Chemical Composition of Meteorites


Lanthanum and Other “Incompatible Elements”

La vs. Fe2O3(T) + MgO


Lanthanum is one of many chemical elements that geochemists call “incompatible elements.” Others that commonly appear in reports of rock analyses are Y, Zr, Nb, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, Lu, Hf, Ta, Th, and U. Incompatible elements tend to be in higher concentrations in Earth rocks than in meteorites. Among meteorites, only some from the Moon have concentrations in the range of typical terrestrial igneous rocks.


Back to Chemical Composition of Meteorites


see also Rare Earth Elements (REE) in Lunar Meteorites



Prepared by:

Randy L. Korotev

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Washington University in St. Louis

Please don't contact me about the meteorite you think you’ve found until you read this and this.


Last revised:  7 November 2018