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Proceedings Paper

Mars as the parent body of the CI carbonaceous chondrites and implications for Mars biological and climatic history
Author(s): John E. Brandenburg
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Paper Abstract

The hypothesis that CI meteorites have an origin on Mars is presented along with supporting data and implications. A Martian origin for the CI will support Martian biogenesis and effect assessments of Martian histories, suggesting Mars and Earth evolved in parallel in both biologic and geologic realms for a long period. The CI containing a Martian pattern of oxygen isotopes and mineralogy indicative of deposition by liquid water. The CI contain no evidence of hypervelocity impact, but contain space-exposed olivine grains and are thus regolith material, indicating their formation under a planetary atmosphere. They contain organic matter similar to that found in Martian meteorites, ALH84001 and EETA79001. A scenario of formation of CI meteorites as being water altered late planetary accretion material is proposed. The 4.5 Gyr age of the CI, matching ALH84001, and their high concentration of organic matter, including possible fossil bacteria, strongly supports the hypothesis of early Martian biogenesis. With CI plus ALH84001 being old, and the SNCs being young, the Martian crustal age dichotomy is now well reflected in Martian meteorite ages. This suggests Mars has a strongly bimodal pattern of crustal ages, either very old or very young with liquid water moving on the planets surface until late in the planets history.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 July 1997
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3111, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for the Investigation of Extraterrestrial Microorganisms, (11 July 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.278812
Show Author Affiliations
John E. Brandenburg, Research Support Instruments (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3111:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for the Investigation of Extraterrestrial Microorganisms
Richard B. Hoover, Editor(s)

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