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A new Martian meteorite: the Dhofar 019 Shergottite with an exposure age of 20 million years


Schultz,  L.
Cosmochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Shukolyukov, Y. A., Nazarov, M. A., & Schultz, L. (2002). A new Martian meteorite: the Dhofar 019 Shergottite with an exposure age of 20 million years. Solar System Research, 36(2), 125-135.

The isotopic composition of the noble gases of the new Martian meteorite, the Dhofar 019 shergottite, found in the desert in the territory of the Sultanate of Oman on January 24, 2001, was investigated. Stepwise thermal annealing with isotopic analysis of each of the noble-gas temperature fractions was employed to determine the component composition. The concentration of the trapped noble gases in the new Martian meteorite Dhofar 019 is relatively high, although it ties within the range of concentrations in known SNC meteorites. A characteristic feature of all the trapped noble gases is the presence of two main components: a low-temperature, probably terrestrial atmospheric, component, trapped during the weathering of the meteorite on Earth, and a high-temperature trapped Martian component. Owing to the different ratios of the quantities of the two components, the trapped neon, argon, krypton, and xenon differ markedly in the kinetics of their release. The isotopic composition of the noble gases varies accordingly. The trapped xenon was found to contain two Martian components. One of them, with typical ratios of Xe-129/Xe-132 and Xe-132/Kr-84, is representative of xenon and krypton of the Martian atmosphere; the other, of gases of the Martian mantle. Variations of the isotopic compositions of helium, neon, and argon (and also, to a lesser extent, of krypton and xenon) during the thermal annealing of the Dhofar 019 meteorite clearly point to a large proportion of cosmogenic as well as trapped components. The concentration of cosmogenic neon and argon in the meteorite is unusually high. This corresponds to a maximum exposure age among other SNC meteorites: 20 million years. Estimates of the potassium-argon a age (gas-retention age) yielded the figure of 560 million years, which is within the range of values obtained for SNC meteorites by other authors, who used the rubidium- strontium and the potassium-argon technique.