Cooling history and emplacement of a pyroxenitic lava as proxy for understanding Martian lava flows

Our PhD student Mara Murri at her second Scientific Reports paper for this year! Congratulations!! She has now concluded her studies on the commonly used terrestrial analogue for Martian lava flows that are typically used to get insights into the geological processes occurring on other planetary bodies.

Her results shows that we can investigate also terrestrial magmatic events (e.g. eruptions and lava flows) extracting atomic scale crystallographic information from crystallized magma as she did using pyroxenes from a 120m thick lava flow in Ontario, Canada. Her discovery supports the idea that the enormous lava flows with similar compositions observed on Mars could be the result of a process where low viscosity lavas are emplaced during multiple eruptions. This has profound implications for understanding the multiscale mechanisms of lava flow emplacement on Earth and other planetary bodies.