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Title: Redox stratification of an ancient lake in Gale crater, Mars

In 2012, NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on Mars to assess its potential as a habitat for past life and investigate the paleoclimate record preserved by sedimentary rocks inside the ~150-kilometer-diameter Gale impact crater. Geological reconstructions from Curiosity rover data have revealed an ancient, habitable lake environment fed by rivers draining into the crater. We synthesize geochemical and mineralogical data from lake-bed mudstones collected during the first 1300 martian solar days of rover operations in Gale. We present evidence for lake redox stratification, established by depth-dependent variations in atmospheric oxidant and dissolved-solute concentrations. Paleoclimate proxy data indicate that a transition from colder to warmer climate conditions is preserved in the stratigraphy. Lastly, a late phase of geochemical modification by saline fluids is recognized.
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  1. Stony Brook Univ., Stony Brook, NY (United States)
  2. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States)
  3. Brown Univ., Providence, RI (United States)
  4. NASA Ames Research Center (ARC), Moffett Field, CA (United States)
  5. Univ. Paul Sabatier, Toulouse (France)
  6. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States)
  7. Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas - Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aeroespacial (CSIC-INTA), Madrid (Spain); Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States)
  8. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Univ. of Copenhagen, Copenhagen (Denmark)
  9. Univ. of Guelph, Guelph, ON (Canada)
  10. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. (United States)
  11. Imperial College, London (United Kingdom)
  12. U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff, AZ (United States)
  13. NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX (United States)
  14. Brock Univ., St. Catharines, ON (Canada)
  15. Stony Brook Univ., Stony Brook, NY (United States); California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States)
  16. Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)
  17. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0036-8075
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 356; Journal Issue: 6341; Journal ID: ISSN 0036-8075
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
58 GEOSCIENCES; Planetary Sciences
OSTI Identifier: