The oxygen fugacity of intermediate shergottite NWA 11043: implications for Martian mantle evolution

Jun-Feng Chen, Yu-Yan Sara Zhao, Qiao Shu, Sheng-Hua Zhou, Wei Du, Jing Yang

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Journal Pre-proof, Available online 11 May 2024


“Shergottite meteorites, classified as depleted, intermediate, or enriched based on incompatible trace elements and specific radiogenic isotope compositions (Sr, Nd, and Hf isotope ratios), point to multiple Martian mantle source regions. The oxygen fugacity (fO2) of these mantle regions, determined from early crystallizing minerals using the olivine-pyroxene-spinel oxybarometer, appears to correlate with incompatible trace element enrichment and isotope compositions. However, values derived from the vanadium-in-olivine oxybarometer challenge this correlation, hinting at potential biases in oxybarometry or complexities in the redox conditions of the Martian mantle. By analyzing the intermediate shergottite Northwest Africa (NWA) 11043 with various oxybarometers, this study deduced its origin from a reduced mantle source, with an average fO2 value of −0.77 ± 0.35 relative to the iron-wüstite (IW) buffer. Notably, these values coincide with those of depleted shergottites, which represent the depleted Martian mantle region. This redox similarity between intermediate and depleted shergottites contrasts with earlier notions that postulated intermediate shergottites as a mix of depleted and enriched mantle derivatives. Moreover, intermediate shergottites such as NWA 11043, Elephant Moraine (EETA) 79001A, and Allan Hills (ALH) 77005 display 176Hf/177Hf values akin to those of depleted shergottites, suggesting that intermediate mantle components can be separated from the depleted mantle source at approximately 2.2 Ga based on model age calculations. Therefore, there presents a consistent redox state between mantle magma sources of both intermediate and depleted shergottites since the Hesperian period, while enriched shergottites lean toward more oxidized conditions past source formation.

This study prompts a reassessment of conventional theories, emphasizing the nuanced redox evolution of the Martian mantle across distinct mantle source regions and underscoring the complexity of the redox evolution of the Martian mantle. The emergence of chemically diverse mantle reservoirs might predominantly arise from early magma ocean differentiation processes, albeit with inherent oxidation nuances. The differences in fO2 observed between intermediate and depleted shergottites underscore the need for more in-depth studies to decipher Martian mantle differentiation and evolution.”