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Observational constraints on the process and products of Martian serpentinization

DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.add8472 DOI Help

Authors: Benjamin M. Tutolo (University of Calgary) , Nicholas J. Tosca (University of Cambridge)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Science Advances , VOL 9

State: Published (Approved)
Published: February 2023
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 15947

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: The alteration of olivine-rich rocks to serpentine minerals, (hydr)oxides, and aqueous hydrogen through serpentinization is long thought to have influenced the distribution of habitable environments on early Mars and the evolution of the early Martian hydrosphere and atmosphere. Nevertheless, the planetary importance of Martian serpentinization has remained a matter of debate. To constrain the process and products of Martian serpentinization, we studied serpentinized iron-rich olivines from the 1.1-billion-year Duluth Complex. These data indicate that serpentinized iron-rich olivine would have been accompanied by a fivefold increase in hydrogen production relative to serpentinized terrestrial mantle peridotites. In contrast to previous expectations, this style of serpentinization yields hisingerite as the dominant iron serpentine mineral at comparatively low temperature and pH, consistent with meteorite mineralogy and in situ rover data. The widespread occurrence of oxidized iron-bearing phyllosilicates in highly magnetized regions of the Martian crust supports the hypothesis that serpentinization was more pervasive on early Mars than currently estimated.

Diamond Keywords: Mars

Subject Areas: Earth Science, Chemistry

Instruments: I18-Microfocus Spectroscopy

Added On: 08/02/2023 09:18

Discipline Tags:

Earth Sciences & Environment Mineralogy Geology Geochemistry Planetary Geology

Technical Tags:

Spectroscopy X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure (XANES)