Critically testing olivine-hosted putative martian biosignatures in the Yamato 000593 meteorite-Geobiological implications

Nicola McLoughlin, Eugene G. Grosch, Per Erik Vullum, Paul Guagliardo, Martin Saunders, David Wacey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

On rocky planets such as Earth and Mars the serpentinization of olivine in ultramafic crust produces hydrogen that can act as a potential energy source for life. Direct evidence of fluid-rock interaction on Mars comes from iddingsite alteration veins found in martian meteorites. In the Yamato 000593 meteorite, putative biosignatures have been reported from altered olivines in the form of microtextures and associated organic material that have been compared to tubular bioalteration textures found in terrestrial sub-seafloor volcanic rocks. Here, we use a suite of correlative, high-sensitivity, in situ chemical, and morphological analyses to characterize and re-evaluate these microalteration textures in Yamato 000593, a clinopyroxenite from the shallow subsurface of Mars. We show that the altered olivine crystals have angular and micro-brecciated margins and are also highly strained due to impact-induced fracturing. The shape of the olivine microalteration textures is in no way comparable to microtunnels of inferred biological origin found in terrestrial volcanic glasses and dunites, and rather we argue that the Yamato 000593 microtextures are abiotic in origin. Vein filling iddingsite extends into the olivine microalteration textures and contains amorphous organic carbon occurring as bands and sub-spherical concentrations

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalGeobiology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Sep 2019

Cite this

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title = "Critically testing olivine-hosted putative martian biosignatures in the Yamato 000593 meteorite-Geobiological implications",
abstract = "On rocky planets such as Earth and Mars the serpentinization of olivine in ultramafic crust produces hydrogen that can act as a potential energy source for life. Direct evidence of fluid-rock interaction on Mars comes from iddingsite alteration veins found in martian meteorites. In the Yamato 000593 meteorite, putative biosignatures have been reported from altered olivines in the form of microtextures and associated organic material that have been compared to tubular bioalteration textures found in terrestrial sub-seafloor volcanic rocks. Here, we use a suite of correlative, high-sensitivity, in situ chemical, and morphological analyses to characterize and re-evaluate these microalteration textures in Yamato 000593, a clinopyroxenite from the shallow subsurface of Mars. We show that the altered olivine crystals have angular and micro-brecciated margins and are also highly strained due to impact-induced fracturing. The shape of the olivine microalteration textures is in no way comparable to microtunnels of inferred biological origin found in terrestrial volcanic glasses and dunites, and rather we argue that the Yamato 000593 microtextures are abiotic in origin. Vein filling iddingsite extends into the olivine microalteration textures and contains amorphous organic carbon occurring as bands and sub-spherical concentrations",
keywords = "biosignatures, hydrothermal-synthesis, impact events, organic carbon, serpentinization, ORGANIC-COMPOUNDS, POTENTIAL BIOSIGNATURES, ABIOTIC FORMATION, VOLCANIC GLASS, BASALTIC GLASS, LIFE, HYDROCARBONS, IMPACT, MARS, SERPENTINIZATION",
author = "Nicola McLoughlin and Grosch, {Eugene G.} and Vullum, {Per Erik} and Paul Guagliardo and Martin Saunders and David Wacey",
year = "2019",
month = "9",
day = "3",
doi = "10.1111/gbi.12361",
language = "English",
journal = "Geobiology",
issn = "1472-4669",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",

}

Critically testing olivine-hosted putative martian biosignatures in the Yamato 000593 meteorite-Geobiological implications. / McLoughlin, Nicola; Grosch, Eugene G.; Vullum, Per Erik; Guagliardo, Paul; Saunders, Martin; Wacey, David.

In: Geobiology, 03.09.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Critically testing olivine-hosted putative martian biosignatures in the Yamato 000593 meteorite-Geobiological implications

AU - McLoughlin, Nicola

AU - Grosch, Eugene G.

AU - Vullum, Per Erik

AU - Guagliardo, Paul

AU - Saunders, Martin

AU - Wacey, David

PY - 2019/9/3

Y1 - 2019/9/3

N2 - On rocky planets such as Earth and Mars the serpentinization of olivine in ultramafic crust produces hydrogen that can act as a potential energy source for life. Direct evidence of fluid-rock interaction on Mars comes from iddingsite alteration veins found in martian meteorites. In the Yamato 000593 meteorite, putative biosignatures have been reported from altered olivines in the form of microtextures and associated organic material that have been compared to tubular bioalteration textures found in terrestrial sub-seafloor volcanic rocks. Here, we use a suite of correlative, high-sensitivity, in situ chemical, and morphological analyses to characterize and re-evaluate these microalteration textures in Yamato 000593, a clinopyroxenite from the shallow subsurface of Mars. We show that the altered olivine crystals have angular and micro-brecciated margins and are also highly strained due to impact-induced fracturing. The shape of the olivine microalteration textures is in no way comparable to microtunnels of inferred biological origin found in terrestrial volcanic glasses and dunites, and rather we argue that the Yamato 000593 microtextures are abiotic in origin. Vein filling iddingsite extends into the olivine microalteration textures and contains amorphous organic carbon occurring as bands and sub-spherical concentrations

AB - On rocky planets such as Earth and Mars the serpentinization of olivine in ultramafic crust produces hydrogen that can act as a potential energy source for life. Direct evidence of fluid-rock interaction on Mars comes from iddingsite alteration veins found in martian meteorites. In the Yamato 000593 meteorite, putative biosignatures have been reported from altered olivines in the form of microtextures and associated organic material that have been compared to tubular bioalteration textures found in terrestrial sub-seafloor volcanic rocks. Here, we use a suite of correlative, high-sensitivity, in situ chemical, and morphological analyses to characterize and re-evaluate these microalteration textures in Yamato 000593, a clinopyroxenite from the shallow subsurface of Mars. We show that the altered olivine crystals have angular and micro-brecciated margins and are also highly strained due to impact-induced fracturing. The shape of the olivine microalteration textures is in no way comparable to microtunnels of inferred biological origin found in terrestrial volcanic glasses and dunites, and rather we argue that the Yamato 000593 microtextures are abiotic in origin. Vein filling iddingsite extends into the olivine microalteration textures and contains amorphous organic carbon occurring as bands and sub-spherical concentrations

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KW - impact events

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KW - serpentinization

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KW - POTENTIAL BIOSIGNATURES

KW - ABIOTIC FORMATION

KW - VOLCANIC GLASS

KW - BASALTIC GLASS

KW - LIFE

KW - HYDROCARBONS

KW - IMPACT

KW - MARS

KW - SERPENTINIZATION

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SN - 1472-4669

ER -