Postdoc, University of Chicago
I use powerful analytical instruments, space telescopes, numerical modeling and mapping techniques to understand the composition, mineralogy and geology of planetary bodies in our Solar System, in order to understand their origin and the processes that shape and change them.
Abstract: Previous estimates of the volatile contents of Martian basalts, and hence their source regions, ranged from nearly volatile‐free through estimates similar to those found in terrestrial subduction zones. Here, we use the bulk chemistry of Martian meteorites, along with Martian apatite and amphibole chemistry, to constrain the volatile contents of the Martian interior. Our estimates show that the volatile content of the source region for the Martian meteorites is similar to the terrestrial Mid‐Ocean‐Ridge Mantle source. Chlorine is enriched compared with the depleted terrestrial mantle but is similar to the terrestrial enriched source region; fluorine is similar to the terrestrial primitive mantle; and water is consistent with the terrestrial mantle. Our results show that Martian magmas were not volatile saturated; had water/chlorine and water/fluorine ratios ~0.4–18; and are most similar, in terms of volatiles, to terrestrial MORBs. Presumably, there are variations in volatile content in the Martian interior as suggested by apatite compositions, but more bulk chemical data, especially for fluorine and water, are required to investigate these variations. Finally, the Noachian Martian interior, as exemplified by surface basalts and NWA 7034, may have had higher volatile contents.
Pub.: 10 Mar '16, Pinned: 03 Jul '17
Abstract: Multiple observations from missions to Mars have revealed compelling evidence for a volatile-rich Martian crust. A leading theory contends that eruption of basaltic magmas was the ultimate mechanism of transfer of volatiles from the mantle toward the surface after an initial outgassing related to the crystallization of a magma ocean. However, the concentrations of volatile species in ascending magmas and in their mantle source regions are highly uncertain. This work and this special issue of Meteoritics & Planetary Science summarize the key findings of the workshop on Volatiles in the Martian Interior (Nov. 3–4, 2014), the primary open questions related to volatiles in Martian magmas and their source regions, and the suggestions of the community at the workshop to address these open questions.
Pub.: 06 Oct '16, Pinned: 03 Jul '17
Abstract: Clay minerals, although ubiquitous on the ancient terrains of Mars, have not been observed in Martian meteorite Allan Hills (ALH) 84001, which is an orthopyroxenite sample of the early Martian crust with a secondary carbonate assemblage. We used a low-temperature (20 °C) one-dimensional (1-D) transport thermochemical model to investigate the possible aqueous alteration processes that produced the carbonate assemblage of ALH 84001 while avoiding the coprecipitation of clay minerals. We found that the carbonate in ALH 84001 could have been produced in a process, whereby a low-temperature (~20 °C) fluid, initially equilibrated with the early Martian atmosphere, moved through surficial clay mineral and silica-rich layers, percolated through the parent rock of the meteorite, and precipitated carbonates (thereby decreasing the partial pressure of CO2) as it evaporated. This finding requires that before encountering the unweathered orthopyroxenite host of ALH 84001, the fluid permeated rock that became weathered during the process. We were able to predict the composition of the clay minerals formed during weathering, which included the dioctahedral smectite nontronite, kaolinite, and chlorite, all of which have been previously detected on Mars. We also calculated host rock replacement in local equilibrium conditions by the hydrated silicate talc, which is typically considered to be a higher temperature hydrothermal phase on Earth, but may have been a common constituent in the formation of Martian soils through pervasive aqueous alteration. Finally, goethite and magnetite were also found to precipitate in the secondary alteration assemblage, the latter associated with the generation of H2. Apparently, despite the limited water–rock interaction that must have led to the formation of the carbonates ~ 3.9 Ga ago, in the vicinity of the ALH 84001 source rocks, clay formation would have been widespread.
Pub.: 16 Aug '16, Pinned: 03 Jul '17
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