Source and parental melts of poikilitic shergottites: implications for martian magmatism

O'Neal Evan, Amanda Ostwald, Arya Udry*, Juliane Gross, Minako Righter, Thomas Lapen, James Darling, Geoffrey Howarth, Racheal Johnsen, Devin McQuaig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Martian poikilitic shergottites are cumulate rocks that can help advance the understanding of magmatic evolution from near the base of the crust (~10 kbar) tonear-surface conditions. Through a comprehensive petrographic and geochemical study, we aim to better understand poikilitic shergottite formation and the evolution in the martian interior. A suite of poikilitic shergottites including Northwest Africa (NWA) 7755, NWA 11043, NWA 11065, NWA 10618 and Alan Hills (ALHA) 77005 were investigated for their major, minor, and trace element compositions of olivine hosted melt inclusions (MI). The MI occur within both the early-evolutional stage textural and late-evolution stage textural domains in olivine. Major element compositions of MI indicate fractional crystallization between the early and late-crystallizing domains. Calculated parental melt compositions from these MI data yielded results that also may petrogenetically link the poikilitic shergottites with the olivine-phyric shergottite subgroup. Lutetium-Hf and Sm-Nd isotopic data were measured for whole rock and mineral fractions for age and isotope tracer information. Northwest Africa 7755 shows a
176Lu/177Hf crystallization age of 223 ± 46 Ma, which fits into the expected range for enriched shergottites of ~165 Ma to 225 Ma. Similar crystallization age and 176Lu/177Hf and 147Sm/144Nd source composition of NWA 7755 to the other enriched shergottites suggests that this sample likely shares a long-lived geochemical source with these samples that has lasted for at least 75 Ma. Northwest Africa 11043 shows scatter throughout the Lu-Hf and Sm-Nd isotopic data suggesting that it is not in isotopic equilibrium. This sample was possibly inherited from high-temperature processes, such as incomplete magmas missing from similar, but distinct sources. We conducted in situ U-Th-Pb isotope analyses of Ca-phosphate minerals for NWA 11043 and found an unreliable crystallization age of 59.2 ± 138.4 Ma for NWA. Phosphates microstructural analyses are indicative of crystal plastic deformation in this sample. Consistent crystallization ages and magmatic histories support previous work that suggest there is a common magmatic system with potentially multiple geochemical sources on Mars that is responsible for the formation of these enriched poikilitic shergottites.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 20 Mar 2024


  • Martian meteorites
  • melt inclusions
  • magmatic evolution
  • shergottites
  • UKRI
  • STFC
  • ST/S000291/1

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