Abstract

The redox states of volcanic and impact melts from the Earth, Moon, and Mars have been estimated from the valence state of V in basaltic glasses (Sutton et al. 2005). The V valence has been determined using synchrotron micro X-ray absorption near-edge structure spectroscopy (XANES) (Sutton et al. 2005), which allows for in situ measurements on samples with a micrometer spatial resolution and ~100 ppm elemental sensitivity. Here, we interpret those results for the natural samples and compare them to the literature. The results show that terrestrial melts are dominated by V4+, lunar samples by V3+, with Martian melts a mixture of both V3+ and V4+. The fO2 estimates derived from the V valence are consistent with those determined by other proven methods, whereby terrestrial basalts experience fO2 conditions within 1 or 2 log units of the QFM buffer, lunar basalts equilibrate at 1 to 2 log units below the IW buffer, and Martian basalts fall somewhere between the QFM and IW buffer. The results illustrate the usefulness of this technique; i.e., a robust oxybarometer covering over six orders of magnitude, applicable to samples that record fO2 conditions from reduced extraterrestrial bodies to the oxidized Earth.

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