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Orbital identification of carbonate-bearing rocks on Mars

Science

By:
, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
DOI: 10.1126/science.1164759

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Abstract

Geochemical models for Mars predict carbonate formation during aqueous alteration. Carbonate-bearing rocks had not previously been detected on Mars' surface, but Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mapping reveals a regional rock layer with near-infrared spectral characteristics that are consistent with the presence of magnesium carbonate in the Nili Fossae region. The carbonate is closely associated with both phyllosilicate-bearing and olivine-rich rock units and probably formed during the Noachian or early Hesperian era from the alteration of olivine by either hydrothermal fluids or near-surface water. The presence of carbonate as well as accompanying clays suggests that waters were neutral to alkaline at the time of its formation and that acidic weathering, proposed to be characteristic of Hesperian Mars, did not destroy these carbonates and thus did not dominate all aqueous environments.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Orbital identification of carbonate-bearing rocks on Mars
Series title:
Science
DOI:
10.1126/science.1164759
Volume
322
Issue:
5909
Year Published:
2008
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
1828
Last page:
1832
Number of Pages:
5