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b Relative characteristics of terrestrial and Martian plume volcanism.
In comparison to terrestrial volcanoes (blue) those on Mars (red) have a greater volume and duration, but much lower eruption rates.
The chlorine-derived isotopes are a particular issue for the nakhlite group of Martian meteorites, which can contain over 1000 ppm Cl hosted in salts and/or chlorine-bearing apatite that can be found in the meteorite's mesostasis (Fig. Panels a–d are scanning-electron microscope images of Nakhla; e–h are from Lafayette, and i–l show a representative area of NWA 5790.
Images from the other meteorites (MIL 03346, Yamato 000593 and Yamato 000749) are in Supplementary Fig. Panels a, e, i display the distribution of aluminium (brown), iron (green) and magnesium (blue); panels b, f, j show potassium (red); panels c, g, k illustrate the distribution of phosphorus (blue, concentrated in apatite) and sulphur (magenta, in iron sulphide), as well as the backscattered electron intensity in grey; and panels d, h, l show the distribution of chlorine (green, in apatite).
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In this study, high-resolution (n = 43 to 45 steps) laser step-heating . Our preferred method determines the cosmogenic argon correction using a combination of the meteorite’s cosmogenic exposure age determined independently from an un-irradiated fragment, and the step-wise Petrology of nakhlite meteorites.
As 24 separate analyses from two different aliquots overlap within analytical uncertainty, we conservatively interpret these data to represent a minimum eruption age for NWA 5790. Samples are arranged in chronologic order from youngest to oldest: a Lafayette aliquot 01, b Yamato 000593 aliquot 02, c NWA 5790 aliquot 02, d Nakhla aliquot 01, e Miller Range 03346 aliquot 03 and f Yamato 000749 aliquot 01. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
The top panel of each sample represents the portion of radiogenic Ar (Ar released; these results therefore provide only a minimum age constraint for the eruption of this sample. The authors declare no competing financial interests. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material.
A small proportion of terrestrial volcanoes are fed by mantle plumes—highly localized upwellings of abnormally hot rock that ascend from deep within the mantle and undergo partial melting at relatively shallow depths) are located in the Tharsis and Elysium regions, with the largest volcano, the 600 km wide Olympus Mons, rising more than 21 km above the surrounding plains.
The red star in the Elysium region marks the location of a potential source crater for the nakhlites.