A Caltech Library Service

Elemental Geochemistry of Sedimentary Rocks at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars

McLennan, S. M. and Anderson, R. B. and Bell, J. F., III and Bridges, J. C. and Calef, F. and Campbell, John L. and Clark, B. C. and Clegg, S. and Conrad, P. and Cousin, A. and Des Marais, D. J. and Dromart, G. and Dyar, M. D. and Edgar, L. A. and Ehlmann, B. L. and Fabre, C. and Forni, O. and Gasnault, O. and Gellert, R. and Gordon, S. and Grant, A. and Grotzinger, J. P. and Gupta, S. and Herkenhoff, K. E. and Hurowitz, J. A. and King, P. L. and Le Mouélic, S. and Leshin, L. A. and Léveillé, R. and Lewis, K. W. and Mangold, N. and Maurice, S. and Ming, D. W. and Morris, R. V. and Nachon, M. and Newsom, H. E. and Ollila, A. and Perrett, G. M. and Rice, M. S. and Schmidt, M. E. and Schwenzer, S. P. and Stack, K. and Stolper, E. M. and Sumner, D. Y. and Treiman, A. H. and VanBommel, S. and Vaniman, D. T. and Vasavada, A. and Wiens, R. C. and Yingst, R. A. (2014) Elemental Geochemistry of Sedimentary Rocks at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars. Science, 343 (6169). Art. no. 1244734 . ISSN 0036-8075. doi:10.1126/science.1244734.

PDF - Accepted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Sedimentary rocks examined by the Curiosity rover at Yellowknife Bay, Mars, were derived from sources that evolved from approximately average Martian crustal composition to one influenced by alkaline basalts. No evidence of chemical weathering is preserved indicating arid, possibly cold, paleoclimates and rapid erosion/deposition. Absence of predicted geochemical variations indicates that magnetite and phyllosilicates formed by diagenesis under low temperature, circum-neutral pH, rock-dominated aqueous conditions. High spatial resolution analyses of diagenetic features, including concretions, raised ridges and fractures, indicate they are composed of iron- and halogen-rich components, magnesium-iron-chlorine-rich components and hydrated calcium-sulfates, respectively. Composition of a cross-cutting dike-like feature is consistent with sedimentary intrusion. Geochemistry of these sedimentary rocks provides further evidence for diverse depositional and diagenetic sedimentary environments during the early history of Mars.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle PDF Article material
McLennan, S. M.0000-0003-4259-7178
Anderson, R. B.0000-0003-4465-2871
Bell, J. F., III0000-0002-2006-4074
Bridges, J. C.0000-0002-9579-5779
Clark, B. C.0000-0002-5546-8757
Clegg, S.0000-0002-0338-0948
Cousin, A.0000-0001-7823-7794
Dyar, M. D.0000-0003-4272-793X
Edgar, L. A.0000-0001-7512-7813
Ehlmann, B. L.0000-0002-2745-3240
Fabre, C.0000-0001-8627-4050
Forni, O.0000-0001-6772-9689
Gasnault, O.0000-0002-6979-9012
Gellert, R.0000-0001-7928-834X
Grotzinger, J. P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Herkenhoff, K. E.0000-0002-3153-6663
Hurowitz, J. A.0000-0002-5857-8652
Lewis, K. W.0000-0003-3412-803X
Mangold, N.0000-0002-0022-0631
Ming, D. W.0000-0003-0567-8876
Nachon, M.0000-0003-0417-7076
Newsom, H. E.0000-0002-4358-8161
Rice, M. S.0000-0002-8370-4139
Schwenzer, S. P.0000-0002-9608-0759
Stack, K.0000-0003-3444-6695
Stolper, E. M.0000-0001-8008-8804
Sumner, D. Y.0000-0002-7343-2061
Treiman, A. H.0000-0002-8073-2839
VanBommel, S.0000-0002-6565-0827
Vaniman, D. T.0000-0001-7661-2626
Vasavada, A.0000-0003-2665-286X
Wiens, R. C.0000-0002-3409-7344
Yingst, R. A.0000-0002-0628-4265
Alternate Title:Exploring Martian Habitability
Additional Information:Copyright 2013 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Submitted Manuscript: 30 October 2013. Received for publication 15 August 2013. Accepted for publication 12 November 2013. Published Online December 9 2013. Much of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with NASA. Development and operation of the ChemCam and APXS instruments were also supported by funds from the French Space Agency, CNES and the Canadian Space Agency. Organizations supporting research include NASA, the Canadian Space Agency and NSERC (Canada) and the United Kingdom Space Agency (UK). Chemical data presented here are derived from archived data sets in the NASA Planetary Data System (PDS) We are grateful to the MSL engineering and management teams for making the mission and this scientific investigation possible and to science team members who contributed to mission operations. The senior author (SMM) thanks Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, and especially Sidney Hemming, for hospitality during a sabbatical when the manuscript was being prepared.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Canadian Space Agency (CSA)UNSPECIFIED
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Yellowknife Bay ; Gale Crater ; Mars ; Mars Science Laboratory ; Curiosity
Non-Subject Keywords:Mars Science Laboratory ; Curiosity ; NASA
Issue or Number:6169
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20131122-100220026
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Elemental Geochemistry of Sedimentary Rocks at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars S. M. McLennan, R. B. Anderson, J. F. Bell III, J. C. Bridges, F. Calef III, J. L. Campbell, B. C. Clark, S. Clegg, P. Conrad, A. Cousin, D. J. Des Marais, G. Dromart, M. D. Dyar, L. A. Edgar, B. L. Ehlmann, C. Fabre, O. Forni, O. Gasnault, R. Gellert, S. Gordon, J. A. Grant, J. P. Grotzinger, S. Gupta, K. E. Herkenhoff, J. A. Hurowitz, P. L. King, S. Le Mouélic, L. A. Leshin, R. Léveillé, K. W. Lewis, N. Mangold, S. Maurice, D. W. Ming, R. V. Morris, M. Nachon, H. E. Newsom, A. M. Ollila, G. M. Perrett, M. S. Rice, M. E. Schmidt, S. P. Schwenzer, K. Stack, E. M. Stolper, D. Y. Sumner, A. H. Treiman, S. VanBommel, D. T. Vaniman, A. Vasavada, R. C. Wiens, R. A. Yingst, and MSL Science Team Science 24 January 2014: 343 (6169), 1244734Published online 9 December 2013 [DOI:10.1126/science.1244734]
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:42646
Deposited By: Katherine Johnson
Deposited On:09 Dec 2013 22:04
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 16:26

Repository Staff Only: item control page