Basaltic rocks analyzed by the Spirit rover in Gusev crater

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The Spirit landing site in Gusev Crater on Mars contains dark, fine-grained, vesicular rocks interpreted as lavas. Pancam and Mini–Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) spectra suggest that all of these rocks are similar but have variable coatings and dust mantles. Magnified images of brushed and abraded rock surfaces show alteration rinds and veins. Rock interiors contain ≤25% megacrysts. Chemical analyses of rocks by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer are consistent with picritic basalts, containing normative olivine, pyroxenes, plagioclase, and accessory FeTi oxides. Mössbauer, Pancam, and Mini-TES spectra confirm the presence of olivine, magnetite, and probably pyroxene. These basalts extend the known range of rock compositions composing the martian crust.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Basaltic rocks analyzed by the Spirit rover in Gusev crater
Series title Science
DOI 10.1126/science.1099851
Volume 305
Issue 5685
Year Published 2004
Language English
Publisher American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description 4 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Science
First page 842
Last page 845
Other Geospatial Gusev crater; Mars
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