General view of twelve martian meteorites

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Twelve martian meteorites are well known so far as SNC meteorites (Shergottites (S), Nakhlites (N) and Chassignites (C)), which are belevied to have originated from Mars. All the martian meteorites are igneous rocks formed by crystallization of a magma on the parent planet, Mars, during recent history of the solar system (116 Ma∼1.3 Ga) except one specimen. Most martian meteorites show a typical crystalline igneous texture with intense shock, and only two specimens (ALH84001 and Yamato-793605) show the monomict brecciaed texture. Especially, ALH84001 is orthopyroxene monomict breccia indicating a remarkably old age of 4.5 Ga, and suggest the past life on Mars.<BR>According to their textures, martian meteorites are briefly separated into two textural groups: crystalline and breccia. A crystalline group includes cumulate, poikilitic and gabbroic-basaltic textures. They are preliminary classified into five rock types of dunite, lherzolite, wehrlite, gabbro-dolerite and orthopyroxenite from texture, mineral assemblages and chemical compsitions.<BR>Author presents general view of twelve martian meteorites and brief describes their textures, mineral assemblages and chemical compositions along with their crystallization.


  • Mineralogical Journal

    Mineralogical Journal 19(2), 65-74, 1997-04-01

    Japan Association of Mineralogical Sciences

References:  37

Cited by:  3


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