Earth and Planetary Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 12-14-2016


Petrologic studies of two new, unique meteorites were conducted in order to characterize the samples and provide insights into their parent bodies. The first sample, Northwest Africa 7034, is the first martian meteorite breccia to be discovered. In an effort to understand the martian crustal materials sampled by the breccia, we developed a classification scheme for the breccia clasts based on their texture, mineralogy, and chemistry. We then further investigated two clast groups which contained trends in mineralogy and chemistry that suggested a possible genetic relationship between the two. Our findings suggest they are not related by a simple igneous process, however most of the types of clasts present within NWA 7034 have a similar trace element signature, indicating the clasts acquired their trace element signature from the same source. The second sample examined for this work is Northwest Africa 8535, the first dunite from the angrite parent body. As such, NWA 8535 likely samples an igneous process on the angrite parent body that is different from that sampled by all other angrites. Details of the petrology of this sample have provided insight into its formation. Importantly, NWA 8535 also contains several features similar to those found in other angrites, such as fluid produced features like inclusions and symplectites, and olivine similar in composition to xenocrystic olivine found in volcanic angrites. The work presented here illustrates the importance of new meteorite samples to increasing our understanding of the Solar System.

Degree Name

Earth and Planetary Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Carl B. Agee

Second Committee Member

Francis M. McCubbin

Third Committee Member

Charles K. Shearer

Fourth Committee Member

Jin Zhang

Fifth Committee Member

Lars E. Borg




Mars, angrite, meteorite, petrology

Document Type