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Title: Oxidation of manganese in an ancient aquifer, Kimberley formation, Gale crater, Mars

We report that the Curiosity rover observed high Mn abundances (>25 wt % MnO) in fracture-filling materials that crosscut sandstones in the Kimberley region of Gale crater, Mars. The correlation between Mn and trace metal abundances plus the lack of correlation between Mn and elements such as S, Cl, and C, reveals that these deposits are Mn oxides rather than evaporites or other salts. On Earth, environments that concentrate Mn and deposit Mn minerals require water and highly oxidizing conditions; hence, these findings suggest that similar processes occurred on Mars. In conclusion, based on the strong association between Mn-oxide deposition and evolving atmospheric dioxygen levels on Earth, the presence of these Mn phases on Mars suggests that there was more abundant molecular oxygen within the atmosphere and some groundwaters of ancient Mars than in the present day.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [4] ;  [6] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [9] ;  [10] ;  [11] ;  [12] ;  [11] ;  [5] ;  [1] ;  [13] ;  [14] more »;  [15] ;  [16] ;  [13] ;  [17] ;  [18] ;  [9] ;  [12] ;  [13] ;  [19] ;  [14] ;  [19] ;  [20] ;  [13] ;  [21] ;  [7] ;  [22] ;  [1] ;  [23] ;  [13] ;  [24] ;  [25] ;  [5] ;  [26] ;  [27] « less
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Washington Univ., St. Louis, MO (United States). Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences
  3. Space Science Inst., Boulder, CO (United States)
  4. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States)
  5. Univ. of Guelph, ON (Canada)
  6. Stony Brook Univ., NY (United States). Dept. of Geosciences
  7. NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX (United States)
  8. Western Washington Univ., Bellingham, WA (United States). Geology Dept.
  9. Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States). School of Earth and Space Exploration
  10. Univ. of Western Ontario, London, ON (Canada). Dept. of Earth Sciences
  11. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), La Canada Flintridge, CA (United States). Jet Propulsion Lab.
  12. Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD (United States). Applied Physics Lab.
  13. Univ. Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier (UPS), Toulouse (France). Observatoire Midi-Pyrenees (OMP), Inst. for Research in Astrophysics and Planetology (IRAP)
  14. Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, CA (United States)
  15. Univ. de Lorraine, Nancy (France). GeoRessources Lab.
  16. Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR (United States). College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
  17. Univ. of Copenhagen (Denmark). The Niels Bohr Inst.
  18. U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis Maryland (United States). Aerospace Engineering
  19. Univ. de Nantes, Nantes (France)
  20. Lulea Univ. of Technology, Kiruna (Sweden). Dept. of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering; Univ. of Granada (Spain). Andalusian Inst. of Earth Sciences (CSIC-UGR)
  21. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States). Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science
  22. Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States). Inst. of Meteoritics
  23. Natural History Museum ( IMPMC), Paris (France).
  24. Univ. of New Brunswick, Fredericton NB (Canada). Planetary and Space Science Centre
  25. Lunar and Planetary Inst., Houston Texas (United States)
  26. Planetary Science Inst., Tucson, AZ (United States)
  27. Lulea Univ. of Technology, Kiruna (Sweden). Dept. of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering; Centro de Astrobiologia (CAB), Madrid (Spain)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 43; Journal Issue: 14; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
American Geophysical Union
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA); USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; Planetary Sciences; Mars, ChemCam, manganese, oxygen, MSL
OSTI Identifier: