thumbnail

The opportunity Rover's athena science investigation at Meridiani Planum, Mars

Science

By:
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and
DOI: 10.1126/science.1106171

Links

Abstract

The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has investigated the landing site in Eagle crater and the nearby plains within Meridiani Planum. The soils consist of fine-grained basaltic sand and a surface lag of hematite-rich spherules, spherule fragments, and other granules. Wind ripples are common. Underlying the thin soil layer, and exposed within small impact craters and troughs, are flat-lying sedimentary rocks. These rocks are finely laminated, are rich in sulfur, and contain abundant sulfate salts. Small-scale cross-lamination in some locations provides evidence for deposition in flowing liquid water. We interpret the rocks to be a mixture of chemical and siliciclastic sediments formed by episodic inundation by shallow surface water, followed by evaporation, exposure, and desiccation. Hematite-rich spherules are embedded in the rock and eroding from them. We interpret these spherules to be concretions formed by postdepositional diagenesis, again involving liquid water.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
The opportunity Rover's athena science investigation at Meridiani Planum, Mars
Series title:
Science
DOI:
10.1126/science.1106171
Volume
306
Issue:
5702
Year Published:
2004
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Science
First page:
1698
Last page:
1703
Number of Pages:
6