Special Issue "Martian Meteorites and Mars Exploration"

A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Elias Chatzitheodoridis

National Technical University of Athens, School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, Department of Geological Sciences, 9 Heroon Polytechneiou str., GR-15780 Zografou, Athens, Greece
Website | E-Mail
Interests: martian meteorites; alteration processes and minerals; astrobiology; biosignatures
Guest Editor
Dr. Hitesh Changela

Key Laboratory for Earth and Planetary Physics, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Website | E-Mail
Interests: extraterrestrial materials; martian meteorites; electron microscopy; X-ray synchrotron; astrobiology; sample return missions

Special Issue Information

Dear Researchers,

The planet Mars is a vital focus of planetary exploration. Latest discoveries by the Curiosity rover strongly suggest that higher concentrations of organics are deeper in the subsurface of the red planet. Explanations for increases in localised methane abundances also remain elusive. On Earth, martian meteorites are the only source of subsurface samples that may shed light on these recent discoveries, whether abiotic and geochemical or perhaps even biological.

Recent missions to Mars have provided us with a wealth of knowledge regarding the properties of the surface of the red planet. We also know a great deal about the mineralogy, petrology, chronology and stable isotopic properties of martian meteorites. With new Mars missions in view, it is important to integrate and condense this knowledge in order to extend our scientific objectives. To achieve this, we propose on focusing on the following special topics:

  • The exhaustive characterization of available Martian meteorite samples. This means summarising the mineralogy, petrology, chronology and geochemistry recorded in them.
  • To provide a comprehensive account of Mars exploration in situ combined with the forensic study of Martian meteorites.
  • To target possible locations that martian meteorites were ejected from the martian surface by integrating remote sensing observations of Mars.
  • To relate this knowledge with future missions in order to acquire a maximum possible information yield.
  • To investigate the habitability of the surface/subsurface of Mars.
  • To develop new methods and instrumentation for the study of the surface/subsurface of Mars and design an efficient sample-return mission.

In this issue, we would like to expand on the above topics by accepting review papers summing up the current knowledge on Mars crustal/mantle processes, which should also act as roadmap for future investigations, focusing on yet solved problems and identifying new ones. We would also like to investigate the habitability of Mars historically, presently, microscopically and macroscopically. We intend on making this issue a resource of information and contemplation, supporting a new era of planetary research.           

Dr. Elias Chatzitheodoridis
Dr. Hitesh Changela
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Geosciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

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Keywords

  • Planet Mars
  • Martian meteorites
  • Chronology
  • Secondary minerals and processes
  • Textural, chemical, mineralogical Biosignatures
  • Habitability

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Oxygen Isotope Thermometry of DaG 476 and SaU 008 Martian Meteorites: Implications for Their Origin
Geosciences 2018, 8(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8010015
Received: 2 July 2017 / Revised: 3 January 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2018 / Published: 8 January 2018
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Abstract
We report the equilibration temperatures derived from the oxygen isotope thermometry of pyroxene-olivine pair from the Dar al Ghani (DaG) 476 (1200 +105/−90 °C) and Sayh al Uhaymir (SaU) 008 (1430 +220/−155 °C) meteorites showing a difference of over 200 °C at the
[...] Read more.
We report the equilibration temperatures derived from the oxygen isotope thermometry of pyroxene-olivine pair from the Dar al Ghani (DaG) 476 (1200 +105/−90 °C) and Sayh al Uhaymir (SaU) 008 (1430 +220/−155 °C) meteorites showing a difference of over 200 °C at the face values. Regardless of the large associated uncertainties, contrasting geochemical and isotopic characteristics such as oxygen fugacities, hydrogen isotopic compositions (referred to as the D/H ratios), olivine abundances, presence of merrillite and/or apatite, and their chlorine contents between the two meteorites are observed in the literature. These opposing features lend support to the idea that the relative difference observed in the estimated temperatures is probably real and significant, thus providing insights into the Martian mantle magmatism. Based on our temperature estimation and previous magmatic models, we propose that SaU 008 could have been originated from a deeper depleted mantle source. However, DaG 476 may have been produced by the partial melting of the entrained pockets of the depleted mantle similar to that of the SaU 008’s source at a relatively shallower depth. Both meteorites erupted as a relatively thick lava flow or a shallow intrusion at approximately the same time followed by a launch initiated by a single meteoritic impact 1.1 million years (Ma) ago. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Martian Meteorites and Mars Exploration)
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Open AccessArticle Validity of the Apatite/Merrillite Relationship in Evaluating the Water Content in the Martian Mantle: Implications from Shergottite Northwest Africa (NWA) 2975
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences7040099
Received: 17 July 2017 / Revised: 14 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published: 4 October 2017
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Abstract
Phosphates from the Martian shergottite NWA 2975 were used to obtain insights into the source and subsequence differentiation of the melt/melts. The crystallization of two generations of fluorapatite (F > Cl~OH and F-rich), chlorapatite and ferromerrillite-merrillite were reconstructed from TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy)
[...] Read more.
Phosphates from the Martian shergottite NWA 2975 were used to obtain insights into the source and subsequence differentiation of the melt/melts. The crystallization of two generations of fluorapatite (F > Cl~OH and F-rich), chlorapatite and ferromerrillite-merrillite were reconstructed from TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy) and geochemical analyses. The research results indicated that the recognized volatiles budget of the two generations of fluorapatite was related to their magmatic origin. The apatite crystals crystallized from an evolved magma during its final differentiation and degassing stage. In turn, chlorapatite replaced ferromerrillite-merrillite and was not related to, mantle-derived shergottite magma. The relationship between merrillite and apatite indicates that apatite is most probably a product of merrillite reacting with fluids. REE (rare earth elements) pattern of Cl-apatite might point to an origin associated with exogenous fluids mixed with fluids exsolved from evolved magma. The study shows that, among the three types of apatite, only the fluorapatite (F > Cl~OH) is a reliable source for assessing the degree of Martian mantle hydration. The occurrence of apatite with merrillite requires detailed recognition of their relationship. Consequently, the automatic use of apatite to assess the water content of the magma source can lead to false assumptions if the origin of the apatite is not precisely determined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Martian Meteorites and Mars Exploration)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

 

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