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Logotyp för Naturhistoriska riksmuseet

Mars: lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere

Mars is the only inner solar system planet with an observed hydrological cycle and by inference, the potential for life. As such, the surface and atmospheric process acting on Mars have been the focus of billions of dollars in rovers, landers, and orbiters. However, martian meteorites are key objects to understand the formation and the evolution of Mars.

Forskningsområden: Geovetenskap

Forskningsämnen: SIMS

Project overview

This project seeks to identify subtle Martian geochemical signatures via in-situ analyses of individual minerals in different Martian meteorites.

Project description

Traditional bulk analyses homogenize samples and lose valuable geochemical mixing end-members that are present in an individual sample due to complex mixing processes during crystallization, alteration on the Martian surface, and/or ejection from Mars. Specifically, geochemical end-members preserved in Martian meteorites can identify the geographic expanse of source regions for Martian meteorites, evaluate the heterogeneity of the Martian mantle, identify atmospheric and hydrologic processes acting on the surface of Mars, potentially identify any biological activity recorded in these meteorites, and, importantly, establish a data base of geochemical signatures. Due to the extremely complex nature of these samples, the aforementioned project goals can only be accomplished by in-situ geochemical analytical techniques that are available at NordSIMS facility here at the Museum.

Selected publications

Project members

External participants


Martin Whitehouse



Epost-ikon martin.whitehouse@nrm.se


Cécile Deligny



Epost-ikon Cecile.Deligny@nrm.se

Forskningsområden: Geovetenskap

Forskningsämnen: SIMS

Innehållsansvarig: Lisa Sundström