Water in SNC meteorites: Evidence for a martian hydrosphere

Haraldur R. Karlsson, Robert N. Clayton, Everett K. Gibson, Toshiko K. Mayeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


The Shergotty-Nakhla-Chassigny (SNC) meteorites, purportedly of martian origin, contain 0.04 to 0.4 percent water by weight. Oxygen isotopic analysis can be used to determine whether this water is extraterrestrial or terrestrial. Such analysis reveals that a portion of the water is extraterrestrial and furthermore was not in oxygen isotopic equilibrium with the host rock. Lack of equilibrium between water and host rock implies that the lithosphere and hydrosphere of the SNC parent body formed two distinct oxygen isotopic reservoirs. If Mars was the parent body, the maintenance of two distinct reservoirs may result from the absence of plate tectonics on the planet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1409-1411
Number of pages3
Issue number5050
StatePublished - 1992


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