There is a long known dichotomy in the martian albedo, with an associated, but mostly assumed, mineralogical split as well. The bright red regions are inferred to be weathered, oxidized dust and the dark grey regions unaltered volcanic material. A number of recent analyses suggest this division is unnaturally simplistic and the association of many dark regions with the former presence of water requires a re‐examination of the spectra in light of potential alteration minerals. I present an alternate interpretation of the reflectance spectral characteristics of some dark regions on Mars that includes dark layer silicates. If their presence is confirmed on Mars this will have implications for sequestration of current and past volatile inventories, clues to the extent and type of geochemical weathering, and potential zones where bacterial life forms may have emerged.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Could Mars be dark and altered?|
|Series title||Geophysical Research Letters|
|Publisher||John Wiley & Sons, Inc.|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|