Two billion years of magmatism recorded from a single Mars meteorite ejection site
ESP's Rasmus Andreasen co-authored the recent Science paper that determines the timing and nature of igneous activity at a Mars ejection site from the isotope analyses of Martian meteorites. The meteorite, named Northwest Africa (NWA) 7635, has an Sm-Nd crystallization age of 2.403 ± 0.140 billion years, and isotope data indicate that it is derived from an incompatible trace element–depleted mantle source similar to that which produced a geochemically distinct group of 327- to 574-million-year-old “depleted” shergottites. Cosmogenic nuclide data demonstrate that NWA 7635 was ejected from Mars 1.1 million years ago (Ma), as were at least 10 other depleted shergottites. The shared ejection age is consistent with a common ejection site for these meteorites. The spatial association of 327- to 2403-Ma depleted shergottites indicates >2 billion years of magmatism from a long-lived and geochemically distinct volcanic center near the ejection site.