Small melt inclusions can record bulk magma compositions: A planetary example from the Martian basalt (shergottite) Tissint.

Sonzogni, Y. and Treiman, A.

Meteoritics & Planetary Science. doi: 10.1111/maps.12516


“Melt inclusions in igneous minerals can provide constraints on magma compositions, especially for planetary samples where mass is severely limited. Small inclusions (<15 μm diameter) are more abundant than large ones, but have been used little from concern that they did not entrap average magma, but are rich in melt of a diffusional layer against the host mineral. We compared bulk compositions and calculated original compositions of small and large melt inclusions in the Martian basalt meteorite (shergottite) Tissint. Small and large melt inclusions are consistent with the same line of igneous differentiation, have the same abundance ratios for incompatible elements (P, Ti, Al, K, Na), and are consistent with derivation from the bulk composition of Tissint (inferred to represent its parent melt composition). For Tissint, then, small melt inclusions show no evidence of entrapping diffusional boundary layers, and appear to have entrapped bulk magma. Thus, its small inclusions can be as useful as larger ones; this may be so for other planetary samples, and thus provides an additional tool for investigating planetary magmas."