesis for the origin of the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction. The isotopic system rhenium-osmium is used to date mafic-ultramafic rocks and as a tracer of processes in the Earth’s mantle. The occurrence of small excesses of PGE in the mantle has been often indicated as evidence of a late contribution of chondritic material to the Earth (Late Veneer hypothesis).

See Also

Keywords

Mass Extinction Platinum Group Element Iron Meteorite Small Excess Radiogenic Isotope 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Maison des GéosciencesLGCA, Université J. FourierSt-Martin d’HèresFrance