Coronavirus Information for the UC San Diego Community

Our leaders are working closely with federal and state officials to ensure your ongoing safety at the university. Stay up to date with the latest developments. Learn more.

Multiple early-formed water reservoirs in the interior of Mars

TitleMultiple early-formed water reservoirs in the interior of Mars
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsBarnes J.J, McCubbin F.M, Santos A.R, Day JMD, Boyce J.W, Schwenzer S.P, Ott U., Franchi I.A, Messenger S., Anand M., Agee C.B
Date Published2020/04
Type of ArticleArticle; Early Access
ISBN Number1752-0894
Accession NumberWOS:000522379900001
Keywordsactivity; age; differentiation history; evolution; Geology; hosted melt inclusions; hydrogen; hydrothermal; isotopic composition; mantle; Martian meteorites; shergottite yamato-980459

Mars's mantle is chemically heterogeneous and contains multiple primordial water reservoirs, according to an analysis of the hydrogen isotopic composition of minerals in Martian meteorites. The abundance and distribution of water within Mars through time plays a fundamental role in constraining its geological evolution and habitability. The isotopic composition of Martian hydrogen provides insights into the interplay between different water reservoirs on Mars. However, D/H (deuterium/hydrogen) ratios of Martian rocks and of the Martian atmosphere span a wide range of values. This has complicated identification of distinct water reservoirs in and on Mars within the confines of existing models that assume an isotopically homogenous mantle. Here we present D/H data collected by secondary ion mass spectrometry for two Martian meteorites. These data indicate that the Martian crust has been characterized by a constant D/H ratio over the last 3.9 billion years. The crust represents a reservoir with a D/H ratio that is intermediate between at least two isotopically distinct primordial water reservoirs within the Martian mantle, sampled by partial melts from geochemically depleted and enriched mantle sources. From mixing calculations, we find that a subset of depleted Martian basalts are consistent with isotopically light hydrogen (low D/H) in their mantle source, whereas enriched shergottites sampled a mantle source containing heavy hydrogen (high D/H). We propose that the Martian mantle is chemically heterogeneous with multiple water reservoirs, indicating poor mixing within the mantle after accretion, differentiation, and its subsequent thermochemical evolution.

Student Publication: