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Mineralogy at Meridiani Planum from the Mini-TES experiment on the opportunity rover

Science

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DOI: 10.1126/science.1104909

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Abstract

The Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) on Opportunity investigated the mineral abundances and compositions of outcrops, rocks, and soils at Meridiani Planum. Coarse crystalline hematite and olivine-rich basaltic sands were observed as predicted from orbital TES spectroscopy. Outcrops of aqueous origin are composed of 15 to 35% by volume magnesium and calcium sulfates [a high-silica component modeled as a combination of glass, feldspar, and sheet silicates (???20 to 30%)], and hematite; only minor jarosite is identified in Mini-TES spectra. Mini-TES spectra show only a hematite signature in the millimeter-sized spherules. Basaltic materials have more plagioclase than pyroxene, contain olivine, and are similar in inferred mineral composition to basalt mapped from orbit. Bounce rock is dominated by clinopyroxene and is close in inferred mineral composition to the basaltic martian meteorites. Bright wind streak material matches global dust. Waterlain rocks covered by unaltered basaltic sands suggest a change from an aqueous environment to one dominated by physical weathering.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Mineralogy at Meridiani Planum from the Mini-TES experiment on the opportunity rover
Series title:
Science
DOI:
10.1126/science.1104909
Volume
306
Issue:
5702
Year Published:
2004
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Science
First page:
1733
Last page:
1739