Could Mars be dark and altered?

Geophysical Research Letters



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 type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Could Mars be dark and altered?
Series title Geophysical Research Letters
DOI 10.1029/98GL01255
Volume 25
Issue 10
Year Published 1998
Language English
Publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Description 4 p.
First page 1597
Last page 1600
Other Geospatial Mars
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