publication . Article . 2008

Xenological constraints on the impact erosion of the early Martian atmosphere

Kevin Zahnle;
Open Access
  • Published: 06 Feb 2008 Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research, volume 98, page 10,899 (issn: 0148-0227, Copyright policy)
  • Publisher: American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Abstract
The roughly uniform hundredfold depletion of observable Martian atmophiles (nonradiogenic noble gases and reconstituted nitrogen) with respect to Earth implies that Mars lost its atmosphere by a relatively efficient, nonfractionating process. Impact erosion (expulsion of atmosphere by impacts) is an appealing candidate. Noble gases can be used to test this hypothesis. Xenon in particular can be used to impose three constraints on how Mars lost its atmosphere: its very low abundance compared to Earth, Venus, and likely meteoritic sources; its distinctive isotopic composition compared to likely meteoritic sources; and the relatively high absolute abundance of radi...
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free text keywords: Earth-Surface Processes, Ecology, Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous), Space and Planetary Science, Palaeontology, Forestry, Aquatic Science, Atmospheric Science, Soil Science, Geochemistry and Petrology, Geophysics, Oceanography, Water Science and Technology, Astrobiology, Earth science, Impact crater, Radiogenic nuclide, Martian, Regolith, Geology, Extinct radionuclide, Mars Exploration Program, Atmosphere, Atmosphere of Mars
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