Martian fluvial conglomerates at Gale Crater

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Observations by the Mars Science Laboratory Mast Camera (Mastcam) in Gale crater reveal isolated outcrops of cemented pebbles (2 to 40 millimeters in diameter) and sand grains with textures typical of fluvial sedimentary conglomerates. Rounded pebbles in the conglomerates indicate substantial fluvial abrasion. ChemCam emission spectra at one outcrop show a predominantly feldspathic composition, consistent with minimal aqueous alteration of sediments. Sediment was mobilized in ancient water flows that likely exceeded the threshold conditions (depth 0.03 to 0.9 meter, average velocity 0.20 to 0.75 meter per second) required to transport the pebbles. Climate conditions at the time sediment was transported must have differed substantially from the cold, hyper-arid modern environment to permit aqueous flows across several kilometers.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Martian fluvial conglomerates at Gale Crater
Series title Science
DOI 10.1126/science.1237317
Volume 340
Issue 6136
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Science
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description 5 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Science
First page 1068
Last page 1072
Other Geospatial Mars
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