The petrochemistry of Jake_M: A martian mugearite

E.M. Stolper*, M.B. Baker, M.E. Newcombe, M.E. Schmidt, A.H. Treiman, A. Cousin, M.D. Dyar, M.R. Fisk, R. Gellert, P.L. King, L. Leshin, S. Maurice, S.M. McLennan, M.E. Minitti, G. Perrett, S. Rowland, V. Sautter, R.C. Wiens, MSL Science Team

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

“Jake_M,” the first rock analyzed by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer instrument on the Curiosity rover, differs substantially in chemical composition from other known martian igneous rocks: It is alkaline (>15% normative nepheline) and relatively fractionated. Jake_M is compositionally similar to terrestrial mugearites, a rock type typically found at ocean islands and continental rifts. By analogy with these comparable terrestrial rocks, Jake_M could have been produced by extensive fractional crystallization of a primary alkaline or transitional magma at elevated pressure, with or without elevated water contents. The discovery of Jake_M suggests that alkaline magmas may be more abundant on Mars than on Earth and that Curiosity could encounter even more fractionated alkaline rocks (for example, phonolites and trachytes).
Original languageEnglish
Article number1239463
Number of pages7
JournalScience
Volume341
Issue number6153
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sep 2013

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    Stolper, E. M., Baker, M. B., Newcombe, M. E., Schmidt, M. E., Treiman, A. H., Cousin, A., Dyar, M. D., Fisk, M. R., Gellert, R., King, P. L., Leshin, L., Maurice, S., McLennan, S. M., Minitti, M. E., Perrett, G., Rowland, S., Sautter, V., Wiens, R. C., & MSL Science Team (2013). The petrochemistry of Jake_M: A martian mugearite. Science, 341(6153), [1239463]. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1239463