Late delivery of exotic chromium to the crust of Mars by water-rich carbonaceous asteroidOPEN ACCESS 

Ke Zhu, , Martin Schiller, Lu Pan, Nikitha Susan Saji, Kirsten K. Larsen, Elsa Amsellem, Courtney Rundhaug, Paolo Sossi, Ingo Leya, Frederic Moynier, and Martin Bizzarro

Science Advances, 16 Nov 2022, Vol 8, Issue 46


Supplementary Materials

“The terrestrial planets endured a phase of bombardment following their accretion, but the nature of this late accreted material is debated, preventing a full understanding of the origin of inner solar system volatiles. We report the discovery of nucleosynthetic chromium isotope variability (μ54Cr) in Martian meteorites that represent mantle-derived magmas intruded in the Martian crust. The μ54Cr variability, ranging from −33.1 ± 5.4 to +6.8 ± 1.5 parts per million, correlates with magma chemistry such that samples having assimilated crustal material define a positive μ54Cr endmember. This compositional endmember represents the primordial crust modified by impacting outer solar system bodies of carbonaceous composition. Late delivery of this volatile-rich material to Mars provided an exotic water inventory corresponding to a global water layer >300 meters deep, in addition to the primordial water reservoir from mantle outgassing. This carbonaceous material may also have delivered a source of biologically relevant molecules to early Mars.”