Determining the carbon isotopic composition of ALH84001 rosettes with NanoSIMS

Tomkinson, Tim; Needham, A. W.; Johnson, D.; Guillermier, C.; Franchi, I.; Hagermann, A.; Wright, I. P. and Grady, M. M. (2010). Determining the carbon isotopic composition of ALH84001 rosettes with NanoSIMS. In: 41st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, 1-5 Mar 2010, Houston, TX, USA.

URL: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2010/

Abstract

Martian meteorite samples provide an insight into the lithosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere of Mars and thus can help us to determine the environments in which they formed. Formation of secondary alteration products are particularly intriguing since such components can help cast light on their likely fluvial origins. The motivation to search for carbonates on Mars is that these minerals are associated with water, carbon dioxide and an alkaline pH; all conditions hospitable for most terrestrial life. The classification of geological eras and indentification of phyllosilicates by the OMEGA team [1] suggest that primordial Mars was a ‘warm and wet’ environment (Phyllosian era). In addition to detecting phyllosilicates [2] CRISM also detected carbonates in the form of magnesite [3]. The Phoenix lander also detected surface deposits of carbonates in the form of calcite [4].

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