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Title: Mars Science Laboratory Observations of Chloride Salts in Gale Crater, Mars

Abstract

The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover is traversing a sequence of stratified sedimentary rocks in Gale crater that contain varied eolian, fluviodeltaic, and lake deposits, with phyllosilicates, iron oxides, and sulfate salts. Here, we report the chloride salt distribution along the rover traverse. Chlorine is detected at low levels (<3 wt.%) in soil and rock targets with multiple MSL instruments. Isolated fine-scale observations of high chlorine (up to ≥15 wt.% Cl), detected using the ChemCam instrument, are associated with elevated Na2O and interpreted as halite grains or cements in bedrock. Halite is also interpreted at the margins of veins and in nodular, altered textures. We have not detected halite in obvious evaporitic layers. Instead, its scattered distribution indicates that chlorides emplaced earlier in particular members of the Murray formation were remobilized and reprecipitated by later groundwaters within Murray formation mudstones and in diagenetic veins and nodules.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [4]; ORCiD logo [3];  [5]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [6]; ORCiD logo [7]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [8]
  1. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States). Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
  2. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States). Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences; California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States). Jet Propulsion Lab. (JPL)
  3. Univ. de Toulouse (France)
  4. Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (United States)
  5. German Aerospace Center (DLR), Berlin (Germany)
  6. Univ. de Nantes (France)
  7. Univ. of Guleph, Ontario (Canada)
  8. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA)
OSTI Identifier:
1597376
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-19-32328
Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Grant/Contract Number:  
89233218CNA000001; DGE‐1144469
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 46; Journal Issue: 19; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; Planetary Sciences; Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover; chlorine; halite salts groundwater

Citation Formats

Thomas, N. H., Ehlmann, B. L., Meslin, P. ‐Y., Rapin, W., Anderson, D. E., Rivera‐Hernández, F., Forni, O., Schröder, S., Cousin, A., Mangold, N., Gellert, R., Gasnault, O., and Wiens, R. C. Mars Science Laboratory Observations of Chloride Salts in Gale Crater, Mars. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1029/2019GL082764.
Thomas, N. H., Ehlmann, B. L., Meslin, P. ‐Y., Rapin, W., Anderson, D. E., Rivera‐Hernández, F., Forni, O., Schröder, S., Cousin, A., Mangold, N., Gellert, R., Gasnault, O., & Wiens, R. C. Mars Science Laboratory Observations of Chloride Salts in Gale Crater, Mars. United States. doi:10.1029/2019GL082764.
Thomas, N. H., Ehlmann, B. L., Meslin, P. ‐Y., Rapin, W., Anderson, D. E., Rivera‐Hernández, F., Forni, O., Schröder, S., Cousin, A., Mangold, N., Gellert, R., Gasnault, O., and Wiens, R. C. Fri . "Mars Science Laboratory Observations of Chloride Salts in Gale Crater, Mars". United States. doi:10.1029/2019GL082764. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1597376.
@article{osti_1597376,
title = {Mars Science Laboratory Observations of Chloride Salts in Gale Crater, Mars},
author = {Thomas, N. H. and Ehlmann, B. L. and Meslin, P. ‐Y. and Rapin, W. and Anderson, D. E. and Rivera‐Hernández, F. and Forni, O. and Schröder, S. and Cousin, A. and Mangold, N. and Gellert, R. and Gasnault, O. and Wiens, R. C.},
abstractNote = {The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover is traversing a sequence of stratified sedimentary rocks in Gale crater that contain varied eolian, fluviodeltaic, and lake deposits, with phyllosilicates, iron oxides, and sulfate salts. Here, we report the chloride salt distribution along the rover traverse. Chlorine is detected at low levels (<3 wt.%) in soil and rock targets with multiple MSL instruments. Isolated fine-scale observations of high chlorine (up to ≥15 wt.% Cl), detected using the ChemCam instrument, are associated with elevated Na2O and interpreted as halite grains or cements in bedrock. Halite is also interpreted at the margins of veins and in nodular, altered textures. We have not detected halite in obvious evaporitic layers. Instead, its scattered distribution indicates that chlorides emplaced earlier in particular members of the Murray formation were remobilized and reprecipitated by later groundwaters within Murray formation mudstones and in diagenetic veins and nodules.},
doi = {10.1029/2019GL082764},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
number = 19,
volume = 46,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {8}
}

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Cited by: 9 works
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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    An interval of high salinity in ancient Gale crater lake on Mars
    journal, October 2019