Research ArticleGEOLOGY

Two billion years of magmatism recorded from a single Mars meteorite ejection site

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Science Advances  01 Feb 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 2, e1600922
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600922

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Abstract

The timing and nature of igneous activity recorded at a single Mars ejection site can be determined from the isotope analyses of Martian meteorites. Northwest Africa (NWA) 7635 has an Sm-Nd crystallization age of 2.403 ± 0.140 billion years, and isotope data indicate that it is derived from an incompatible trace element–depleted mantle source similar to that which produced a geochemically distinct group of 327- to 574-million-year-old “depleted” shergottites. Cosmogenic nuclide data demonstrate that NWA 7635 was ejected from Mars 1.1 million years ago (Ma), as were at least 10 other depleted shergottites. The shared ejection age is consistent with a common ejection site for these meteorites. The spatial association of 327- to 2403-Ma depleted shergottites indicates >2 billion years of magmatism from a long-lived and geochemically distinct volcanic center near the ejection site.

Keywords
  • Mars Geochemistry
  • Martian Meteorite
  • Early Amazonian Magmatism
  • Martian Mantle

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