Water on Mars: Insights from apatite in regolith breccia Northwest Africa 7034

Jemma Davidson, Meenakshi Wadhwa, Richard L. Hervig, Alice Stephant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Determining the source of planetary water from the hydrogen isotope compositions of crustal samples is complicated by the overprinting of isotopically diverse source material by geologic and atmospheric processes. As Mars has no plate tectonics, crustal material, which may have isotopically exchanged with the martian atmosphere, is not recycled into the mantle keeping the water reservoirs in the mantle and atmosphere mostly isolated, buffered by the crust. As the only known martian samples that are regolith breccias with a composition representative of the average crust of Mars, Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034 and its paired stones provide an important opportunity to investigate the water content and hydrogen isotope composition of the martian crust. In particular, apatites in distinct clasts as well as the brecciated matrix of NWA 7034 record a complex history including magmatic and impact processes, and exchange with crustal fluids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116597
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
StatePublished - Dec 15 2020


  • H-isotopes
  • NWA 7034
  • apatite
  • crustal fluid exchange
  • martian crust
  • regolith breccia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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