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Published September 27, 2013 | Accepted Version + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

The Petrochemistry of Jake_M: A Martian Mugearite


"Jake_M," the first rock analyzed by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer instrument on the Curiosity rover, differs substantially in chemical composition from other known martian igneous rocks: It is alkaline (>15% normative nepheline) and relatively fractionated. Jake_M is compositionally similar to terrestrial mugearites, a rock type typically found at ocean islands and continental rifts. By analogy with these comparable terrestrial rocks, Jake_M could have been produced by extensive fractional crystallization of a primary alkaline or transitional magma at elevated pressure, with or without elevated water contents. The discovery of Jake_M suggests that alkaline magmas may be more abundant on Mars than on Earth and that Curiosity could encounter even more fractionated alkaline rocks (for example, phonolites and trachytes).

Additional Information

¬© 2013 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 22 April 2013; accepted 8 August 2013. P. Antoshechkin provided insight concerning several aspects of MELTS and S. Lambart ran early MELTS calculations and provided initial compilations of terrestrial alkaline lavas. We would also like to thank two anonymous referees for constructive reviews of the manuscript and the MSL Project engineering and management teams for their efforts in making the mission such a success. This work was supported by grants from the NSF, NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, and the Centre National d'√Čtudes Spatiales. Compositional data for Jake_M are reported in Table 1.


In Table 1, the value reported for Na2O in JM2n was incorrect. The correct value is 6.59(14). Additionally, the Table 1 legend should have indicated that for Cr2O3, only the two long-duration analyses, JM1 and JM2n, were averaged. The HTML and PDF versions online have been corrected.

Attached Files

Accepted Version - Jake_M_Stolper_et_al.__2013__Science.pdf

Supplemental Material - Stolper.SM.pdf


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