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Science. 1999 Oct 1;286(5437):90-4.

The age of the carbonates in martian meteorite ALH84001.

Author information

1
SN2/NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX 77058, USA. lborg@unm.edu

Abstract

The age of secondary carbonate mineralization in the martian meteorite ALH84001 was determined to be 3.90 +/- 0.04 billion years by rubidium-strontium (Rb-Sr) dating and 4.04 +/- 0.10 billion years by lead-lead (Pb-Pb) dating. The Rb-Sr and Pb-Pb isochrons are defined by leachates of a mixture of high-graded carbonate (visually estimated as approximately 5 percent), whitlockite (trace), and orthopyroxene (approximately 95 percent). The carbonate formation age is contemporaneous with a period in martian history when the surface is thought to have had flowing water, but also was undergoing heavy bombardment by meteorites. Therefore, this age does not distinguish between aqueous and impact origins for the carbonates.

PMID:
10506566
DOI:
10.1126/science.286.5437.90
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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