Assessing the Oxidative History of Miller Range Martian Meteorites

by III James Dottin

Institution: University of Maryland
Year: 2016
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2064426
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1903/18769


Miller Range (MIL) Martian meteorites are oxidized nakhlites. Early studies attribute their oxidation to reduction-oxidation reactions involving assimilated sulfate. I utilize the sulfur isotope and major element composition of the MIL pairs to assess their oxidative history. MIL sulfides display an average sulfur isotope composition that is different from Nakhla sulfate and sulfide. The sulfur isotope differences produce a mixing array between juvenile sulfur and mass-independent sulfur signatures, indicating assimilation of anomalous sulfur into the melt. I estimate an fO2 of QFM (+3.5 ± 0.4) and a sulfur content of 360 ppm ± 12 – 1300 ppm ± 50. With these results, I test the hypothesis of sulfate assimilation through models of charge balance, isotope mixing, and degassing of sulfur bearing compounds. I conclude that sulfate assimilation was significant in the oxidation of the MIL pairs but, additional oxidants were assimilated. Advisors/Committee Members: Farquhar, James (advisor).