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Oxygen Isotopes and Volatiles in Martian Meteorite


Channon, Melanie Beth (2013) Oxygen Isotopes and Volatiles in Martian Meteorite. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/HZ47-BJ39.


Oxygen isotopes were measured in mineral separates from martian meteorites using laser fluorination and were found to be remarkably uniform in both δ18O and Δ17O, suggesting that martian magmas did not assimilate aqueously altered crust regardless of any other geochemical variations.

Measurements of Cl, F, H, and S in apatite from martian meteorites were made using the SIMS and NanoSIMS. Martian apatites are typically higher in Cl than terrestrial apatites from mafic and ultramafic rocks, signifying that Mars is inherently higher in Cl than Earth. Apatites from basaltic and olivine-phyric shergottites are as high in water as any terrestrial apatite from mafic and utramafic rocks, implying the possibility that martian magmas may be more similar in water abundance to terrestrial magmas than previously thought. Apatites from lherzolitic shergottites, nakhlites, chassignites, and ALH 84001 (all of which are cumulate rocks) are all lower in water than the basaltic and olivine-phyric shergottites, indicating that the slow-cooling accumulation process allows escape of water from trapped melts where apatite later formed. Sulfur is only high in some apatites from basaltic and olivine-phyric shergottites and low in all other SNCs from this study, which could mean that cumulate SNCs are low in all volatiles and that there are other controlling factors in basaltic and olivine-phyric magmas dictating the inclusion of sulfur into apatite.

Sulfur Kα X-rays were measured in SNC apatites using the electron probe. None of the peaks in the SNC spectra reside in the same position as anhydrite (where sulfur is 100% sulfate) or pyrite (where sulfur is 100% sulfide), but instead all SNC spectra peaks lie in between these two end member peaks, which implies that SNC apatites may be substituting some sulfide, as well as sulfate, into their structure. However, further work is needed to verify this hypothesis.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:isotopes, volatiles, meteorites, Mars, SNC
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Geological and Planetary Sciences
Major Option:Geochemistry
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Eiler, John M. (advisor)
  • Stolper, Edward M. (co-advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Rossman, George Robert (chair)
  • Eiler, John M.
  • Stolper, Edward M.
  • Asimow, Paul David
  • Farley, Kenneth A.
Defense Date:22 October 2012
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:06032013-094453023
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7821
Deposited By: Melanie Channon
Deposited On:12 Jun 2013 17:47
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 00:01

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