Core-mantle differentiation in Mars

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The physical and chemical conditions under which Martian core formation took place are not well constrained. We modeled the pressure, temperature, and oxygen fugacity conditions under which it would be possible to match the inferred depletions of moderately siderophile elements Ni, Co, W, Mo, Ga, P, and Ge in the Martian mantle, using new constraints on their metal-silicate partitioning behavior. Using literature metal-silicate partitioning data, we characterize the dependence of the metal-silicate partition coefficients (D) on the temperature, pressure, oxygen fugacity, and composition of the silicate melt and the metal using a uniform parameterization approach for each element. Our results show that it is impossible to simultaneously account for the Martian mantle depletions of moderately siderophile elements if the Martian core sulfur content exceeds 10.5 wt % at reducing conditions (1 log unit below the iron-wüstite (IW) buffer). At 10.5 wt % core S, the conditions that best satisfy Martian mantle abundances of the seven siderophile elements are a mean pressure of 13(±1) GPa at 2330 K, corresponding to the presence of a magma ocean at least 1000 km deep during Martian core formation. More oxidizing conditions than the iron-wüstite buffer as suggested by iron meteorites are inconsistent with mantle siderophile element abundances. Extension of our approach to the highly siderophile elements Ru, Pd, Re, Ir, and Pt shows that their Martian mantle abundances are orders of magnitude too high to be accounted for by metal-silicate equilibration at high pressure and high temperature in a magma ocean, requiring a "late veneer" stage after core formation. Key PointsWe study core formation conditions in MarsResults are consistent with a deep martian magma oceanA trade-off exists between core S content and fO2. ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1195-1203
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research. Planets
Issue numberPlanets 118
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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siderophile element
Mars
mantle
silicate
metal
magma
fugacity
partitioning
iron
iron meteorite
oxygen
silicate melt
ocean
partition coefficient
trade-off
parameterization
temperature
sulfur

Cite this

@article{22118fe94a98433c9ea646ad83ce16dd,
title = "Core-mantle differentiation in Mars",
abstract = "The physical and chemical conditions under which Martian core formation took place are not well constrained. We modeled the pressure, temperature, and oxygen fugacity conditions under which it would be possible to match the inferred depletions of moderately siderophile elements Ni, Co, W, Mo, Ga, P, and Ge in the Martian mantle, using new constraints on their metal-silicate partitioning behavior. Using literature metal-silicate partitioning data, we characterize the dependence of the metal-silicate partition coefficients (D) on the temperature, pressure, oxygen fugacity, and composition of the silicate melt and the metal using a uniform parameterization approach for each element. Our results show that it is impossible to simultaneously account for the Martian mantle depletions of moderately siderophile elements if the Martian core sulfur content exceeds 10.5 wt {\%} at reducing conditions (1 log unit below the iron-w{\"u}stite (IW) buffer). At 10.5 wt {\%} core S, the conditions that best satisfy Martian mantle abundances of the seven siderophile elements are a mean pressure of 13(±1) GPa at 2330 K, corresponding to the presence of a magma ocean at least 1000 km deep during Martian core formation. More oxidizing conditions than the iron-w{\"u}stite buffer as suggested by iron meteorites are inconsistent with mantle siderophile element abundances. Extension of our approach to the highly siderophile elements Ru, Pd, Re, Ir, and Pt shows that their Martian mantle abundances are orders of magnitude too high to be accounted for by metal-silicate equilibration at high pressure and high temperature in a magma ocean, requiring a {"}late veneer{"} stage after core formation. Key PointsWe study core formation conditions in MarsResults are consistent with a deep martian magma oceanA trade-off exists between core S content and fO2. {\circledC}2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.",
author = "N. Rai and {van Westrenen}, W.",
year = "2013",
doi = "10.1002/jgre.20093",
language = "English",
pages = "1195--1203",
journal = "Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets",
issn = "1934-8592",
publisher = "American Geophysical Union",
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}

Core-mantle differentiation in Mars. / Rai, N.; van Westrenen, W.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets, No. Planets 118, 2013, p. 1195-1203.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Core-mantle differentiation in Mars

AU - Rai, N.

AU - van Westrenen, W.

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - The physical and chemical conditions under which Martian core formation took place are not well constrained. We modeled the pressure, temperature, and oxygen fugacity conditions under which it would be possible to match the inferred depletions of moderately siderophile elements Ni, Co, W, Mo, Ga, P, and Ge in the Martian mantle, using new constraints on their metal-silicate partitioning behavior. Using literature metal-silicate partitioning data, we characterize the dependence of the metal-silicate partition coefficients (D) on the temperature, pressure, oxygen fugacity, and composition of the silicate melt and the metal using a uniform parameterization approach for each element. Our results show that it is impossible to simultaneously account for the Martian mantle depletions of moderately siderophile elements if the Martian core sulfur content exceeds 10.5 wt % at reducing conditions (1 log unit below the iron-wüstite (IW) buffer). At 10.5 wt % core S, the conditions that best satisfy Martian mantle abundances of the seven siderophile elements are a mean pressure of 13(±1) GPa at 2330 K, corresponding to the presence of a magma ocean at least 1000 km deep during Martian core formation. More oxidizing conditions than the iron-wüstite buffer as suggested by iron meteorites are inconsistent with mantle siderophile element abundances. Extension of our approach to the highly siderophile elements Ru, Pd, Re, Ir, and Pt shows that their Martian mantle abundances are orders of magnitude too high to be accounted for by metal-silicate equilibration at high pressure and high temperature in a magma ocean, requiring a "late veneer" stage after core formation. Key PointsWe study core formation conditions in MarsResults are consistent with a deep martian magma oceanA trade-off exists between core S content and fO2. ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

AB - The physical and chemical conditions under which Martian core formation took place are not well constrained. We modeled the pressure, temperature, and oxygen fugacity conditions under which it would be possible to match the inferred depletions of moderately siderophile elements Ni, Co, W, Mo, Ga, P, and Ge in the Martian mantle, using new constraints on their metal-silicate partitioning behavior. Using literature metal-silicate partitioning data, we characterize the dependence of the metal-silicate partition coefficients (D) on the temperature, pressure, oxygen fugacity, and composition of the silicate melt and the metal using a uniform parameterization approach for each element. Our results show that it is impossible to simultaneously account for the Martian mantle depletions of moderately siderophile elements if the Martian core sulfur content exceeds 10.5 wt % at reducing conditions (1 log unit below the iron-wüstite (IW) buffer). At 10.5 wt % core S, the conditions that best satisfy Martian mantle abundances of the seven siderophile elements are a mean pressure of 13(±1) GPa at 2330 K, corresponding to the presence of a magma ocean at least 1000 km deep during Martian core formation. More oxidizing conditions than the iron-wüstite buffer as suggested by iron meteorites are inconsistent with mantle siderophile element abundances. Extension of our approach to the highly siderophile elements Ru, Pd, Re, Ir, and Pt shows that their Martian mantle abundances are orders of magnitude too high to be accounted for by metal-silicate equilibration at high pressure and high temperature in a magma ocean, requiring a "late veneer" stage after core formation. Key PointsWe study core formation conditions in MarsResults are consistent with a deep martian magma oceanA trade-off exists between core S content and fO2. ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

U2 - 10.1002/jgre.20093

DO - 10.1002/jgre.20093

M3 - Article

SP - 1195

EP - 1203

JO - Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets

JF - Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets

SN - 1934-8592

IS - Planets 118

ER -