New petrologic and bulk geochemical data for the SNC-related (Martian) meteorite ALH84001 suggest a relatively simple igneous history overprinted by complex shock and hydrothermal processes. ALH84001 is an igneous orthopyroxene cumulate containing penetrative shock deformation textures and a few percent secondary extraterrestrial carbonates. Rare earth element (REE) patterns for several splits of the meteorite reveal substantial heterogeneity in REE abundances and significant fractionation of the REEs between crushed and uncrushed domains within the meteorite. Complex zoning in carbonates indicates nonequilibrium processes were involved in their formation, suggesting that CO2-rich fluids of variable composition infiltrated the rock while on Mars. We interpret petrographic textures to be consistent with an inorganic origin for the carbonate involving dissolution-replacement reactions between CO2-charged fluids and feldspathic glass in the meteorite. Carbonate formation clearly postdated processes that last redistributed the REE in the meteorite.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology