Extreme isotopic heterogeneity in impact melt rocks: Implications for Martian meteorites

Steven J. Jaret, E. Troy Rasbury, Peter Reiners, John G. Spray, Lucy M. Thompson, Sidney R. Hemming, Michelle S. Thompson

Geology (7 February 2023)

PDF (Supplementary Methods)

“Lead isotope ratios have been determined in multiple feldspar grains from hand samples of impact melt rock at the Manicouagan and Sudbury impact structures in Canada. The results reveal an extreme range of isotope values. This indicates that melt sheets are not homogeneous with respect to Pb at the millimeter scale. Such heterogeneity is significantly larger than that seen in non-impact-generated igneous rocks. Individual Pb isotope ratios of feldspars from Martian shergottites show a large range in 206Pb/204Pb values within one sample, more similar to the terrestrial impact melt sheets than to nonimpact igneous rocks. We suggest crystallization from impact melt sheets rather than volcanic sources as a petrogenetic model for some of the Martian shergottites.”