Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

American Mineralogist

Journal of Earth and Planetary Materials

Ed. by Baker, Don / Xu, Hongwu / Swainson, Ian


IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 2.645

CiteScore 2017: 2.31

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 1.440
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 1.059

Online
ISSN
1945-3027
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 102, Issue 9

Issues

Can we use pyroxene weathering textures to interpret aqueous alteration conditions? Yes and No

Charity M. Phillips-Lander
  • Corresponding author
  • School of Geology and Geophysics, University of Oklahoma, 100 East Boyd Street, Room 710, Norman, Oklahoma, 73071, U.S.A.
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Carey Legett IV
  • School of Geology and Geophysics, University of Oklahoma, 100 East Boyd Street, Room 710, Norman, Oklahoma, 73071, U.S.A.
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Andrew S. Elwood Madden
  • School of Geology and Geophysics, University of Oklahoma, 100 East Boyd Street, Room 710, Norman, Oklahoma, 73071, U.S.A.
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Megan E. Elwood Madden
  • School of Geology and Geophysics, University of Oklahoma, 100 East Boyd Street, Room 710, Norman, Oklahoma, 73071, U.S.A.
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-09-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2138/am-2017-6155

Abstract

Pyroxene minerals are a significant component of Shergottite-Nakhlite-Chassignite (SNC) meteorites (e.g., Velbel 2012) and detected across large areas of Mars’ surface (e.g., Mustard et al. 2005). These minerals are associated with chloride, sulfate, and perchlorate salts that may represent briny waters present in Mars’ history. Previous textural analyses by Velbel and Losiak (2010) comparing pyroxenes and amphiboles from various natural weathering environments showed no correlation between apparent apical angles (describing the morphology of denticular weathering textures) and mineralogy or aqueous alteration history in relatively dilute solutions. However, high-salinity brines preferentially dissolve surface species, potentially leading to different textures dependent on the brine chemistry. In this study, we performed controlled pyroxene dissolution experiments in the laboratory on a well-characterized diopside to determine if aqueous alteration in different high-salinity brines, representative of potential weathering fluids on Mars, produce unique textural signatures.

Following two months of dissolution in batch reactors, we observed denticles on etch pit margins and pyroxene chip boundaries in all of the solutions investigated: ultrapure water (18 MΩ cm−1; aH2O = 1); low-salinity solutions containing 0.35 M NaCl (aH2O = 0.99), 0.35 M Na2SO4 (aH2O = 0.98), and 2 M NaClO4(aH2O = 0.9); and near-saturated brines containing 1.7 M Na2SO4 (aH2O = 0.95), 3 M NaCl (aH2O = 0.75), and 4.5 M CaCl2 (aH2O = 0.35). No systematic change in denticle length or apical angle was observed between any of the solutions investigated, even when altered in brines with significantly different salinity, activity of water, and anion composition. Based on these and previous results from natural systems, apical angle measurements are not a useful proxy for determining the extent or nature of aqueous alteration. However, since denticles form relatively slowly during weathering at circum-neutral pH, denticle length may be a useful proxy for chemical weathering duration. All of the experimental solutions produced median denticle lengths ≤ 1 µm, likely due to the brief weathering experiments. However, perchlorate brines produced a significantly wider range of denticle lengths than those observed in all the other experimental solutions tested. Since perchlorate is likely a common constituent in martian soils (Glotch et al. 2016), denticle length measurements should be used cautiously as proxies for extent of aqueous alteration on Mars, particularly in samples that also contain perchlorate.

Keywords: Weathering texture; pyroxene; denticles; apical angles; Mars; perchlorate; brines

References cited

  • Andó, S., Garzanti, E., Padoan, M., and Limonta, M. (2012) Corrosion of heavy minerals during weathering and diagenesis: A catalog for optical analysis. Sedimentary Geology, 280, 165–178.Google Scholar

  • Argast, S. (1991) Chlorite vermiculitization and pyroxene etching in an aeolian periglacial sand dune, Allen County, Indiana. Clays and Clay Minerals, 39(6), 622–633.Google Scholar

  • Bandfield, J.L., Hamilton, V.E., and Christensen, P.R. (2000) A global view of Martian surface compositions from MGS-TES. Science, 287, 1626–1630.Google Scholar

  • Behrens, R., Bouchez, J., Schuessler, J.A., Dultz, S., Hewawasam, T., and von Blanckenburg, F. (2015) Mineralogical transformations set slow weathering rates in low-porosity metamorphic bedrock on mountain slopes in a tropical climate. Chemical Geology, 411, 283–298.Google Scholar

  • Benzerara, K., Yoon, T., Menguy, N., Tyliszczak, T., and Brown, G. (2005) Nanoscale environments associated with bioweathering of a Mg-Fe-pyroxene. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102, 979–982.Google Scholar

  • Berner, R.A. (1978) Rate control of mineral dissolution under earth surface conditions. American Journal of Science, 278(9), 1235–1252.Google Scholar

  • Berner, R.A., and Schott, J. (1982) Mechanism of pyroxene and amphibole weathering; II, Observations of soil grains. American Journal of Science, 282(8), 1214–1231.Google Scholar

  • Berner, R.A., Sjöberg, E.L., Velbel, M.A., and Krom, M.D. (1980) Dissolution of pyroxenes and amphiboles during weathering. Science, 207, 1205–1206.Google Scholar

  • Brantley, S.L., and Chen, Y. (1995) Chemical weathering rates of pyroxenes and amphiboles. Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry, 31, 119–172.Google Scholar

  • Brantley, S.L., Crane, S.R., Crerar, D.A., Hellmann, R., and Stallard, R. (1986) Dissolution at dislocation etch pits in quartz. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 50(10), 2349–2361.Google Scholar

  • Brantley, S.L., Blai, A.C., Cremeens, D.L., MacInnis, I., and Darmody, R.G. (1993) Natural etching rates of feldspar and hornblende. Aquatic Sciences, 55(4), 262–272.Google Scholar

  • Bridges, J.C., and Grady, M.M. (1999) A halite-siderite-anhydrite-chlorapatite assemblage in Nakhla: Mineralogical evidence for evaporites on Mars. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 34, 407–415.Google Scholar

  • Bridges, J.C., and Grady, M.M. (2000) Evaporite mineral assemblages in the nakhlite (martian) meteorites. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 176(3), 267–279.Google Scholar

  • Bridges, J.C., Catling, D.C., Saxton, J.M., Swindle, T.D., Lyon, I.C., and Grady, M.M. (2001) Alteration assemblages in Martian meteorites: Implications for near-surface processes. In R. Kallenbach, J. Geiss, and W.K. Hartmann, Eds., Chronology and Evolution of Mars, p. 365–392. Springer, Netherlands.Google Scholar

  • Brown, G.E. Jr., and Parks, G.A. (2001) Sorption of trace elements on mineral surfaces: modern perspectives from spectroscopic studies, and comments on sorption in the marine environment. International Geology Review, 43(11), 963–1073.Google Scholar

  • Burns, R.G. (1993) Rates and mechanisms of chemical weathering of ferromagnesian silicate minerals on Mars. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 57, 4555–4574.Google Scholar

  • Chatzitheodoridis, E., and Turner, G. (1990) Secondary minerals in the Nakhla meteorite. Meteoritics, 25, 354–354.Google Scholar

  • Chen, Y., and Brantley, S.L. (1998) Diopside and anthophyllite dissolution at 25 and 90 °C and acid pH. Chemical Geology, 147(3), 233–248.Google Scholar

  • Chevrier, V.F., Hanley, J., and Altheide, T.S. (2009) Stability of perchlorate hydrates and their liquid solutions at the Phoenix landing site, Mars. Geophysical Research Letters, 36(10), L10202.Google Scholar

  • Cremeens, D.L., Darmody, R.G., and Norton, L.D. (1992) Etch-pit size and shape distribution on orthoclase and pyriboles in a loess catena. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 56(9), 3423–3434.Google Scholar

  • Elwood Madden, M.E., Madden, A.S., Rimstidt, J.D., Zahrai, S., Kendall, M.R., and Miller, M.A. (2012) Jarosite dissolution rates and nanoscale mineralogy. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 91, 306–321.Google Scholar

  • Glavin, D.P., Freissinet, C., Miller, K.E., Eigenbrode, J.L., Brunner, A.E., Buch, A., Sutter, B., Archer, P.D., Atreya, S.K., Brinckerhoff, W.B., and Cabane, M. (2013) Evidence for perchlorates and the origin of chlorinated hydrocarbons detected by SAM at the Rocknest aeolian deposit in Gale Crater. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 118(10), 1955–1973.Google Scholar

  • Glotch, T., Bandfield, J., Wolff, M., Arnold, J., and Che, C. (2016) Constraints on the composition and particle size of chloride salt-bearing deposits on Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 121, 454–471.Google Scholar

  • Gooding, J.L., Wentworth, S.J., and Zolensky, M.E. (1988) Calcium carbonate and sulfate of possible extraterrestrial origin in the EETA 79001 meteorite. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 52(4), 909–915.Google Scholar

  • Gooding, J.L., Wentworth, S.J., and Zolensky, M.E. (1991) Aqueous alteration of the Nakhla meteorite. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 26(2), 135–143.Google Scholar

  • Hall, R.D., and Horn, L.L. (1993) Rates of hornblende etching in soils in glacial deposits of the northern Rocky Mountains (Wyoming-Montana, USA): Influence of climate and characteristics of the parent material. Chemical Geology, 105(1-3), 17–29.Google Scholar

  • Hall, R.D., and Michaud, D. (1988) The use of hornblende etching, clast weathering, and soils to date alpine glacial and periglacial deposits: a study from southwestern Montana. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 100(3), 458–467.Google Scholar

  • Hecht, M.H., Kounaves, S.P., Quinn, R.C., West, S.J., Young, S.M.M., Ming, D.W., Catling, D.C., Clark, B.C., Boynton, W.V., Hoffman, J., and DeFlores, L.P. (2009) Detection of perchlorate and the soluble chemistry of martian soil at the Phoenix lander site. Science, 325, 64–67.Google Scholar

  • Hoch, A.R., Reddy, M.M., and Drever, J.I. (1996) The effect of iron content and dissolved O2 on dissolution rates of clinopyroxene at pH 5.8 and 25°C: preliminary results. Chemical Geology, 132, 151–156.Google Scholar

  • Hochella, M.F., and Banfield, J.F. (1995) Chemical weathering of silicates in nature; a microscopic perspective with theoretical considerations. Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry, 31, 353–406.Google Scholar

  • Hodson, M.E. (2003) The influence of Fe-rich coatings on the dissolution of anorthite at pH 2.6. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 67, 3355–3363.Google Scholar

  • Kounaves, S.P., Carrier, B.L., O’Neil, G.D., Stroble, S.T., and Claire, M.W. (2014) Evidence of martian perchlorate, chlorate, and nitrate in Mars meteorite EETA79001: Implications for oxidants and organics. Icarus, 229, 206–213.Google Scholar

  • Lee, M.R., Brown, D.J., Hodson, M.E., MacKenzie, M., and Smith, C.L. (2008) Weathering microenvironments on feldspar surfaces: implications for understanding fluid-mineral reactions in soils. Mineralogical Magazine, 72, 1319–1328.Google Scholar

  • Lee, M.R., Tomkinson, T., Mark, D.F., Stuart, F.M., and Smith, C.L. (2013) Evidence for silicate dissolution on Mars from the Nakhla meteorite. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 48(2), 224–240.Google Scholar

  • Legett, C., Pritchett, B.N., Elwood Madden, A.S., and Elwood Madden, M.E. (2014) Measuring mineral dissolution rates in perchlorate brines: Method development and applications. Lunar and Planetary Sciences Conference, p. 2492.Google Scholar

  • Ling, Z., and Wang, A. (2015) Spatial distributions of secondary minerals in the Martian meteorite MIL 03346, 168 determined by Raman spectroscopic imaging. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 120(6), 1141–1159.Google Scholar

  • MacInnis, I.N., and Brantley, S.L. (1993) Development of etch pit size distributions on dissolving minerals. Chemical Geology, 105(1-3), 31–49.Google Scholar

  • McSween, H.Y. (1994) What we have learned about Mars from SNC meteorites. Meteoritics, 29(6), 757–779.Google Scholar

  • Mikesell, L.R., Schaetzl, R.J., and Velbel, M.A. (2004) Hornblende etching and quartz/ feldspar ratios as weathering and soil development indicators in some Michigan soils. Quaternary Research, 62(2), 162–171.Google Scholar

  • Miller, J.L., Madden, A.E., Phillips-Lander, C.M., Pritchett, B.N., and Madden, M.E. (2016) Alunite dissolution rates: Dissolution mechanisms and implications for Mars. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 172, 93–106.Google Scholar

  • Mustard, J.F., Poulet, F., Gendrin, A., Bibring, J.-P., Langevin, Y., Gondet, B., Mangold, N., Bellucci, G., and Altieri, F. (2005) Olivine and pyroxene diversity in the crust of Mars. Science, 307, 1594–1597.Google Scholar

  • Navarro-González, R., Vargas, E., de La Rosa, J., Raga, A.C., and McKay, C.P. (2010) Reanalysis of the Viking results suggests perchlorate and organics at midlatitudes on Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research, 115, E12010.Google Scholar

  • Ojha, L., Wilhelm, M.B., Murchie, S.L., McEwen, A.S., Wray, J.J., Hanley, J., Massé, M., and Chojnacki, M. (2015) Spectral evidence for hydrated salts in recurring slope lineae on Mars. Nature Geoscience, 8(11), 829–832.Google Scholar

  • Olsen, A.A., and Rimstidt, J.D. (2008) Oxalate-promoted forsterite dissolution at low pH. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 72(7), 1758–1766.Google Scholar

  • Olsen, A.A., Hausrath, E.M., and Rimstidt, J.D. (2015) Forsterite dissolution rates in Mg-sulfate-rich Mars-analog brines and implications of the aqueous history of Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 120(3), 388–400.Google Scholar

  • Parnell, S.P., Phillips-Lander, C.M., McGraw, L.E., and Elwood Madden, M.E. (2016) Carbonate dissolution rates in high salinity brines. Lunar and Planetary Sciences, 1460.Google Scholar

  • Phillips-Lander, C.M., Fowle, D.A., Taunton, A., Hernandez, W., Mora, M., Moore, D., Shinogle, H., and Roberts, J.A. (2014) Silicate dissolution in Las Pailas thermal field: Implications for microbial weathering in acidic volcanic hydrothermal spring systems. Geomicrobiology Journal, 31(1), 23–41.Google Scholar

  • Phillips-Lander, C.M., Legett, C. IV, Elwood Madden, A.S., and Elwood Madden, M.E. (2016) Pyroxene dissolution rates in high salinity brines: Implications for post-Noachian aqueous alteration on Mars. 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Contribution no. 1903, p. 1313.Google Scholar

  • Pritchett, B.N., Madden, M.E., and Madden, A.S. (2012) Jarosite dissolution rates and maximum lifetimes in high salinity brines: Implications for Earth and Mars. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 357, 327–336.Google Scholar

  • Sanemasa, I., and Katsura, T. (1973) The dissolution of CaMg(SiO3)2 in acid solutions. Bulletin of the Chemical Society of Japan, 46(11), 3416–3422.Google Scholar

  • Schaetzl, R.J., Mikesell, L.R., and Velbel, M.A. (2006) Soil characteristics related to weathering and pedogenesis across a geomorphic surface of uniform age in Michigan. Physical Geography, 27(2), 170–188.Google Scholar

  • Schneider, C.A., Rasband, W.S., and Eliceiri, K.W. (2012) NIH Image to ImageJ: 25 years of image analysis. Nature Methods, 9, 671–675.Google Scholar

  • Schott, J., and Berner, R. (1983) X-ray photoelectron studies of the mechanism of iron silicate dissolution during weathering. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 47, 2233–2240.Google Scholar

  • Sidhu, P.S., Gilkes, R.J., Cornell, R.M., Posner, A.M., and Quirk, J.P. (1981) Dissolution of iron oxides and oxyhydroxides in hydrochloric and perchloric acids. Clays and Clay Minerals, 29, 269–276.Google Scholar

  • Siever, R., and Woodford, N. (1979) Dissolution kinetics and the weathering of mafic minerals. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 43, 717–724.Google Scholar

  • Stieglitz, R.D., and Rothwell, B. (1978) Surface microtextures of freshwater heavy mineral grains. Geoscience Wisconsin, 3, 21–34.Google Scholar

  • Steiner, M.H., Hausrath, E.M., Madden, M.E., Tschauner, O., Ehlmann, B.L., Olsen, A.A., Gainey, S.R., and Smith, J.S. (2016) Dissolution of nontronite in chloride brines and implications for the aqueous history of Mars. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 195, 259–276.Google Scholar

  • Thomas-Keprta, K.L., Clemett, S.J., McKay, D.S., Gibson, E.K., and Wentworth, S.J. (2009) Origins of magnetite nanocrystals in Martian meteorite ALH84001. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 73, 6631–6677.Google Scholar

  • Treiman, A.H. (2005) The nakhlite meteorites: Augite-rich igneous rocks from Mars. Chemie der Erde-Geochemistry, 65(3), 203–270.Google Scholar

  • Treiman, A.H., Barrett, R.A., and Gooding, J.L. (1993) Preterrestrial aqueous alteration of the Lafayette (SNC) meteorite. Meteoritics, 28(1), 86–97.Google Scholar

  • Velbel, M.A. (1993) Formation of protective surface layers during silicate-mineral weathering under well-leached, oxidizing conditions. American Mineralogist, 78, 405–405.Google Scholar

  • Velbel, M.A. (2007) Surface textures and dissolution processes of heavy minerals in the sedimentary cycle: examples from pyroxenes and amphiboles. Developments in Sedimentology, 58, 113–150.Google Scholar

  • Velbel, M.A. (2011) Microdenticles on naturally weathered hornblende. Applied Geochemistry, 26(8), 1594–1596.Google Scholar

  • Velbel, M.A. (2012) Aqueous alteration in Martian meteorites: Comparing mineral relations in igneous-rock weathering of Martian meteorites and in the sedimentary cycle of Mars. Sedimentary Geology of Mars, SEPM. Society for Sedimentary Geology Special Publication, 102, 97–117.Google Scholar

  • Velbel, M.A. (2014) Terrestrial weathering of ordinary chondrites in nature and continuing during laboratory storage and processing: Review and implications for Hayabusa sample integrity. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 49(2), 154–171.Google Scholar

  • Velbel, M.A. (2016) Aqueous corrosion of olivine in the Mars meteorite Miller Range (MIL) 03346 during Antarctic weathering: Implications for water on Mars. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 180, 126–145.Google Scholar

  • Velbel, M.A., and Barker, W.W. (2008) Pyroxene weathering to smectite: conventional and cryo-field emission scanning electron microscopy, Koua Bocca ultramafic complex, Ivory Coast. Clays and Clay Minerals, 56(1), 112–127.Google Scholar

  • Velbel, M.A., and Losiak, A.I. (2010) Denticles on chain silicate grain surfaces and their utility as indicators of weathering conditions on Earth and Mars. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 80(9), 771–780.Google Scholar

  • Wentworth, S.J., and Gooding, J.L. (1994) Carbonates and sulfates in the Chassigny meteorite: Further evidence for aqueous chemistry on the SNC parent planet. Meteoritics, 29(6), 860–863.Google Scholar

  • Werner, A.J., Hochella, M.F., Guthrie, G.D., Hardy, J.A., and Aust, A.E. (1995) Asbestiform riebeckite (crocidolite) dissolution in the presence of Fe chelators: implications for mineral-induced disease. American Mineralogist, 80(11-12), 1093–1103.Google Scholar

  • White, A.F., and Brantley, S.L. (2003) The effect of time on the weathering of silicate minerals: why do weathering rates differ in the laboratory and field? Chemical Geology, 202(3), 479–506.Google Scholar

  • White, A., Yee, A., and Flexser, S. (1985) Surface oxidation-reduction kinetics associated with experimental basalt-water reaction at 25°C. Chemical Geology, 49, 73–86.Google Scholar

About the article

Received: 2017-03-28

Accepted: 2017-05-23

Published Online: 2017-09-05

Published in Print: 2017-09-26


Citation Information: American Mineralogist, Volume 102, Issue 9, Pages 1915–1921, ISSN (Online) 1945-3027, ISSN (Print) 0003-004X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2138/am-2017-6155.

Export Citation

© 2017 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston.

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in