Geochemical modeling using the basalt composition analyzed at the Vega 2 landing site indicates that intermediate to silicic liquids can be generated by fractional crystallization and equilibrium partial melting. Fractional crystallization modeling using variable pressures (0.01 GPa to 0.5 GPa) and relative oxidation states (FMQ 0 and FMQ -1) of either a wet (H2O = 0.5 wt%) or dry (H2O = 0 wt%) parental magma can yield silicic (SiO2 > 60 wt%) compositions that are similar to terrestrial ferroan rhyolite. Hydrous (H2O = 0.5 wt%) partial melting can yield intermediate (trachyandesite to andesite) to silicic (trachydacite) compositions at all pressures but requires relatively high temperatures (≥ 950°C) to generate the initial melt at intermediate to low pressure whereas at high pressure (0.5 GPa) the first melts will be generated at much lower temperatures (< 800°C). Anhydrous partial melt modeling yielded mafic (basaltic andesite) and alkaline compositions (trachybasalt) but the temperature required to produce the first liquid is very high (≥ 1130°C). Consequently, anhydrous partial melting is an unlikely process to generate derivative liquids. The modeling results indicate that, under certain conditions, the Vega 2 composition can generate silicic liquids that produce granitic and rhyolitic rocks. The implication is that silicic igneous rocks may form a small but important component of the northeast Aphrodite Terra.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)