The importance of the study of igneous rocks and compositions to constrain the martian planetary evolution

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Authors

Arya Udry, Justin Filiberto, Juliane Gross, Mariek Schmidt, Deanne Rogers, Elisabeth Hausrath, Roger Wiens, Nina Lanza

Abstract

This white paper summarizes the scientific importance of studying igneous compositions in meteorites, surface samples, and through orbital analyses to better constrain the geology of Mars as a whole and better understand the geological processes that have shaped Mars in the past and present. In support of martian igneous studies, we strongly advocate for the following in the upcoming decade:
1. To sustain funding for meteorite recovery in order to have continued access to martian samples;
2. To support the return of igneous samples from Jezero crater;
3. To support funding for detailed analyses of igneous rocks at the martian surface;
4. To support laboratories and collaborations between sample, remote-sensing, and mission scientists;
5. To support curation facilities needed for not only meteorite samples, but also Mars sample return.
The study of martian igneous compositions is crucial to the entire planetary community as it will help us to resolve questions about the formation and evolution of planetary interiors, climate and atmospheres, as well as habitability throughout the entire solar system.

Subjects

Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Keywords

Mars, Martian petrology

Dates

Published: 2020-10-21 12:02

License

CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

Additional Metadata

Conflict of interest statement:
None

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