Almost all rock types in the SNC meteorites are cumulates, products of magma differentiation by crystal fractionation (addition or removal of crystals). If the SNC meteorites are from the surface of Mars or near subsurface, then most of the igneous units on Mars are differentiated. Basaltic units probably experienced minor to moderate differientation, but ultrabasic units probably experienced extreme differentiation. Products of this differentiation may include Fe-rich gabbro, pyroxenite, periodotite (and thus serpentine), and possibly massive sulfides. The SNC meteorites include ten lithologies (three in EETA79001), eight of which are crystal cumulates. The other lithologies, EETA79001 A and B are subophitic basalts.
Mars Sample Return Science
- Pub Date:
- Mars Surface Samples;
- Lunar and Planetary Exploration