Title

A record of igneous evolution in Elysium, a major martian volcanic province

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-24-2017

Abstract

© 2017 The Author(s). A major knowledge gap exists on how eruptive compositions of a single martian volcanic province change over time. Here we seek to fill that gap by assessing the compositional evolution of Elysium, a major martian volcanic province. A unique geochemical signature overlaps with the southeastern flows of this volcano, which provides the context for this study of variability of martian magmatism. The southeastern lava fields of Elysium Planitia show distinct chemistry in the shallow subsurface (down to several decimeters) relative to the rest of the martian mid-to-low latitudes (average crust) and flows in northwest Elysium. By impact crater counting chronology we estimated the age of the southeastern province to be 0.85 ± 0.08 Ga younger than the northwestern fields. This study of the geochemical and temporal differences between the NW and SE Elysium lava fields is the first to demonstrate compositional variation within a single volcanic province on Mars. We interpret the geochemical and temporal differences between the SE and NW lava fields to be consistent with primary magmatic processes, such as mantle heterogeneity or change in depth of melt formation within the martian mantle due to crustal loading.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Scientific Reports

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