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The Chemostratigraphy of the Murray Formation and Role of Diagenesis at Vera Rubin Ridge in Gale Crater, Mars, as Observed by the ChemCam Instrument

Frydenvang, J. and Mangold, N. and Wiens, R. C. and Fraeman, A. A. and Edgar, L. A. and Fedo, C. M. and L’Haridon, J. L. and Bedford, C. C. and Gupta, S. and Grotzinger, J. P. and Bridges, J. C. and Clark, B. C. and Rampe, E. B. and Gasnault, O. and Maurice, S. and Gasda, P. J. and Lanza, N. L. and Olilla, A. M. and Meslin, P.‐Y. and Payré, V. and Calef, F. and Salvatore, M. and House, C. H. (2020) The Chemostratigraphy of the Murray Formation and Role of Diagenesis at Vera Rubin Ridge in Gale Crater, Mars, as Observed by the ChemCam Instrument. Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets, 125 (9). Art. No. e2019JE006320. ISSN 2169-9097.

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Geochemical results are presented from Curiosity's exploration of Vera Rubin ridge (VRR), in addition to the full chemostratigraphy of the predominantly lacustrine mudstone Murray formation up to and including VRR. VRR is a prominent ridge flanking Aeolis Mons (informally Mt. Sharp), the central mound in Gale crater, Mars, and was a key area of interest for the Mars Science Laboratory mission. ChemCam data show that VRR is overall geochemically similar to lower‐lying members of the Murray formation, even though the top of VRR shows a strong hematite spectral signature as observed from orbit. Although overall geochemically similar, VRR is characterized by a prominent decrease in Li abundance and Chemical Index of Alteration across the ridge. This decrease follows the morphology of the ridge rather than elevation and is inferred to reflect a nondepositionally controlled decrease in clay mineral abundance in VRR rocks. Additionally, a notable enrichment in Mn above baseline levels is observed on VRR. While not supporting a single model, the results suggest that VRR rocks were likely affected by multiple episodes of postdepositional groundwater interactions that made them more erosionally resistant than surrounding Murray rocks, thus resulting in the modern‐day ridge after subsequent erosion.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription S1
Frydenvang, J.0000-0001-9294-1227
Mangold, N.0000-0002-0022-0631
Wiens, R. C.0000-0002-3409-7344
Fraeman, A. A.0000-0003-4017-5158
Edgar, L. A.0000-0001-7512-7813
Fedo, C. M.0000-0002-2626-1132
L’Haridon, J. L.0000-0002-9323-1603
Bedford, C. C.0000-0002-0783-1064
Grotzinger, J. P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Bridges, J. C.0000-0002-9579-5779
Clark, B. C.0000-0002-5546-8757
Rampe, E. B.0000-0002-6999-0028
Gasnault, O.0000-0002-6979-9012
Maurice, S.0000-0001-5702-8002
Gasda, P. J.0000-0003-0895-1153
Lanza, N. L.0000-0003-4445-7996
Meslin, P.‐Y.0000-0002-0703-3951
Payré, V.0000-0002-7052-0795
Calef, F.0000-0002-5132-3980
Salvatore, M.0000-0002-1551-8342
House, C. H.0000-0002-4926-4985
Additional Information:© 2020 American Geophysical Union. Issue Online: 12 September 2020; Version of Record online: 12 September 2020; Accepted manuscript online: 27 June 2020; Manuscript accepted: 22 June 2020; Manuscript revised: 19 June 2020; Manuscript received: 07 December 2019. This work was supported by the NASA MSL Mission—operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology—and the NASA Mars Exploration Program. We acknowledge the support of the MSL engineering and operations staff. JF acknowledges the support of the Carlsberg Foundation. NM, JLH, OG, SM, and PYM acknowledge the support of CNES for their work on MSL ChemCam. CCB was funded through the STFC doctoral training grant to the OU. A portion of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Data Availability Statement: All geochemical data used in this paper are provided in Table S1 and are available, along with spectra of all points, via the NASA Planetary Data System ( Table S1 can also be acquired at‐c569‐45f8‐813e‐0c70e44bf298. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Carlsberg FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Mars; Mars Science Laboratory; ChemCam; Chemostratigraphy; Vera Rubin ridge; Gale crater
Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200820-143818644
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Frydenvang, J., Mangold, N., Wiens, R. C., Fraeman, A. A., Edgar, L. A., & Fedo, C. M., et al. (2020). The chemostratigraphy of the Murray Formation and role of diagenesis at Vera Rubin Ridge in Gale Crater, Mars, as observed by the ChemCam instrument. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 125, e2019JE006320.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:105047
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:20 Aug 2020 22:03
Last Modified:02 Mar 2021 21:43

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