Water on Mars: Clues from Deuterium/Hydrogen and Water Contents of Hydrous Phases in SNC Meteorites

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Science  01 Jul 1994:
Vol. 265, Issue 5168, pp. 86-90
DOI: 10.1126/science.265.5168.86


Ion microprobe studies of hydrous amphibole, biotite, and apatite in shergottite-nakhlite-chassignite (SNC) meteorites, probable igneous rocks from Mars, indicate high deuterium/hydrogen (D/H) ratios relative to terrestrial values. The amphiboles contain roughly one-tentn as much water as expected, suggesting that SNC magmas were less hydrous than previously proposed. The high but variable D/H values of these minerals are best explained by postcrystallization D enrichment of initially D-poor phases by martian crustal fluids with near atmospheric D/H (about five times the terrestrial value). These igneous phases do not directly reflect the D/H ratios of martian "magmatic" water but provide evidence for a D-enriched martian crustal water reservoir.

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