Elemental Composition of the Martian Crust

  title={Elemental Composition of the Martian Crust},
  author={Harry Y. McSween and G. Jeffrey Taylor and Michael Bruce Wyatt},
  pages={736 - 739}
Mars Matters Several decades of exploration by orbiting and in situ spacecraft, together with analysis of martian meteorites, have resulted in a wealth of data on the chemical composition of Mars' crust. McSween et al. (p. 736) review these data, which help infer the planet's geological history, discrediting previous ideas suggesting Mars had a wet mantle—similar to that of Earth—and cautioning that martian meteorites are not representative of the planet's crust. The composition of Mars’ crust… 

2.10 – Mars

Core Formation and Mantle Differentiation on Mars

Geochemical investigation of Martian meteorites (SNC meteorites) yields important constraints on the chemical and geodynamical evolution of Mars. These samples may not be representative of the whole

Combining meteorites and missions to explore Mars

The history inferred from martian meteorites conflicts with results from recent Mars missions, calling into doubt whether the igneous histor y inferred from the meteorites is applicable to Mars as a whole.

Evidence for extremely rapid magma ocean crystallization and crust formation on Mars

Concomitant high-precision U–Pb ages and Hf-isotope compositions of ancient zircons from the NWA 7034 Martian meteorite suggest that Mars must have formed its primordial crust extremely swiftly, less than 20 million years after the formation of the Solar System.

What Martian Meteorites Reveal About the Interior and Surface of Mars

Martian meteorites are the only direct samples from Mars, thus far. Currently, there are a total of 262 individual samples originating from at least 11 ejection events. Geochemical analyses, through

Origin and age of the earliest Martian crust from meteorite NWA 7533

Evidence for early crustal differentiation implies that the Martian crust, and its volatile inventory, formed in about the first 100 million years of Martian history, coeval with earliest crust formation on the Moon and the Earth.

Mineralogy of the Martian Surface

The past fifteen years of orbital infrared spectroscopy and in situ exploration have led to a new understanding of the composition and history of Mars. Globally, Mars has a basaltic upper crust

Volcanism on Mars controlled by early oxidation of the upper mantle

Detailed information about the chemical composition and evolution of Mars has been derived principally from the SNC (shergottite–nakhlite–chassignite) meteorites, which are genetically related

A Unique Piece of Mars

A meteorite with a chemical makeup resembling that of rocks from Mars' Gusev Crater has been identified, and a basaltic breccia unique among known martian meteorites with respect to age, oxygen isotopes, and petrology is found.



Constraints on the composition and petrogenesis of the Martian crust

[1] Spectral interpretation that silicic rocks are widespread on Mars implies that Earth's differentiated crust is not unique. Evaluation of observations bearing on the composition of the Martian

Chemical composition and accretion history of terrestrial planets

  • H. WänkeG. Dreibus
  • Geology, Physics
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  • 1988
The high concentrations of moderately siderophile elements (Ni, Co, etc.) in the Earth’s mantle and the similarity of their Cl normalized abundances to those of moderately volatile elements (F, Na,

The Accretion, Composition and Early Differentiation of Mars

The early development of Mars is of enormous interest, not just in its own right, but also because it provides unique insights into the earliest history of the Earth, a planet whose origins have been

Evidence for magmatic evolution and diversity on Mars from infrared observations

Observations show that the martian crust, while dominated by basalt, contains a diversity of igneous materials whose range in composition from picritic basalts to granitoids rivals that found on the Earth.

Global geologic context for rock types and surface alteration on Mars

Petrologic interpretations of thermal emission spectra from Mars orbiting spacecraft indicate the widespread occurrence of surfaces having basaltic and either andesitic or partly altered basalt

Alkaline volcanic rocks from the Columbia Hills, Gusev crater, Mars

[1] Irvine, Backstay, and Wishstone are the type specimens for three classes of fine-grained or fragmental, relatively unaltered rocks with distinctive thermal emission spectra, found as float on the

Water alteration of rocks and soils on Mars at the Spirit rover site in Gusev crater

Investigation of soils, rock coatings and rock interiors by the Spirit rover from sol (martian day) 1 to sol 156 provides evidence for limited but unequivocal interaction between water and volcanic rocks of the Gusev plains.

Mineralogy of volcanic rocks in Gusev Crater, Mars: Reconciling Mössbauer, Alpha Particle X‐Ray Spectrometer, and Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer spectra

[1] Complete sets of mineral abundances for relatively unaltered volcanic or volcaniclastic rocks in Gusev Crater have been determined by modeling Mossbauer subspectral areas as mineral weight