Clay mineral diversity and abundance in sedimentary rocks of Gale crater, Mars
AuthorBristow, Thomas F.
Rampe, Elizabeth B.
Achilles, Cherie N.
Blake, David F.
Chipera, Steve J.
Crisp, Joy A.
Des Marais, David J.
Downs, Robert T.
Grotzinger, John P.
Hazen, Robert M.
Hogancamp, Joanna V.
Mahaffy, Paul R.
McAdam, Amy C.
Ming, Doug W.
Morookian, John Michael
Morris, Richard V.
Morrison, Shaunna M.
Treiman, Allan H.
Vaniman, David T.
Vasavada, Ashwin R.
Yen, Albert S.
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Geosci
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherAMER ASSOC ADVANCEMENT SCIENCE
CitationF. Bristow, Thomas & Rampe, Elizabeth & N. Achilles, Cherie & F. Blake, David & Chipera, Steve & Craig, Patricia & A. Crisp, Joy & Desmarais, David & T. Downs, Robert & Gellert, Ralf & P. Grotzinger, John & Gupta, Sanjeev & Hazen, Robert & Horgan, Briony & V. Hogancamp, Joanna & Mangold, Nicolas & Mahaffy, P & Mcadam, Amy & W. Ming, Doug & S. Yen, Albert. (2018). Clay mineral diversity and abundance in sedimentary rocks of Gale crater, Mars. Science Advances. 4. eaar3330. 10.1126/sciadv.aar3330.
RightsCopyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC).
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AbstractClay minerals provide indicators of the evolution of aqueous conditions and possible habitats for life on ancient Mars. Analyses by the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity show that similar to 3.5-billion year (Ga) fluvio-lacustrine mudstones in Gale crater contain up to similar to 28 weight % (wt %) clay minerals. We demonstrate that the species of clay minerals deduced from x-ray diffraction and evolved gas analysis show a strong paleoenvironmental dependency. While perennial lake mudstones are characterized by Fe-saponite, we find that stratigraphic intervals associated with episodic lake drying contain Al-rich, Fe3+-bearing dioctahedral smectite, with minor (3 wt %) quantities of ferripyrophyllite, interpreted as wind-blown detritus, found in candidate aeolian deposits. Our results suggest that dioctahedral smectite formed via near-surface chemical weathering driven by fluctuations in lake level and atmospheric infiltration, a process leading to the redistribution of nutrients and potentially influencing the cycling of gases that help regulate climate.
NoteOpen access journal.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsUK Space Agency (UKSA) [ST/J005169/1, ST/N000579/1]; Centre National d'Etudes Spatial (CNES); NASA's MSL Participating Scientist program
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