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Two years at Meridiani Planum: Results from the opportunity rover

Science

By:
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and
DOI: 10.1126/science.1130890

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Abstract

The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has spent more than 2 years exploring Meridiani Planum, traveling ???8 kilometers and detecting features that reveal ancient environmental conditions. These include well-developed festoon (trough) cross-lamination formed in flowing liquid water, strata with smaller and more abundant hematite-rich concretions than those seen previously, possible relict "hopper crystals" that might reflect the formation of halite, thick weathering rinds on rock surfaces, resistant fracture fills, and networks of polygonal fractures likely caused by dehydration of sulfate salts. Chemical variations with depth show that the siliciclastic fraction of outcrop rock has undergone substantial chemical alteration from a precursor basaltic composition. Observations from microscopic to orbital scales indicate that ancient Meridiani once had abundant acidic groundwater, arid and oxidizing surface conditions, and occasional liquid flow on the surface.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Two years at Meridiani Planum: Results from the opportunity rover
Series title:
Science
DOI:
10.1126/science.1130890
Volume
313
Issue:
5792
Year Published:
2006
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Science
First page:
1403
Last page:
1407
Number of Pages:
5