Siderophile elements in Martian meteorites and implications for core formation in Mars

P. Kong*, M. Ebihara, H. Palme

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Noble metals, Mo, W, and 24 other elements were determined in six SNC meteorites of presumably Martian origin. Based on element correlations, representative siderophile element concentrations for the silicate mantle of Mars were inferred. From a comparison with experimentally determined metal/silicate partition coefficients of the moderately siderophile elements: Fe, Ni, Co, W, Mo, and Ga, it is concluded that equilibrium between core forming metal and silicates in Mars has occurred at high temperatures (around 2200°C) and low pressures (<1 GPa). This suggests that metal segregation occurred concurrently with rapid accretion of Mars, which is consistent with the inference from excess 182W in Martian meteorites (Lee and Halliday, 1997). Concentrations of Ir, Os, Ru, Pt, and Au in the analyzed Martian meteorites, except ALH84001, are at a level of approximately 10-2-10-3 X CI. The comparatively high abundances of noble metals in Martian meteorites require the addition of chondritic material after core formation. The similarity in Au/La and Pt/Ca ratios between ALH84001 and the other Martian meteorites suggests crystallization of ALH84001 after complete accretion of Mars.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1865-1875
Number of pages11
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Jun 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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