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Elephant Moraine A79001 Martian meteorite (EETA79001), Elephant Moraine, Victoria Land, Eastern Antarctica, Antarcticai
Regional Level Types
Elephant Moraine A79001 Martian meteorite (EETA79001)Meteorite Fall Location
Elephant Moraine- not defined -
Victoria LandRegion
Eastern AntarcticaRegion
AntarcticaContinent

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Key
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):
76° 17' 26'' South , 157° 16' 0'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal):
Meteorite Class:
Meteoritical Society Class:
Origin locality:
Köppen climate type:


Martian basalt: Shergottite, Olivine-phyric
Found, 1979; 7.942 kg

Found on the Elephant Moraine icefield of Antarctica, the moderately large Elephant Moraine A790001 stone (usually, 'EETA79001') soon became a highly studied meteorite. With its interior largely protected by a largely intact fusion crust, its similarities to the very unusual and highly shocked Shergotty fall of 1865 drew immediate attention. Closer attention revealed a further and intriguing complexity — EETA79001 is a rare example of a meteorite co-dominated by two distinct silicate lithologies in contact with each other. The somewhat subordinate 'lithology B' is marked by the clinopyroxene-maskelynite intergrowth (~70 & 15-20 vol%, resp.) which characterizes Shergotty and other basaltic shergottites. The slightly predominant 'lithology A' contains these phases in somewhat different proportions — but it also contains an admixture of conspicuous olivine, orthopyroxene, and chromite crystals. These 'megacrysts' appear to represent earlier stages in the melts which have produced the 100+ Martian shergottites now known. We document some of the mineralogical findings below. However, the most dramatic finding was the identification of gases within some small dark glassy clasts (aka, 'Lithology C'). In 1984 Becker & Pepin discovered that these EETA79001 gases were virtually identical to those found in the Martian atmosphere by the Viking Lander. EETA79001 was demonstrably a rock from Mars! Similar findings were subsequently established for additional shergottites and other members of the SNC clan.

A number of studies EETA79001 studies have focused on unraveling the igneous processes and shock events which have helped to shaped the minerals and phases of Elephant Moraine A79001 on the planet Mars and, perhaps, during additional collisions during their journeys to Earth. There is, however, another related mineralogical story of great interest. Carbonates and sulfates have been found within the meteorite. Some of these phases have been produced by terrestrial weathering. However, there is also direct isotopic evidence that these phases were produced by aqueous alterations occurring on Mars as well as on earth. The more, there is an evidence showing that this meteorite also contains perchlorate, chlorate, and nitrate anions in its bulk composition.


Isotopic 'ages' for EETA79001 have been somewhat difficult to interpret, but the basic mineral components appear to have been produced by Martian lava less than 200 million years ago. EETA79001 has an unusually young cosmic ray exposure age of less than a million years. EETA79001 is the 6th most massive of 151 Martian meteorites listed at the Meteoritical Bulletin Database (as of early June 2015). Sixteen of these meteorites have been further sub-classified as 'Olivine-phyric Shergottites' at the Martian Meteorite Compendium sponsored by the Johnson Space Center.

Regions containing this locality

Antarctic PlateTectonic Plate
Antarctic MeteoritesGroup of Meteorite Fall Locations

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Mineral List


16 valid minerals.

Meteorite/Rock Types Recorded

Note: this is a very new system on mindat.org and data is currently VERY limited. Please bear with us while we work towards adding this information!

Select Rock List Type

Alphabetical List Tree Diagram

Detailed Mineral List:

'Albite-Anorthite Series'
Reference: http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/antmet/mmc/EETA79001.pdf
Augite
Formula: (CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
Description: More abundant in lithology B [~20 vol%] than lithology A [< 10 vol%].
Reference: McSween Jr., HY & Treiman, AH (1998) Martian Meteorites. In: Planetary Materials (Papike, JJ - Ed.), Chapter 6: 1-53: Mineralogical Society of America, Washington, DC, USA. ; http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/antmet/mmc/EETA79001.pdf
Calcite
Formula: CaCO3
Description: Non-terrestrial O-isotopes are present.
Reference: Gooding, J. L., Wentworth, S. J. & Zolensky, M. E. (1988) Calcium carbonate and sulfate of possible extraterrestrial origin in the EETA 79001 meteorite: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 52 (4): 909-915. (April 1988).; McSween Jr., HY & Treiman, AH (1998) Martian Meteorites. In: Planetary Materials (Papike, JJ - Ed.), Chapter 6: 1-53: Mineralogical Society of America, Washington, DC, USA. ; http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/antmet/mmc/EETA79001.pdf
Chlorapatite
Formula: Ca5(PO4)3Cl
Reference: http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/antmet/mmc/EETA79001.pdf
Chromite
Formula: Fe2+Cr3+2O4
Reference: Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter 3(3) (1980), Johnson Space Center, Houston.; McSween Jr., HY & Treiman, AH (1998) Martian Meteorites. In: Planetary Materials (Papike, JJ - Ed.), Chapter 6: 1-53: Mineralogical Society of America, Washington, DC, USA. ; http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/antmet/mmc/EETA79001.pdf
'Clinopyroxene Subgroup'
Reference: Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter 3(3) (1980), Johnson Space Center, Houston.
'Fayalite-Forsterite Series'
Description: Large (≤2.5 mm) Olivine, Fo73-79, xenocrysts are characteristics of lithology A
Reference: Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter 3(3) (1980), Johnson Space Center, Houston.; McSween Jr., HY & Treiman, AH (1998) Martian Meteorites. In: Planetary Materials (Papike, JJ - Ed.), Chapter 6: 1-53: Mineralogical Society of America, Washington, DC, USA. ; http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/antmet/mmc/EETA79001.pdf
'Glass'
Description: Both black glass & clear glass, longest dark vein is 14 cm long.
Reference: http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/antmet/mmc/EETA79001.pdf
Gypsum
Formula: CaSO4 · 2H2O
Reference: McSween Jr., HY & Treiman, AH (1998) Martian Meteorites. In: Planetary Materials (Papike, JJ - Ed.), Chapter 6: 1-53: Mineralogical Society of America, Washington, DC, USA.
Ilmenite
Formula: Fe2+TiO3
Reference: McSween Jr., HY & Treiman, AH (1998) Martian Meteorites. In: Planetary Materials (Papike, JJ - Ed.), Chapter 6: 1-53: Mineralogical Society of America, Washington, DC, USA. ; http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/antmet/mmc/EETA79001.pdf
Kaersutite
Formula: {Na}{Ca2}{Mg3AlTi}(Al2Si6O22)O2
Reference: http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/antmet/mmc/EETA79001.pdf
Magnetite
Formula: Fe2+Fe3+2O4
Description: Magnetite is often Ti-rich.
Reference: http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/antmet/mmc/EETA79001.pdf
'Maskelynite'
Reference: Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter 3(3) (1980), Johnson Space Center, Houston.; McSween Jr., HY & Treiman, AH (1998) Martian Meteorites. In: Planetary Materials (Papike, JJ - Ed.), Chapter 6: 1-53: Mineralogical Society of America, Washington, DC, USA. ; http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/antmet/mmc/EETA79001.pdf
Merrillite
Formula: Ca9NaMg(PO4)7
Reference: http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/antmet/mmc/EETA79001.pdf
'Orthopyroxene Subgroup'
Description: Orthopyroxene, Olivine, and Chromite xenocrysts are characteristic of lithology A.
Reference: Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter 3(3) (1980), Johnson Space Center, Houston.; McSween Jr., HY & Treiman, AH (1998) Martian Meteorites. In: Planetary Materials (Papike, JJ - Ed.), Chapter 6: 1-53: Mineralogical Society of America, Washington, DC, USA. ; http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/antmet/mmc/EETA79001.pdf
Pentlandite
Formula: (FexNiy)Σ9S8
Reference: McSween Jr., HY & Treiman, AH (1998) Martian Meteorites. In: Planetary Materials (Papike, JJ - Ed.), Chapter 6: 1-53: Mineralogical Society of America, Washington, DC, USA. ; http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/antmet/mmc/EETA79001.pdf
Pigeonite
Formula: (CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
Description: The major pyroxene is polysynthetically twinned pigeonite, roughly ~55 vol% of the entire meteorite; 60 vol% in Lithology A, but less abundant in Lithology B.
Reference: Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter 3(3) (1980), Johnson Space Center, Houston.; McSween Jr., HY & Treiman, AH (1998) Martian Meteorites. In: Planetary Materials (Papike, JJ - Ed.), Chapter 6: 1-53: Mineralogical Society of America, Washington, DC, USA. ; http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/antmet/mmc/EETA79001.pdf
'Pyroxene Group'
Reference: Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter 3(3) (1980), Johnson Space Center, Houston.
Pyroxferroite
Formula: (Fe,Mn,Ca)SiO3
Description: Pyroxferroite is apparently restricted to lithology B
Reference: McSween Jr., HY & Treiman, AH (1998) Martian Meteorites. In: Planetary Materials (Papike, JJ - Ed.), Chapter 6: 1-53: Mineralogical Society of America, Washington, DC, USA.
Pyrrhotite
Formula: Fe7S8
Reference: http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/antmet/mmc/EETA79001.pdf
Ringwoodite
Formula: (Mg,Fe2+)2SiO4
Reference: Walton, E. L. (2013) Shock metamorphism of Elephant Moraine A79001: Implications for olivine-ringwoodite transformation and the complex thermal history of heavily shocked Martian meteorites. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 107:299-315. (Apr 2013).
'Silica'
Reference: Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter 3(3) (1980), Johnson Space Center, Houston.
Spinel
Formula: MgAl2O4
Reference: http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/antmet/mmc/EETA79001.pdf
Ulvöspinel
Formula: TiFe2O4
Reference: McSween Jr., HY & Treiman, AH (1998) Martian Meteorites. In: Planetary Materials (Papike, JJ - Ed.), Chapter 6: 1-53: Mineralogical Society of America, Washington, DC, USA. ; http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/antmet/mmc/EETA79001.pdf

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 2 - Sulphides and Sulfosalts
Pentlandite2.BB.15(FexNiy)Σ9S8
Pyrrhotite2.CC.10Fe7S8
Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
Chromite4.BB.05Fe2+Cr3+2O4
Ilmenite4.CB.05Fe2+TiO3
Magnetite4.BB.05Fe2+Fe3+2O4
Spinel4.BB.05MgAl2O4
Ulvöspinel4.BB.05TiFe2O4
Group 5 - Nitrates and Carbonates
Calcite5.AB.05CaCO3
Group 7 - Sulphates, Chromates, Molybdates and Tungstates
Gypsum7.CD.40CaSO4 · 2H2O
Group 8 - Phosphates, Arsenates and Vanadates
Chlorapatite8.BN.05Ca5(PO4)3Cl
Merrillite8.AC.45Ca9NaMg(PO4)7
Group 9 - Silicates
Augite9.DA.15(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
Kaersutite9.DE.15{Na}{Ca2}{Mg3AlTi}(Al2Si6O22)O2
Pigeonite9.DA.10(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
Pyroxferroite9.DO.05(Fe,Mn,Ca)SiO3
Ringwoodite9.AC.15(Mg,Fe2+)2SiO4
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'Albite-Anorthite Series'-
'Clinopyroxene Subgroup'-
'Fayalite-Forsterite Series'-
'Glass'-
'Maskelynite'-
'Orthopyroxene Subgroup'-
'Pyroxene Group'-
'Silica'-

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Group 2 - SULFIDES
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 9:8
Pentlandite2.7.1.1(FexNiy)Σ9S8
AmXp, with m:p = 1:1
Pyrrhotite2.8.10.1Fe7S8
Group 4 - SIMPLE OXIDES
A2X3
Ilmenite4.3.5.1Fe2+TiO3
Group 7 - MULTIPLE OXIDES
AB2X4
Chromite7.2.3.3Fe2+Cr3+2O4
Magnetite7.2.2.3Fe2+Fe3+2O4
Spinel7.2.1.1MgAl2O4
Ulvöspinel7.2.5.2TiFe2O4
Group 14 - ANHYDROUS NORMAL CARBONATES
A(XO3)
Calcite14.1.1.1CaCO3
Group 29 - HYDRATED ACID AND NORMAL SULFATES
AXO4·xH2O
Gypsum29.6.3.1CaSO4 · 2H2O
Group 38 - ANHYDROUS NORMAL PHOSPHATES, ARSENATES, AND VANADATES
(AB)3(XO4)2
Merrillite38.3.4.4Ca9NaMg(PO4)7
Group 41 - ANHYDROUS PHOSPHATES, ETC.CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
A5(XO4)3Zq
Chlorapatite41.8.1.2Ca5(PO4)3Cl
Group 51 - NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups Only
Insular SiO4 Groups Only with all cations in octahedral [6] coordination
Ringwoodite51.3.3.1(Mg,Fe2+)2SiO4
Group 65 - INOSILICATES Single-Width,Unbranched Chains,(W=1)
Single-Width Unbranched Chains, W=1 with chains P=2
Augite65.1.3a.3(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
Pigeonite65.1.1.4(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
Single-Width Unbranched Chains, W=1 with chains P=7
Pyroxferroite65.6.1.2(Fe,Mn,Ca)SiO3
Group 66 - INOSILICATES Double-Width,Unbranched Chains,(W=2)
Amphiboles - Mg-Fe-Mn-Li subgroup
Kaersutite66.1.3a.18{Na}{Ca2}{Mg3AlTi}(Al2Si6O22)O2
Unclassified Minerals, Mixtures, etc.
'Albite-Anorthite Series'-
'Clinopyroxene Subgroup'-
'Fayalite-Forsterite Series'-
'Glass'-
'Maskelynite'-
'Orthopyroxene Subgroup'-
'Pyroxene Group'-
'Silica'-

List of minerals for each chemical element

HHydrogen
H GypsumCaSO4 · 2H2O
CCarbon
C CalciteCaCO3
OOxygen
O ChromiteFe2+Cr23+O4
O Pigeonite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
O CalciteCaCO3
O Augite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
O GypsumCaSO4 · 2H2O
O IlmeniteFe2+TiO3
O Pyroxferroite(Fe,Mn,Ca)SiO3
O UlvöspinelTiFe2O4
O Ringwoodite(Mg,Fe2+)2SiO4
O ChlorapatiteCa5(PO4)3Cl
O Kaersutite{Na}{Ca2}{Mg3AlTi}(Al2Si6O22)O2
O MagnetiteFe2+Fe23+O4
O MerrilliteCa9NaMg(PO4)7
O SpinelMgAl2O4
NaSodium
Na Kaersutite{Na}{Ca2}{Mg3AlTi}(Al2Si6O22)O2
Na MerrilliteCa9NaMg(PO4)7
MgMagnesium
Mg Pigeonite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
Mg Augite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
Mg Ringwoodite(Mg,Fe2+)2SiO4
Mg Kaersutite{Na}{Ca2}{Mg3AlTi}(Al2Si6O22)O2
Mg MerrilliteCa9NaMg(PO4)7
Mg SpinelMgAl2O4
AlAluminium
Al Kaersutite{Na}{Ca2}{Mg3AlTi}(Al2Si6O22)O2
Al SpinelMgAl2O4
SiSilicon
Si Pigeonite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
Si Augite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
Si Pyroxferroite(Fe,Mn,Ca)SiO3
Si Ringwoodite(Mg,Fe2+)2SiO4
Si Kaersutite{Na}{Ca2}{Mg3AlTi}(Al2Si6O22)O2
PPhosphorus
P ChlorapatiteCa5(PO4)3Cl
P MerrilliteCa9NaMg(PO4)7
SSulfur
S GypsumCaSO4 · 2H2O
S Pentlandite(FexNiy)Σ9S8
S PyrrhotiteFe7S8
ClChlorine
Cl ChlorapatiteCa5(PO4)3Cl
CaCalcium
Ca Pigeonite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
Ca CalciteCaCO3
Ca Augite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
Ca GypsumCaSO4 · 2H2O
Ca Pyroxferroite(Fe,Mn,Ca)SiO3
Ca ChlorapatiteCa5(PO4)3Cl
Ca Kaersutite{Na}{Ca2}{Mg3AlTi}(Al2Si6O22)O2
Ca MerrilliteCa9NaMg(PO4)7
TiTitanium
Ti IlmeniteFe2+TiO3
Ti UlvöspinelTiFe2O4
Ti Kaersutite{Na}{Ca2}{Mg3AlTi}(Al2Si6O22)O2
CrChromium
Cr ChromiteFe2+Cr23+O4
MnManganese
Mn Pyroxferroite(Fe,Mn,Ca)SiO3
FeIron
Fe ChromiteFe2+Cr23+O4
Fe Pigeonite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
Fe Augite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
Fe IlmeniteFe2+TiO3
Fe Pentlandite(FexNiy)Σ9S8
Fe Pyroxferroite(Fe,Mn,Ca)SiO3
Fe UlvöspinelTiFe2O4
Fe Ringwoodite(Mg,Fe2+)2SiO4
Fe MagnetiteFe2+Fe23+O4
Fe PyrrhotiteFe7S8
NiNickel
Ni Pentlandite(FexNiy)Σ9S8

References

Sort by

Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A)
Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter 3(3) (1980), Johnson Space Center, Houston.
Becker, R. H. & Pepin, R. O. (1984) The case for a Martian origin of the shergottites - Nitrogen and noble gases in EETA 79001: Earth and Planetary Science Letters 69 (2): 225-242. (August 1984)
Gooding, J. L., Wentworth, S. J. & Zolensky, M. E. (1988) Calcium carbonate and sulfate of possible extraterrestrial origin in the EETA 79001 meteorite: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 52 (4): 909-915. (April 1988)
Grossman, J. N. [Ed.] (1994). The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 76. Meteoritics, 29 (1): 100-143. (Jan 1994) - 1st version of the Antarctic Catalogue.
McSween, H.Y., Jr (1994). What we have learned about Mars from the SNC Meteorites: Meteoritics 29(6): 757-779. (Nov 1994)
McSween Jr., HY & Treiman, AH (1998) Martian Meteorites. In: Planetary Materials (Papike, JJ - Ed.), Chapter 6: 1-53: Mineralogical Society of America, Washington, DC, USA.
Grady, M. M. (2000). Catalogue of Meteorites (5/e): Cambridge University Press: Cambridge; New York; Oakleigh; Madrid; Cape Town. 689 pages.
McSween, H. Y. Jr. (2002) The rocks of Mars, from far and near. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 37 (1): 7–25. (Jan 2002)
Kounaves S.P., Carrier B.L., O'Neil G.D., Stroble S.T., Clair M.W. (2014): Evidence of Martian Perchlorate, Chlorate, and Nitrate in Mars Meteorite EETA79001: Implications for Oxidants and Organics". Icarus: 229: 206–213
Grady, M. M., Pratesi, G. & Moggi-Cecchi, V. (2015): Atlas of Meteorites. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK. 373 pages.

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