Jarosite Occurrences in the MIL 03346 Nakhlite: Implications for Water on Mars

  • Author / Creator
    Hong, Jason K
  • The recent discovery of the mineral jarosite (KFe3(OH)6(SO4)2) in the MIL 03346 martian meteorite is important because jarosite forms from acidic, oxidizing waters. Jarosite occurrences in the MIL 03346 martian meteorite were studied to characterize the mineral in-situ. Backscattered electron images and X-ray maps reveal distinct areas of jarosite occurrences in both the mesostasis and in veins cutting cumulate augite grains. Areas of alteration range from a few microns to 100 microns in length. Quantitative analyses indicate significant amounts of hydronium substitution and chemical compositions consistent with terrestrial jarosites. Synchrotron XRF was not able to determine an origin for the jarosite due to various issues involving the beam spot size and detection limits. Hydrogen isotopic analyses indicate a terrestrial origin for the jarosite, most likely a result of Antarctic weathering processes. The methods used in this study show that not all jarosite occurrences in MIL 03346 are martian in origin.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.