Tissint martian meteorite: a fresh look at the interior, surface, and atmosphere of Mars

Aoudjehane, H. Chennaoui; Avice, G.; Barrat, J.-A.; Boudouma, O.; Chen, G.; Duke, M.J.M; Franchi, I. A.; Gattacceca, J.; Grady, M. M.; Greenwood, R. C.; Herd, C. D. K.; Hewins, R.; Jambon, A.; Marty, B.; Rochette, P.; Smith, C. L.; Sautter, V.; Verchovsky, A.; Weber, P. and Zanda, B. (2012). Tissint martian meteorite: a fresh look at the interior, surface, and atmosphere of Mars. Science, 338(6108) pp. 785–788.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1224514


Tissint (Morocco) is the fifth martian meteorite collected after it was witnessed falling to Earth. Our integrated mineralogical, petrological, and geochemical study shows that it is a depleted picritic shergottite similar to EETA79001A. Highly magnesian olivine and abundant glass containing martian atmosphere are present in Tissint. Refractory trace element, sulfur, and fluorine data for the matrix and glass veins in the meteorite indicate the presence of a martian surface component. Thus, the influence of in situ martian weathering can be unambiguously distinguished from terrestrial contamination in this meteorite. Martian weathering features in Tissint are compatible with the results of spacecraft observations of Mars. Tissint has a cosmic-ray exposure age of 0.7 ± 0.3 million years, consistent with those of many other shergottites, notably EETA79001, suggesting that they were ejected from Mars during the same event.

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