High manganese concentrations in rocks at Gale crater, Mars

Geophysical Research Letters
By: , and 

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Abstract

The surface of Mars has long been considered a relatively oxidizing environment, an idea supported by the abundance of ferric iron phases observed there. However, compared to iron, manganese is sensitive only to high redox potential oxidants, and when concentrated in rocks, it provides a more specific redox indicator of aqueous environments. Observations from the ChemCam instrument on the Curiosity rover indicate abundances of manganese in and on some rock targets that are 1–2 orders of magnitude higher than previously observed on Mars, suggesting the presence of an as-yet unidentified manganese-rich phase. These results show that the Martian surface has at some point in time hosted much more highly oxidizing conditions than has previously been recognized.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title High manganese concentrations in rocks at Gale crater, Mars
Series title Geophysical Research Letters
DOI 10.1002/2014GL060329
Volume 41
Issue 16
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description 9 p.
First page 5755
Last page 5763
Other Geospatial Mars
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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