The chemostratigraphy of the Murray formation and role of diagenesis at Vera Rubin ridge in Gale crater, Mars, as observed by the ChemCam instrument

Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets
By: , and 

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Abstract

Geochemical results are presented from Curiosity’s exploration of the Vera Rubin ridge (VRR), in addition to the full chemostratigraphy of the predominantly lacustrine mudstone Murray formation up to and including VRR. VRR is a prominent ridge flanking Aeolis Mons (informally Mt. Sharp), the central mound in Gale crater, Mars, and was a key area of interest for the Mars Science Laboratory mission. ChemCam data show that VRR is overall geochemically similar to lower-lying members of the Murray formation, even though the top of VRR is characterized by strong hematite spectral signatures as observed from orbit. While overall geochemically similar, VRR is characterized by a prominent decrease in Li abundance and Chemical Index of Alteration across the ridge. This decrease follows the morphology of the ridge rather than elevation and is inferred to reflect a non-depositionally controlled decrease in clay mineral abundance in VRR rocks. Additionally, a notable enrichment in Mn above baseline levels is observed on VRR. While not supporting a single model, the results suggest that VRR rocks were likely affected by multiple episodes of post-depositional groundwater interactions that made them more erosionally resistant than surrounding Murray rocks – thus resulting in the modern-day ridge after subsequent erosion.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The chemostratigraphy of the Murray formation and role of diagenesis at Vera Rubin ridge in Gale crater, Mars, as observed by the ChemCam instrument
Series title Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets
DOI 10.1029/2019JE006320
Volume 125
Issue 9
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description e2019JE006320, 27 p.
Other Geospatial Mars
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