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A Younger Age for ALH84001 and Its Geochemical Link to Shergottite Sources in Mars

Science  16 Apr 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5976, pp. 347-351
DOI: 10.1126/science.1185395

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Abstract

Martian meteorite ALH84001 (ALH) is the oldest known igneous rock from Mars and has been used to constrain its early history. Lutetium-hafnium (Lu-Hf) isotope data for ALH indicate an igneous age of 4.091 ± 0.030 billion years, nearly coeval with an interval of heavy bombardment and cessation of the martian core dynamo and magnetic field. The calculated Lu/Hf and Sm/Nd (samarium/neodymium) ratios of the ALH parental magma source indicate that it must have undergone extensive igneous processing associated with the crystallization of a deep magma ocean. This same mantle source region also produced the shergottite magmas (dated 150 to 570 million years ago), possibly indicating uniform igneous processes in Mars for nearly 4 billion years.

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