The origin of alteration “orangettes” in Dhofar 019: Implications for the age and aqueous history of the shergottites

1L.J. Hallis,1,2L. Kemppinen,1M. R. Lee,3L. A. Taylor
Meteoritics & Planetary Science (in Press) Link to Article [DOI: 10.1111/maps.12987]
1School of Geographical and Earth Science, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
2School of Geographical and Earth Science, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
3School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Clifton, UK
4Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
Published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons

The shergottites are the largest group of Martian meteorites, and the only group that has not been found to contain definitive evidence of Martian aqueous alteration. Given recent reports of current liquid water at the surface of Mars, this study aimed to investigate in detail the possibility of Martian phyllosilicate within shergottite Dhofar 019. Optical and scanning electron microscopy, followed by transmission electron microscopy, confirmed the presence of alteration orangettes, with a layered structure consisting of poorly ordered Mg-phyllosilicate and calcite. These investigations identified maskelynite dissolution, followed by Mg-phyllosilicate and calcite deposition within the dissolution pits, as the method of orangette production. The presence of celestine within the orangette layers, the absence of shock dislocation features within calcite, and the Mg-rich nature of the phyllosilicate, all indicate a terrestrial origin for these features on Dhofar 019.


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