Olivine microstructure and thermometry in olivine-phyric shergottites Sayh al Uhaymir 005 and Dar al Gani 476OPEN ACCESS 

Eleanor S. Jennings, Peter Coull

Version of Record online: 27 November 2023


“Olivine-phyric shergottites are relatively young Martian meteorites that resemble primitive mantle-derived melts, so offer insight into the causes of recent magmatism on Mars. The Al-in-olivine geothermometer offers the potential to examine (near-)liquidus melt temperatures. However, the ubiquitous shock features in most Martian meteorites, caused by high-energy impacts, can change the structure and composition of olivine crystals, making the applicability of mineral geothermometry methods uncertain. This study examines microstructure and mineral chemistry in two shocked primitive, depleted olivine-phyric shergottites, Sayh al Uhaymir (SaU) 005 and Dar al Gani (DaG) 476. DaG 476 is unsuitable for Al-in-olivine thermometry because of the presence of difficult-to-observe but pervasive networks of undulating veins in olivine down to sub-micron sizes, caused by melting and providing pathways for cation diffusion. In contrast, SaU 005 can be used for Al-in-olivine thermometry despite the presence of conjugate shear and fracture sets and micron-scale cpx-spinel exsolution. The average crystallization temperature of Fo>70 olivine in SaU 005, 1380°C, is near-identical to the average temperature of new and published Fo>70 data from all olivine-phyric shergottites. When corrected for equilibrium with mantle olivine (Fo80) this corresponds to a mantle temperature of approximately 1500°C, 130°C hotter than ambient Martian mantle when shergottites formed. Shergottites were generated by melting within a moderately hot mantle plume or thermal anomaly, in support of other evidence that the Martian mantle is actively convecting. However, it does not support the extremely high potential temperatures estimated for the shergottite source by a whole-rock petrological method.”