skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: The age of the martian meteorite Northwest Africa 1195 and the differentiation history of the shergottites

Abstract

Samarium-neodymium isotopic analyses of unleached and acid-leached mineral fractions from the recently identified olivine-bearing shergottite Northwest Africa 1195 yield a crystallization age of 348 {+-} 19 Ma and an {var_epsilon}{sub Nd}{sup 143} value of +40.1 {+-} 1.3. Maskelynite fractions do not lie on the Sm-Nd isochron and appear to contain a martian surface component with low {sup 147}Sm/{sup 144}Nd and {sup 143}Nd/{sup 144}Nd ratios that was added during shock. The Rb-Sr system is disturbed and does not yield an isochron. Terrestrial Sr appears to have affected all of the mineral fractions, although a maximum initial {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr ratio of 0.701614 {+-} 16 is estimated by passing a 348 Ma reference isochron through the maskelynite fraction that is least affected by contamination. The high initial {var_epsilon}{sub Nd}{sup 143} value and the low initial {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr ratio, combined with the geologically young crystallization age, indicate that Northwest Africa 1195 is derived from a source region characterized by a long-term incompatible element depletion. The age and initial Sr and Nd isotopic compositions of Northwest Africa 1195 are very similar to those of Queen Alexandra Range 94201, indicating these samples were derived from source regions with nearly identical Sr-Nd isotopic systematics. Thesemore » similarities suggest that these two meteorites share a close petrogenetic relationship and might have been erupted from a common volcano. The meteorites Yamato 980459, Dar al Gani 476, Sayh al Uhaymir 005/008, and Dhofar 019 also have relatively old ages between 474-575 Ma and trace element and/or isotopic systematics that are indicative of derivation from incompatible-element-depleted sources. This suggests that the oldest group of meteorites is more closely related to one another than they are to the younger meteorites that are derived from less incompatible-element-depleted sources. Closed-system fractional crystallization of this suite of meteorites is modeled with the MELTS algorithm using the bulk composition of Yamato 980459 as a parent. These models reproduce many of the major element and mineralogical variations observed in the suite. In addition, the rare-earth element systematics of these meteorites are reproduced by fractional crystallization using the proportions of phases and extents of crystallization that are calculated by MELTS. The combined effects of source composition and fractional crystallization are therefore likely to account for the major element, trace element, and isotopic diversity of all shergottites. Thus, assimilation of a martian crustal component is not required to explain the geochemical diversity of the shergottites.« less

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
940887
Report Number(s):
UCRL-JRNL-229742
Journal ID: ISSN 0016-7037; GCACAK; TRN: US200824%%383
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, vol. 72, no. 15, March 1, 2008, pp. 1696-1710; Journal Volume: 72; Journal Issue: 15
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; AFRICA; ALGORITHMS; CONTAMINATION; CRYSTALLIZATION; ELEMENTS; METEORITES; RARE EARTHS; TRACE AMOUNTS

Citation Formats

Symes, S, Borg, L, Shearer, C, and Irving, A. The age of the martian meteorite Northwest Africa 1195 and the differentiation history of the shergottites. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Symes, S, Borg, L, Shearer, C, & Irving, A. The age of the martian meteorite Northwest Africa 1195 and the differentiation history of the shergottites. United States.
Symes, S, Borg, L, Shearer, C, and Irving, A. Thu . "The age of the martian meteorite Northwest Africa 1195 and the differentiation history of the shergottites". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/940887.
@article{osti_940887,
title = {The age of the martian meteorite Northwest Africa 1195 and the differentiation history of the shergottites},
author = {Symes, S and Borg, L and Shearer, C and Irving, A},
abstractNote = {Samarium-neodymium isotopic analyses of unleached and acid-leached mineral fractions from the recently identified olivine-bearing shergottite Northwest Africa 1195 yield a crystallization age of 348 {+-} 19 Ma and an {var_epsilon}{sub Nd}{sup 143} value of +40.1 {+-} 1.3. Maskelynite fractions do not lie on the Sm-Nd isochron and appear to contain a martian surface component with low {sup 147}Sm/{sup 144}Nd and {sup 143}Nd/{sup 144}Nd ratios that was added during shock. The Rb-Sr system is disturbed and does not yield an isochron. Terrestrial Sr appears to have affected all of the mineral fractions, although a maximum initial {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr ratio of 0.701614 {+-} 16 is estimated by passing a 348 Ma reference isochron through the maskelynite fraction that is least affected by contamination. The high initial {var_epsilon}{sub Nd}{sup 143} value and the low initial {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr ratio, combined with the geologically young crystallization age, indicate that Northwest Africa 1195 is derived from a source region characterized by a long-term incompatible element depletion. The age and initial Sr and Nd isotopic compositions of Northwest Africa 1195 are very similar to those of Queen Alexandra Range 94201, indicating these samples were derived from source regions with nearly identical Sr-Nd isotopic systematics. These similarities suggest that these two meteorites share a close petrogenetic relationship and might have been erupted from a common volcano. The meteorites Yamato 980459, Dar al Gani 476, Sayh al Uhaymir 005/008, and Dhofar 019 also have relatively old ages between 474-575 Ma and trace element and/or isotopic systematics that are indicative of derivation from incompatible-element-depleted sources. This suggests that the oldest group of meteorites is more closely related to one another than they are to the younger meteorites that are derived from less incompatible-element-depleted sources. Closed-system fractional crystallization of this suite of meteorites is modeled with the MELTS algorithm using the bulk composition of Yamato 980459 as a parent. These models reproduce many of the major element and mineralogical variations observed in the suite. In addition, the rare-earth element systematics of these meteorites are reproduced by fractional crystallization using the proportions of phases and extents of crystallization that are calculated by MELTS. The combined effects of source composition and fractional crystallization are therefore likely to account for the major element, trace element, and isotopic diversity of all shergottites. Thus, assimilation of a martian crustal component is not required to explain the geochemical diversity of the shergottites.},
doi = {},
journal = {Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, vol. 72, no. 15, March 1, 2008, pp. 1696-1710},
number = 15,
volume = 72,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Apr 05 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Thu Apr 05 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}
  • Northwest Africa (NWA) 8159 is an augite-rich shergottite, with a mineralogy dominated by Ca-, Fe-rich pyroxene, plagioclase, olivine, and magnetite. NWA 8159 crystallized from an evolved melt of basaltic composition under relatively rapid conditions of cooling, likely in a surface lava flow or shallow sill. Redox conditions experienced by the melt shifted from relatively oxidizing (with respect to known Martian lithologies, ~QFM) on the liquidus to higher oxygen fugacity (~QFM + 2) during crystallization of the groundmass, and under subsolidus conditions. This shift resulted in the production of orthopyroxene and magnetite replacing olivine phenocryst rims. NWA 8159 contains both crystallinemore » and shock-amorphized plagioclase (An 50–62), often observed within a single grain; based on known calibrations we bracket the peak shock pressure experienced by NWA 8159 to between 15 and 23 GPa. The bulk composition of NWA 8159 is depleted in LREE, as observed for Tissint and other depleted shergottites; however, NWA 8159 is distinct from all other martian lithologies in its bulk composition and oxygen fugacity. Here, we obtain a Sm-Nd formation age of 2.37 ± 0.25 Ga for NWA 8159, which represents an interval in Mars geologic time which, until recently, was not represented in the other martian meteorite types. The bulk rock 147Sm/ 144Nd value of 0.37 ± 0.02 is consistent with it being derived directly from its source and the high initial ε 143Nd value indicates this source was geochemically highly depleted. Cr, Nd, and W isotopic compositions further support a unique mantle source. While the rock shares similarities with the 2.4-Ga NWA 7635 meteorite, there are notable distinctions between the two meteorites that suggest differences in mantle source compositions and conditions of crystallization. Nevertheless, the two samples may be launch-paired. Finally, NWA 8159 expands the known basalt types, ages and mantle sources within the Mars sample suite to include a second igneous unit from the early Amazonian.« less
    Cited by 1
  • The meteorite ALHA 77005 belongs to the group of SNC meteorites which are thought to be fragments of the planet Mars. New Sr and Nd isotopic data are reported for ALHA 77005 whole rock and petrographically distinct mineral separates. Plagioclase crystallized from a plagioclase shock melt, fractionating the Rb/Sr ratio at the time of the shock event. A Rb/Sr age of 15 {plus minus} 15 Ma for the shock event is measured using this Rb/Sr fractionation. This shock age is, within error, identical to the exposure age of 2.5 Ma. Using augite and pigeonite a Rb/Sr crystallization age of 154more » {plus minus} 6 Ma is measured, which is identical to the crystallization age of the Shergotty mesostasis-plagioclase. Petrographic evidence indicates that the cumulus olivine in ALHA 77005 is derived from a different source than the intercumulus liquid which crystallized the pyroxenes and the plagioclases. Petrographic comparison of all SNC meteorites suggests that most SNC meteorites are orthocumulates in which the cumulus phase comes from a different source than the intercumulus liquid. The interrelation of the different isotopic systems indicates that the SNC meteorites can be explained by mixing three isotopically distinct sources. These three sources were differentiated early in Martian history. In contrast to the Moon, where plagioclase fractionation is the dominant magmatic process, the major magmatic processes on Mars are mafic magmatism and mixing.« less
  • To explore the formation and preservation of biogenic features in igneous rocks, the authors have examined the organisms in experimental basaltic microcosms using scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Four types of microorganisms were recognized on the basis of size, morphology, and chemical composition. Some of the organisms mineralized rapidly, whereas others show no evidence of mineralization. Many mineralized cells are hollow and do not contain evidence of microstructure. Filaments, either attached or no longer attached to organisms, are common. Unattached filaments are mineralized and are most likely bacterial appendages (e.g., prosthecae). Features similar in size and morphology to unattached, mineralizedmore » filaments are recognized in martial meteorite ALH84001.« less
  • The martian meteorite ALH84001 contains small, disk-shaped concentrations of carbonate with concentric chemical and mineralogical zonation. Oxygen isotope compositions of these concretions, measured by ion microprobe, range from {delta}{sup 18}O = +9.5 to +20.5{per_thousand}. Most of the core of one concretion is homogeneous (16.7 {+-} 1.2{per_thousand}) and over 5{per_thousand} higher in ({delta}{sup 18}O = 4.6 {+-} 1.2{per_thousand}). Secondary SiO{sub 2} has {delta}{sup 18}O = 20.4{per_thousand}. Carbon isotope ratios measured from the core of one concretion average {delta}{sup 13}C = 46 {+-} 8{per_thousand}, consistent with formation on Mars. The isotopic variations and mineral compositions offer no evidence for high temperature (>650{degrees}C)more » carbonate precipitation and suggest non-equilibrium processes at low temperatures (<{approximately} 300{degrees}C). 44 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.« less
  • ALH84001 is a coarse-grained, clastic orthopyroxenite meteorite related to the SNC meteorite group (shergottites, nakhlites, Chassigny). Superimposed upon the orthopyroxene-dominant igneous mineral assemblage is a hydrothermal signature. This hydrothermal overprint consists of carbonate assemblages occurring in spheroidal aggregates and fine-grained carbonate-sulfide vug-filling. The sulfide in this assemblage has been identified as pyrite, an unusual sulfide in meteorites. Previously, Burgess et al. (1989) reported a bulk {delta} {sup 34}S for a SNC group meteorite (Shergotty) of -0.5 {+-} 1.5%. Here, we report the first martian {delta} {sup 34}S values from individual sulfide grains. Using newly developed ion microprobe techniques, we weremore » able to determine {delta} {sup 34}S of the pyrite in ALH84001 with a 1 {alpha} precision of better than {+-}0.5%. The {delta} {sup 34}S values for the pyrite range from +4.8 to +7.8%. Within the stated uncertainties, the pyrite from ALH84001 exhibits a real variability in {delta} {sup 34}S in this alteration assemblage. In addition, these sulfides are demonstrably enriched in {sup 34}S relative to Canon Diablo troilite and sulfides from most other meteorites. This signature implies that the planetary body represented by ALH 84001 experienced processes capable of fractionating sulphur isotopes and that hydrothermal conditions changed during pyrite precipitation (T, pH, fluid composition, etc.). These new data are not consistent with the pyrite recording either biogenic activity or atmospheric fractionation of sulphur through nonthermal escape mechanisms or oxidation processes. This study also demonstrates the usefulness of ion microprobe measurements of sulphur isotopes in constraining conditions on other planetary bodies.« less