Understanding the textures and origin of shock melt pockets in Martian meteorites from petrographic studies, comparisons with terrestrial mantle xenoliths, and experimental studies
shock melt, Martian meteorites, crystallization, terrestrial mantle xenolith
We present a textural comparison of localized shock melt pockets in Martian meteorites and glass pockets in terrestrial, mantle-derived peridotites. Specific textures such as the development of sieve texture on spinel and pyroxene, and melt migration and reaction with the host rock are identical between these two apparently disparate sample sets. Based on petrographic and compositional observations it is concluded that void collapse/variable shock impedance is able to account for the occurrence of pre-terrestrial sulfate-bearing secondary minerals in the melts, high gas emplacement efficiencies, and S, Al, Ca, and Na enrichments and Fe and Mg depletion of shock melt compositions compared to the host rock; previously used as arguments against such a formation mechanism. Recent experimental studies of xenoliths are also reviewed to show how these data further our understanding of texture development and can be used to shed light on the petrogenesis of shock melts in Martian meteorites.
Walton, E. L., & Shaw, C. J. (2009). Understanding the textures and origin of shock melt pockets in Martian meteorites from petrographic studies, comparisons with terrestrial mantle xenoliths, and experimental studies. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 44(1), 55-76. doi: 10.1111/j.1945-5100.2009.tb00717.x
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