Early differentiation processes on Mars inferred from silicon isotopes

1Delphine Losno,1Caroline Fitoussi,1Bernard Bourdon
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta (in Press) Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2022.10.002]
1Laboratoire de Géologie de Lyon, Terre, Planètes, Environnement, ENS de Lyon, UCBL, CNRS 46 Allée d’Italie, 69364 Lyon cedex 07, France
Copyright: Elsevier

Accretion of terrestrial planets involved partial or global melting events such as magma oceans or magma ponds. Mars experienced large-scale differentiation very early in its history, as shown by its 146Sm-142Nd and 182Hf-182W record. The broad variations in ε142Nd and ε142W of SNC meteorites highlight the presence of mantle sources that must have remained isolated, at least partly, after the crystallization of a global magma ocean. In this study, we have investigated whether the crystallization of the martian magma ocean could have generated mantle reservoirs characterized by different silicon isotope signatures, as the fractionation of Si isotopes between minerals and melts is known to depend on pressure. Thus, the goal of this study was to investigate whether there were any relationships between magma ocean crystallisation and possible variations in the Si isotope record of SNC meteorites. High resolution silicon isotope measurements were performed on twelve meteorites from the Shergottite, Nakhlite and Chassignite groups using a Neptune Plus MC-ICP-MS in dry plasma mode. The δ30Si values are in good agreement with previous studies but display a narrower range of variations with a mean value at -0.46 ‰ ± 0.07 (2SD). A magma ocean crystallization model shows that the range of δ30Si in SNCs is consistent with that generated by magma ocean crystallisation. In particular, there is a correlation between calculated 147Sm/144Nd for the moderately depleted mantle sources with δ30Si values; this correlation is consistent with the crystallization model if one includes trapped melt in the cumulates. In contrast, enriched shergottites displayed a very homogenous composition in Sm/Nd ratios, despite significant variability in δ30Si. This observation could be related to either fluid-rock interactions or redox effect during magma differentiation. Altogether, silicon isotope compositions of SNC provide new constraints about magma ocean crystallization processes in Mars.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s