Highly siderophile elements in shergottite sulfides and the sulfur content of the martian mantle

Marine Paquet, James M.D. Day, Arya Udry, Ruan Hattingh, Ben Kumler, Rachel R.Rahib, Kimberly T. Tait, Clive R. Neal

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Journal Pre-proof, Available online 28 October 2020


“Shergottite meteorites are ultramafic to mafic igneous rocks derived from partial melting of distinct regions of the martian mantle. As such, they trace magmatic processes, including fractional crystallization and mixing processes in Mars. New chalcophile (Cu, Se, Zn, Pb), siderophile (Ni, Co, W), and highly siderophile element (HSE: Au, Re, Pd, Rh, Pt, Ru, Ir, Os) abundance data are reported for sulfide assemblages in a suite of thirteen incompatible trace element depleted, intermediate and enriched shergottites, along with new whole-rock HSE abundance and 187Os/188Os data for seven shergottites. Sulfide grains in depleted and intermediate shergottites typically have the highest absolute abundances of the HSE, with broadly flat CI-chondrite normalized patterns. Enriched shergottite sulfide grains typically have highly variable Au, elevated Pd and Rh and are relatively depleted in Zn, Ir and Os. The new HSE whole-rock data for enriched (Northwest Africa [NWA] 7397, NWA 7755, NWA 11043), and intermediate shergottites (NWA 10961, NWA 11065, NWA 12241, and NWA 12536) are generally consistent with existing 187Os/188Os and HSE abundance data for these geochemical groupings. Enriched shergottites with > 1 ppb Os have measured 187Os/188Os ranging between 0.1296 and 0.1471, with variable Pd and Pt contents. Intermediate shergottites with > 1 ppb Os have chondrite-relative proportions of the HSE at ∼ 0.01 to 0.001 × CI chondrites and 187Os/188Os from 0.1284 and 0.1295. Sulfides are the major host of the HSE, and they control the behavior of the HSE during petrogenetic processes in shergottite magmas, enabling the determination of HSE compatibility for martian magmatism in the order: Os > Ir ≥ Ru ≥≥ Rh ≥ Pd ≥ Re ≥ Pt ≥ Au. Fractionation models of removal of an olivine-dominated cumulate recreate HSE patterns for the whole-rock shergottites. Enriched shergottites are best reproduced by 25 to 30% of fractionation from a degassed parent melt (250 ± 50 ppm of S), whereas depleted and intermediate shergottites can be explained by slightly lower fractionation (10 to 15%) from higher S content parent melts (350 ± 100 ppm of S). Sulfur contents in the melt ∼ 50% higher than these estimates yield earlier S-saturation during fractional crystallization, leading to an abrupt decrease of the more compatible HSE (Ru, Ir, Os), which is not observed. These results indicate that the martian mantle and partial melts from it, are probably not anomalously enriched in S, and instead are similar to slightly higher than those of the terrestrial mantle and its partial melts.”