A comparison of the iddingsite alteration products in two terrestrial basalts and the Allan Hills 77005 martian meteorite using Raman spectroscopy and electron microprobe analyses

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Abstract

[1] We document the secondary mineral assemblages in two occurrences of terrestrial iddingsite, Lunar Crater, Nevada (LC) and Mauna Kea, Hawaii (MK), and compare these with the iddingsite in Allan Hills (ALHA) 77005. Short Raman spectroscopic traverses across olivine alteration fronts provide information about changes in mineralogy with alteration. Data from the Raman traverses are combined with electron microprobe (EMP) traverses at the same locations which provide information regarding element mobility and confirm mineral identifications made by Raman spectroscopy. This information is used with petrographic observations to argue for the martian origin of the iddingsite and jarosite, infer the sequence of alteration, and deliberate on the conditions and settings of alteration. Raman spectra indicate the presence of different iron oxides/oxyhydroxides in each sample (goethite in LC, maghemite in MK, and akaganéite in ALHA), and the terrestrial samples show different element mobility trends (loss of MgO and SiO2, retention of FeO) than ALHA (loss of MgO and FeO, influx of SiO2), whose trends reflect the deposition of jarosite. Altered olivine occur throughout the LC samples but only in the exteriors of the MK samples. The LC and MK alteration products formed by surface alteration, but ALHA 77005 is a lherzolite, and the olivine hosting the iddingsite are enclosed by orthopyroxene (appear to be restricted to the light lithology), suggesting that it formed at depth during magma consolidation. The ALHA iddingsite is an example of “deuteric alteration” (reaction with fluids that separated from the magma as crystallization progressed towards completion).

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