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Title: In Situ Analysis of Opal in Gale Crater, Mars

Abstract

Silica enrichments resulting in up to ~90 wt% SiO 2 have been observed by the Curiosity rover's instruments in Gale crater, Mars, within the Murray and Stimson formations. Samples acquired by the rover drill revealed a significant abundance of an X–ray amorphous silica phase. Laser–induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) highlights an overall correlation of the hydrogen signal with silica content for these Si–enriched targets. The increased hydration of the high–silica rocks compared to the surrounding bedrock is also confirmed by active neutron spectroscopy. Laboratory LIBS experiments have been performed to calibrate the hydrogen signal and show that the correlation observed on Mars is consistent with a silica phase containing on average 6.3 ± 1.4 wt% water. X–ray diffraction and LIBS measurements indicate that opal–A, amorphous hydrated silica, is the most likely phase containing this water in the rocks. Pyrolysis experiments were also performed on drilled samples by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument to measure volatile content, but the data suggests that most of the water was released during handling prior to pyrolysis. Furthermore the inferred low–temperature release of water helps constrain the nature of the opal. Given the geological context and the spatial association with other phases such asmore » calcium sulfates, the opal was likely formed from multiple diagenetic fluid events and possibly represents the latest significant water–rock interaction in these sedimentary rocks.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3];  [4]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [5];  [6]; ORCiD logo [7];  [4]; ORCiD logo [6];  [8]; ORCiD logo [9]; ORCiD logo [10];  [11]
  1. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States)
  2. Univ. of Technology, Sydney, NSW (Australia); Dr. Eduard Gübelin Association for Research and Identification of Precious Stones, Lucerne (Switzerland)
  3. Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States)
  4. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (United States)
  5. Univ. de Toulouse, Toulouse (France)
  6. Univ. de Nantes, Nantes (France)
  7. Univ. de Toulouse, Toulouse (France); Univ. de Lyon, Villeurbanne (France)
  8. Chesapeake Energy, Oklahoma City, OK (United States)
  9. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  10. Univ. of Copenhagen, Copenhagen (Denmark)
  11. Univ. de Toulouse, Toulouse (France); Institut fur Optische Sensorysysteme, Berlin-Adlershof (Germany)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA); USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1508550
Report Number(s):
[LA-UR-18-28850]
[Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9097]
Grant/Contract Number:  
[89233218CNA000001]
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets
Additional Journal Information:
[ Journal Volume: 123; Journal Issue: 8]; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9097
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; Planetary Sciences; opal; Mars; MSL; Gale crater; hydrogen; water

Citation Formats

Rapin, W., Chauviré, B., Gabriel, T. S. J., McAdam, A. C., Ehlmann, Bethany L., Hardgrove, C., Meslin, P. -Y., Rondeau, B., Dehouck, E., Franz, H. B., Mangold, N., Chipera, S. J., Wiens, Roger Craig, Frydenvang, J., and Schröder, S. In Situ Analysis of Opal in Gale Crater, Mars. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1029/2017JE005483.
Rapin, W., Chauviré, B., Gabriel, T. S. J., McAdam, A. C., Ehlmann, Bethany L., Hardgrove, C., Meslin, P. -Y., Rondeau, B., Dehouck, E., Franz, H. B., Mangold, N., Chipera, S. J., Wiens, Roger Craig, Frydenvang, J., & Schröder, S. In Situ Analysis of Opal in Gale Crater, Mars. United States. doi:10.1029/2017JE005483.
Rapin, W., Chauviré, B., Gabriel, T. S. J., McAdam, A. C., Ehlmann, Bethany L., Hardgrove, C., Meslin, P. -Y., Rondeau, B., Dehouck, E., Franz, H. B., Mangold, N., Chipera, S. J., Wiens, Roger Craig, Frydenvang, J., and Schröder, S. Tue . "In Situ Analysis of Opal in Gale Crater, Mars". United States. doi:10.1029/2017JE005483. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1508550.
@article{osti_1508550,
title = {In Situ Analysis of Opal in Gale Crater, Mars},
author = {Rapin, W. and Chauviré, B. and Gabriel, T. S. J. and McAdam, A. C. and Ehlmann, Bethany L. and Hardgrove, C. and Meslin, P. -Y. and Rondeau, B. and Dehouck, E. and Franz, H. B. and Mangold, N. and Chipera, S. J. and Wiens, Roger Craig and Frydenvang, J. and Schröder, S.},
abstractNote = {Silica enrichments resulting in up to ~90 wt% SiO2 have been observed by the Curiosity rover's instruments in Gale crater, Mars, within the Murray and Stimson formations. Samples acquired by the rover drill revealed a significant abundance of an X–ray amorphous silica phase. Laser–induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) highlights an overall correlation of the hydrogen signal with silica content for these Si–enriched targets. The increased hydration of the high–silica rocks compared to the surrounding bedrock is also confirmed by active neutron spectroscopy. Laboratory LIBS experiments have been performed to calibrate the hydrogen signal and show that the correlation observed on Mars is consistent with a silica phase containing on average 6.3 ± 1.4 wt% water. X–ray diffraction and LIBS measurements indicate that opal–A, amorphous hydrated silica, is the most likely phase containing this water in the rocks. Pyrolysis experiments were also performed on drilled samples by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument to measure volatile content, but the data suggests that most of the water was released during handling prior to pyrolysis. Furthermore the inferred low–temperature release of water helps constrain the nature of the opal. Given the geological context and the spatial association with other phases such as calcium sulfates, the opal was likely formed from multiple diagenetic fluid events and possibly represents the latest significant water–rock interaction in these sedimentary rocks.},
doi = {10.1029/2017JE005483},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets},
number = [8],
volume = [123],
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {7}
}

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