Jupiter's Influence on the Building Blocks of Mars and Earth

R. Brasser, N. Dauphas, S. Mojzsis

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

7 Citations (Scopus)


Radiometric dating indicates that Mars accreted in the first ~4 Myr of the solar system, coinciding with the formation and possible migration of Jupiter. While nebular gas from the protoplanetary disk was still present, Jupiter may have migrated inward and tacked at 1.5 AU in a 3:2 resonance with Saturn. This migration excited planetary building blocks in the inner solar system, resulting in extensive mixing and planetesimal removal. Here we evaluate the plausible nature of Mars's building blocks, focusing in particular on how its growth was influenced by Jupiter. We use dynamical simulations and an isotopic mixing model that traces the accretion. Dynamical simulations show that Jupiter's migration causes the late stages of Earth's and Mars's accretion to be dominated by EC (enstatite chondrite)-type material due to the loss of ordinary chondrite planetesimals. Our analysis of available isotopic data for Mars shows that it consists of approximately (Formula presented.) ordinary chondrite by mass (2σ). The large uncertainties indicate that isotopic analyses of Martian samples are generally too imprecise to definitely test model predictions; in particular, it remains uncertain whether or not Mars accreted predominantly EC material in the latter stages of its formation history. Dynamical simulations also provide no definitive constraint on Mars's accretion history due to the great variety of dynamical pathways that the Martian embryo exhibits. The present work calls for new measurements of isotopic anomalies in Martian meteorites targeting siderophile elements (most notably Ni, Mo, and Ru) to constrain Mars's accretion history and its formation location.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5908-5917
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 28 2018



  • accretion
  • enstatite chondrite
  • formation
  • Jupiter
  • Mars
  • ordinary chondrite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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