The University of Arizona

Expanding the application of the Eu-oxybarometer to the lherzolitic shergottites and nakhlites: Implications for the oxidation state heterogeneity of the Martian interior



Experimentally rehomogenized melt inclusions from the nakhlite Miller Range 03346 (MIL 03346) and the lherzolitic shergottite Allan Hills 77005 (ALH 77005) have been analyzed for their rare earth element (REE) concentrations in order to characterize the early melt compositions of these Martian meteorites and to calculate the oxygen fugacity conditions they crystallized under. D(Eu/Sm)pyroxene/melt values were measured at 0.77 and 1.05 for ALH 77005 and MIL 03346, respectively. These melts and their associated whole rock compositions have similar REE patterns, suggesting that whole rock REE values are representative of those of the early melts and can be used as input into the pyroxene Eu-oxybarometer for the nakhlites and lherzolitic shergottites. Crystallization fO2 values of IW + 1.1 (ALH 77005) and IW + 3.2 (MIL 03346) were calculated. Whole rock data from other nakhlites and lherzolitic shergottites was input into the Eu-oxybarometer to determine their crystallization fO2 values. The lherzolitic shergottites and nakhlites have fO2 values that range from IW + 0.4 to 1.6 and from IW + 1.1 to 3.2, respectively. These values are consistent with some previously determined fO2 estimates and expand the known range of fO2 values of the Martian interior to four orders of magnitude. The origins of this range are not well constrained. Possible mechanisms for producing this spread in fO2 values include mineral/melt fractionation, assimilation, shock effects, and magma ocean crystallization processes. Mineral/melt partitioning can result in changes in fO2 from the start to the finish of crystallization of 2 orders of magnitude. In addition, crystallization of a Martian magma ocean with reasonable initial water content results in oxidized, water-rich, late-stage cumulates. Sampling of these oxidized cumulates or interactions between reduced melts and the oxidized material can potentially account for the range of fO2 values observed in the Martian meteorites.


SNC Meteorite(s);Allan Hills (ALH) A77005 Martian meteorite(s);ocean Magma;Oxygen fugacity

Full Text: