The petrochemistry of Jake-M: A martian mugearite

MSL Science Team

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99 Scopus citations

Abstract

"Jake-M," the first rock analyzed by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer instrument on the Curiosity rover, differs substantially in chemical composition from other known martian igneous rocks: It is alkaline (>15% normative nepheline) and relatively fractionated. Jake-M is compositionally similar to terrestrial mugearites, a rock type typically found at ocean islands and continental rifts. By analogy with these comparable terrestrial rocks, Jake-M could have been produced by extensive fractional crystallization of a primary alkaline or transitional magma at elevated pressure, with or without elevated water contents. The discovery of Jake-M suggests that alkaline magmas may be more abundant on Mars than on Earth and that Curiosity could encounter even more fractionated alkaline rocks (for example, phonolites and trachytes).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1239463
JournalScience
Volume341
Issue number6153
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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