Publications by authors named "Joshua F Snape"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Evidence for extremely rapid magma ocean crystallization and crust formation on Mars.

Nature 2018 06 27;558(7711):586-589. Epub 2018 Jun 27.

Centre for Star and Planet Formation and Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

The formation of a primordial crust is a critical step in the evolution of terrestrial planets but the timing of this process is poorly understood. The mineral zircon is a powerful tool for constraining crust formation because it can be accurately dated with the uranium-to-lead (U-Pb) isotopic decay system and is resistant to subsequent alteration. Moreover, given the high concentration of hafnium in zircon, the lutetium-to-hafnium (Lu-Hf) isotopic decay system can be used to determine the nature and formation timescale of its source reservoir. Ancient igneous zircons with crystallization ages of around 4,430 million years (Myr) have been reported in Martian meteorites that are believed to represent regolith breccias from the southern highlands of Mars. These zircons are present in evolved lithologies interpreted to reflect re-melted primary Martian crust , thereby potentially providing insight into early crustal evolution on Mars. Here, we report concomitant high-precision U-Pb ages and Hf-isotope compositions of ancient zircons from the NWA 7034 Martian regolith breccia. Seven zircons with mostly concordant U-Pb ages define Pb/Pb dates ranging from 4,476.3 ± 0.9 Myr ago to 4,429.7 ± 1.0 Myr ago, including the oldest directly dated material from Mars. All zircons record unradiogenic initial Hf-isotope compositions inherited from an enriched, andesitic-like crust extracted from a primitive mantle no later than 4,547 Myr ago. Thus, a primordial crust existed on Mars by this time and survived for around 100 Myr before it was reworked, possibly by impacts, to produce magmas from which the zircons crystallized. Given that formation of a stable primordial crust is the end product of planetary differentiation, our data require that the accretion, core formation and magma ocean crystallization on Mars were completed less than 20 Myr after the formation of the Solar System. These timescales support models that suggest extremely rapid magma ocean crystallization leading to a gravitationally unstable stratified mantle, which subsequently overturns, resulting in decompression melting of rising cumulates and production of a primordial basaltic to andesitic crust.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0222-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6107064PMC
June 2018

Direct Pb Isotopic Analysis of a Nuclear Fallout Debris Particle from the Trinity Nuclear Test.

Anal Chem 2017 02 9;89(3):1887-1891. Epub 2017 Jan 9.

Department of Geosciences, Swedish Museum of Natural History , SE-104 05 Stockholm, Sweden.

The Pb isotope composition of a nuclear fallout debris particle has been directly measured in post-detonation materials produced during the Trinity nuclear test by a secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) scanning ion image technique (SII). This technique permits the visual assessment of the spatial distribution of Pb and can be used to obtain full Pb isotope compositions in user-defined regions in a 70 μm × 70 μm analytical window. In conjunction with backscattered electron (BSE) and energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) mapping of the same particle, the Pb measured in this fallout particle cannot be from a major phase in the precursor arkosic sand. Similarly, the Pb isotope composition of the particle is resolvable from the surrounding glass at the 2σ uncertainty level (where σ represents the standard deviation). The Pb isotope composition measured in the particle here is in excellent agreement with that inferred from measurements of green and red trinitite, suggesting that these types of particles are responsible for the Pb isotope compositions measured in both trinitite glasses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.6b04330DOI Listing
February 2017