Redox State of Mars' Upper Mantle and Crust from Eu Anomalies in Shergottite Pyroxenes

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Science  23 Feb 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5508, pp. 1527-1530
DOI: 10.1126/science.1057594

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The oxidation state of basaltic martian meteorites is determined from the partitioning of europium (Eu) in their pyroxenes. The estimated redox conditions for these samples correlate with their initial neodymium and strontium isotopic compositions. This is interpreted to imply varying degrees of interaction between the basaltic parent melts, derived from a source in the martian mantle, and a crustal component. Thus, the mantle source of these martian basalts may have a redox state close to that of the iron-wüstite buffer, whereas the martian crust may be more oxidized (with a redox state higher than or equal to that of the quartz-fayalite-magnetite buffer). A difference in redox state of more than 3 log units between mantle and crustal reservoirs on Mars could result from oxidation of the crust by a process such as aqueous alteration, together with a subsequent lack of recycling of this oxidized crust through the reduced upper mantle.

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