Boom boom pow: shock-facilitated aqueous alteration and evidence for two shock events in the Martian nakhlite meteorites

Luke Daly, Martin R. Lee, Sandra Piazolo, Samantha Griffin, Mohsen Bazargan, Fabrizio Campanale, Peter Chung, Benjamin E. Cohen, Annemarie Pickersgill, Lydia J. Hallis, Patrick W. Trimby, Raphael Baumgartner, Lucy V. Forman, Gretchen K. Benedix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Nakhlite meteorites are 261.4 to 1.3 Ga old igneous rocks, aqueously altered on Mars 26630 Ma ago. We test the theory that water-rock interaction was impact driven. Electron backscatter diffraction demonstrates that the meteorites Miller Range 03346 and Lafayette were heterogeneously deformed, leading to localized regions of brecciation, plastic deformation, and mechanical twinning of augite. Numerical modeling shows that the pattern of deformation is consistent with shock-generated compressive and tensile stresses. Mesostasis within shocked areas was aqueously altered to phyllosilicates, carbonates, and oxides, suggesting a genetic link between the two processes. We propose that an impact 26630 Ma ago simultaneously deformed the nakhlite parent rocks and generated liquid water by melting of permafrost. Ensuing water-rock interaction focused on shocked mesostasis with a high density of reactive sites. The nakhlite source location must have two spatially correlated craters, one 26630 Ma old and another, ejecting the meteorites, 2611 Ma ago.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience Advances
Volume5
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2019

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