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2009
Sarbadhikari, AB, Day JMD, Liu Y, Rumble D, Taylor LA.  2009.  Petrogenesis of olivine-phyric shergottite Larkman Nunatak 06319: Implications for enriched components in martian basalts. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta. 73:2190-2214.   10.1016/j.gca.2009.01.012   AbstractWebsite

We report on the petrography and geochemistry of the newly discovered olivine-phyric shergottite Larkman Nunatak (LAR) 06319. The meteorite is porphyritic, consisting of megacrysts of olivine (<= 2.5 mm in length, F(O77-52)) and prismatic zoned pyroxene crystals with Wo(3)En(71) in the cores to Wo(8-30)En(23-45) at the rims. The groundmass is composed of finer grained olivine (<0.25 mm, Fo(62-46)), Fe-rich augite and pigeonite, maskelynite and minor quantities of chromite, ulvospinel, magnetite, ilmenite, phosphates, sulfides and glass. Oxygen fugacity estimates, derived from the olivine-pyroxene-spinel geo-barometer, indicate that LAR 06319 formed under more oxidizing conditions (QFM -1.7) than for depleted shergottites. The whole-rock composition of LAR 06319 is also enriched in incompatible trace elements relative to depleted shergottites, with a trace-element pattern that is nearly identical to that of olivine-phyric shergottite NWA 1068. The oxygen isotope composition of LAR 06319 (Delta(17)O = 0.29 +/- 0.03) confirms its martian origin. Olivine megacrysts in LAR 06319 are phenocrystic, with the most Mg-rich megacryst olivine being close to equilibrium with the bulk rock. A notable feature of LAR 06319 is that its olivine megacryst grains contain abundant melt inclusions hosted within the forsterite cores. These early-trapped melt inclusions have similar trace element abundances and patterns to that of the whole-rock, providing powerful evidence for closed-system magmatic behavior for LAR 06319. Calculation of the parental melt trace element composition indicates a whole-rock composition for LAR 06319 that was controlled by pigeonite and augite during the earliest stages of crystallization and by apatite in the latest stages. Crystal size distribution and spatial distribution pattern analyses of olivine indicate at least two different crystal populations. This is most simply interpreted as crystallization of megacryst olivine in magma conduits, followed by eruption and subsequent crystallization of groundmass olivine. LAR 06319 shows close affinity in mineral and whole-rock chemistry to olivine-phyric shergottite, NWA 1068 and the basaltic shergottite NWA 4468. The remarkable features of these meteorites are that they have relatively similar quantities of mafic minerals compared with olivine-phyric shergottites (e.g., Y-980459, Dho 019), but flat and elevated rare earth element patterns more consistent with the LREE-enriched basaltic shergottites (e.g., Shergotty, Los Angeles). This relationship can be interpreted as arising from partial melting of an enriched mantle source and subsequent crystal-liquid fractionation to form the enriched olivine-phyric and basaltic shergottites, or by assimilation of incompatible-element enriched martian crust. The similarity in the composition of early-trapped melt inclusions and the whole-rock for LAR 06319 indicates that any crustal assimilation must have occurred prior to crystallization of megacryst olivine, restricting such processes to the deeper portions of the crust. Thus, we favor LAR06319 forming from partial melting of an "enriched" and oxidized mantle reservoir, with fractional crystallization of the parent melt upon leaving the mantle. (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

2007
Day, JMD, Taylor LA.  2007.  On the structure of mare basalt lava flows from textural analysis of the LaPaz Icefield and Northwest Africa 032 lunar meteorites. Meteoritics & Planetary Science. 42:3-17. AbstractWebsite

Quantitative textural data for Northwest Africa (NWA) 032 and the LaPaz (LAP) mare basalt meteorites (LAP 02205, LAP 02224, LAP 02226, and LAP 02436) provide constraints on their crystallization and mineral growth histories. In conjunction with whole-rock and mineral chemistry, textural analysis provides powerful evidence for meteorite pairing. Petrographic observations and crystal size distribution (CSD) measurements of NWA 032 indicate a mixed population of slowly cooled phenocrysts and faster cooled matrix. LaPaz basalt crystal populations are consistent with a single phase of nucleation and growth. Spatial distribution patterns (SDP) of minerals in the meteorites highlight the importance of clumping and formation of clustered crystal frameworks in their melts, succeeded by continued nucleation and growth of crystals. This process resulted in increasingly poor sorting, during competition for growth, as the melt crystallized. Based on CSD and SDP data, we suggest a potential lava flow geometry model to explain the different crystal populations for NWA 032 and the LaPaz basalts. This model involves crystallization of early formed phenocrysts at hypabyssal depths in the lunar crust, followed by eruption and flow differentiation on the lunar surface. Lava flow differentiation would allow for formation of a cumulate base and facilitate variable cooling within the stratigraphy, explaining the varied textures and modal mineralogies of mare basalt meteorites. The model may also provide insight into the relative relationships of some Apollo mare basalt suites, shallow-level crystal fractionation processes, and the nature of mare basalt volcanism over lunar history.

2006
Day, JMD, Taylor LA, Floss C, McSween HY.  2006.  Petrology and chemistry of MIL 03346 and its significance in understanding the petrogenesis of nakhlites on Mars. Meteoritics & Planetary Science. 41:581-606. AbstractWebsite

Antarctic meteorite Miller Range (MIL) 03346 is a nakhlite composed of 79% clinopyroxene, similar to 1% olivine, and 20% vitrophyric intercumulus material. We have performed a petrological and geochemical study of MIL 03346, demonstrating a petrogenetic history similar to previously discovered naklilites. Quantitative textural study of MIL 03346 indicates long (> 1 x 10(1) yr) residence times for the Cumulus augite, whereas the skeletal Fe-Ti oxide, fayalite, and sulfide in the vitrophyric intercumulus matrix suggest rapid cooling, probably as a lava flow. From the relatively high forsterite contents of olivine (up to Fo(43)) compared with other nakhlites and compositions of augite cores (Wo(38-42)En(35-40)Fs(22-28)) and their hedenbergite rims, we suggest that MIL 03346 is part of the same or a similar Martian Cumulate-rich lava flow as other nakhlites. However, MIL 03346 has experienced less equilibration and faster cooling than other nakhlites discovered to date. Calculated trace element concentrations based upon modal abundances of MIL 03346 and its constituent minerals are identical to whole rock trace element abundances. Parental melts for augite have REE patterns that are approximately parallel with whole rock and intercumulus melt using experimentally defined partition coefficients. This parallelism reflects closed-system crystallization for MIL 03346, where the only significant petrogenetic process between formation of augite and eruption and emplacement of the nakhlite flow has been fractional crystallization. A model for the petrogenesis of MIL 03346 and the naklilites (Nakhla, Governador Valadares, Lafayette, Yamato-000593, Northwest Africa (NWA) 817, NWA 998) Would include: 1) partial melting and ascent of melt generated from a long-term LREE depleted mantle Source, 2) crystallization of cumulus augite (+/- olivine, +/- magnetite) in a shallow-level Martian magma chamber, 3) eruption of the crystal-laden naklilite magma onto the surface of Mars, 4) cooling, crystal settling, overgrowth, and partial equilibration to different extents within the flow, 5) secondary alteration through hydrothermal processes, possibly immediately succeeding or during emplacement of the flow. This model might apply to single-or multiple-flow models for the nakhlites. Ultimately, MIL 03346 and the other nakhlites preserve a record of magmatic processes in volcanic rocks oil Mars with analogous petrogenetic histories to pyroxene-rich terrestrial lava flows and to komatiites.