NanoSIMS analysis of organic carbon from the Tissint Martian meteorite: Evidence for the past existence of subsurface organic-bearing fluids on Mars

Yangting Lin, Ahmed El Goresy, Sen Hu, Jianchao Zhang, Philippe Gillet, Yuchen Xu, Jialong Hao, Masaaki Miyahara, Ziyuan Ouyang, Eiji Ohtani, Lin Xu, Wei Yang, Lu Feng, Xuchao Zhao, Jing Yang, Shin Ozawa

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13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two petrographic settings of carbonaceous components, mainly filling open fractures and occasionally enclosed in shock-melt veins, were found in the recently fallen Tissint Martian meteorite. The presence in shock-melt veins and the deuterium enrichments (δD up to +1183‰) of these components clearly indicate a pristine Martian origin. The carbonaceous components are kerogen-like, based on micro-Raman spectra and multielemental ratios, and were probably deposited from fluids in shock-induced fractures in the parent rock of Tissint. After precipitation of the organic matter, the rock experienced another severe shock event, producing the melt veins that encapsulated a part of the organic matter. The C isotopic compositions of the organic matter (δ13C = -12.8 to -33.1‰) are significantly lighter than Martian atmospheric CO2 and carbonate, providing a tantalizing hint for a possible biotic process. Alternatively, the organic matter could be derived from carbonaceous chondrites, as insoluble organic matter from the latter has similar chemical and isotopic compositions. The presence of organic-rich fluids that infiltrated rocks near the surface of Mars has significant implications for the study of Martian paleoenvironment and perhaps to search for possible ancient biological activities on Mars.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2201-2218
Number of pages18
JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
Volume49
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Lin, Y., El Goresy, A., Hu, S., Zhang, J., Gillet, P., Xu, Y., Hao, J., Miyahara, M., Ouyang, Z., Ohtani, E., Xu, L., Yang, W., Feng, L., Zhao, X., Yang, J., & Ozawa, S. (2014). NanoSIMS analysis of organic carbon from the Tissint Martian meteorite: Evidence for the past existence of subsurface organic-bearing fluids on Mars. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 49(12), 2201-2218. https://doi.org/10.1111/maps.12389