Petrologic Constraints on the Pressure, Temperature, Time and Composition of the Martian Interior: Samples and Experiments
Petrologic analysis of surface samples has been used to deduce pressure and temperature conditions existing in the crust and upper mantle at specific times in the Earth's history, as well as to estimate the chemical and mineralogical composition of the crust and upper mantle. The same techniques can be applied to samples of the Martian surface to provide P, T, time and composition constraints of the Martian interior. Estimates of P and T conditions existing at a given time would, in turn, provide strong constraints on the thermal evolution of Mars. Knowledge of the chemical and mineralogical composition of the Martian interior is of fundamental importance in assessing the early history of the solar system. A general petrological approach is outlined, describing the kinds of sample required, summarizing current understanding of the Martian interior based on experimental petrology, and outlining some of the important experiments needed to allow a full petrologic interpretation of Martian samples.
Mars Sample Return Science
- Pub Date:
- Mars (Planet);
- Planetary Cores;
- Planetary Mantles;
- Lunar and Planetary Exploration