skip to main content


Title: Mineralogy, provenance, and diagenesis of a potassic basaltic sandstone on Mars: CheMin X-ray diffraction of the Windjana sample (Kimberley area, Gale Crater)

The Windjana drill sample, a sandstone of the Dillinger member (Kimberley formation, Gale Crater, Mars), was analyzed by CheMin X-ray diffraction (XRD) in the MSL Curiosity rover. From Rietveld refinements of its XRD pattern, Windjana contains the following: sanidine (21% weight, ~Or 95); augite (20%); magnetite (12%); pigeonite; olivine; plagioclase; amorphous and smectitic material (~25%); and percent levels of others including ilmenite, fluorapatite, and bassanite. From mass balance on the Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) chemical analysis, the amorphous material is Fe rich with nearly no other cations—like ferrihydrite. The Windjana sample shows little alteration and was likely cemented by its magnetite and ferrihydrite. From ChemCam Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) chemical analyses, Windjana is representative of the Dillinger and Mount Remarkable members of the Kimberley formation. LIBS data suggest that the Kimberley sediments include at least three chemical components. The most K-rich targets have 5.6% K 2O, ~1.8 times that of Windjana, implying a sediment component with >40% sanidine, e.g., a trachyte. A second component is rich in mafic minerals, with little feldspar (like a shergottite). A third component is richer in plagioclase and in Na 2O, and is likely to be basaltic. The K-rich sediment component is consistent withmore » APXS and ChemCam observations of K-rich rocks elsewhere in Gale Crater. The source of this sediment component was likely volcanic. Finally, the presence of sediment from many igneous sources, in concert with Curiosity's identifications of other igneous materials (e.g., mugearite), implies that the northern rim of Gale Crater exposes a diverse igneous complex, at least as diverse as that found in similar-age terranes on Earth.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [6] ;  [5] ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [9] ;  [10] ;  [11] ;  [12] ;  [13] ;  [14] ; ORCiD logo [15] ;  [16] more »;  [2] ;  [17] ;  [18] ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [19] ;  [20] ;  [8] ;  [21] ;  [12] ;  [8] ;  [22] ;  [20] ;  [20] « less
  1. Lunar and Planetary Inst., Houston, TX (United States)
  2. Indiana Univ., Bloomington, IN (United States). Dept. of Geological Sciences
  3. Planetary Science Inst., Tucson, AZ (United States)
  4. Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Oklahoma City, OK (United States)
  5. NASA Ames Research Center (ARC), Moffett Field, Mountain View, CA (United States)
  6. NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX (United States). Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Division
  7. Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States). Dept. of Geosciences
  8. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States). Division of Geologic and Planetary Sciences
  9. Southern Illinois Univ., Carbondale, IL (United States). Dept. of Geology
  10. Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (United States). Dept. of Geological Sciences
  11. Univ. of Guelf, Guelf, ON (Canada). Dept. of Physics
  12. Univ. of New Brunswick, Fredericton NB (Canada). Dept. of Earth Sciences
  13. Brock Univ., St. Catharines, ON (Canada). Dept. of Earth Sciences
  14. Unvi. de Nantes, Nantes (France). Laboratoire Planetologie et Geodynamique de Nantes (LPGN/CNRS)
  15. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  16. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States)
  17. Malin Space Science Systems, Inc., San Diego, CA (United States)
  18. Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States). School of Earth and Space Exploration
  19. Imperial College, London (United Kingdom). Dept. of Earth Science and Engineering
  20. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States). Jet Propulsion Lab.
  21. Western Washington Univ., Bellingham, WA (United States). Dept. of Earth Sciences
  22. Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States). Dept. of of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9097; TRN: US1800381
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 121; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9097
American Geophysical Union
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA); USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
58 GEOSCIENCES; Planetary Sciences; Mars; CheMin; MSL; Windjana; sandstone; X-ray diffraction
OSTI Identifier: