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Evidence for magmatic evolution and diversity on Mars from infrared observations

Nature

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, , , , , , , , , , , and
DOI: 10.1038/nature03639

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Abstract

Compositional mapping of Mars at the 100-metre scale with the Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) has revealed a wide diversity of igneous materials. Volcanic evolution produced compositions from low-silica basalts to high-silica dacite in the Syrtis Major caldera. The existence of dacite demonstrates that highly evolved lavas have been produced, at least locally, by magma evolution through fractional crystallization. Olivine basalts are observed on crater floors and in layers exposed in canyon walls up to 4.5 km beneath the surface. This vertical distribution suggests that olivine-rich lavas were emplaced at various times throughout the formation of the upper crust, with their growing inventory suggesting that such ultramafic (picritic) basalts may be relatively common. Quartz-bearing granitoid rocks have also been discovered, demonstrating that extreme differentiation has occurred. These observations show that the martian crust, while dominated by basalt, contains a diversity of igneous materials whose range in composition from picritic basalts to granitoids rivals that found on the Earth.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Evidence for magmatic evolution and diversity on Mars from infrared observations
Series title:
Nature
DOI:
10.1038/nature03639
Volume
436
Issue:
7050
Year Published:
2005
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Nature
First page:
504
Last page:
509