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Iron Mobility During Diagenesis at Vera Rubin Ridge, Gale Crater, Mars

L’Haridon, J. and Mangold, N. and Fraeman, A. A. and Johnson, J. R. and Cousin, A. and Rapin, W. and David, G. and Dehouck, E. and Sun, V. and Frydenvang, J. and Gasnault, O. and Gasda, P. and Lanza, N. and Forni, O. and Meslin, P.-Y. and Schwenzer, S. P. and Bridges, J. and Horgan, B. H. N. and House, C. H. and Salvatore, M. and Maurice, S. and Wiens, R. C. (2020) Iron Mobility During Diagenesis at Vera Rubin Ridge, Gale Crater, Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets, 125 (11). Art. No. e2019JE006299. ISSN 2169-9097.

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The Curiosity rover investigated a topographic structure known as Vera Rubin ridge, associated with a hematite signature in orbital spectra. There, Curiosity encountered mudstones interpreted as lacustrine deposits, conformably overlying the 300 m‐thick underlying sedimentary rocks of the Murray formation at the base of Mount Sharp. While the presence of hematite (α‐Fe2O3) was confirmed in situ by both Mastcam and ChemCam spectral observations and by the CheMin instrument, neither ChemCam nor APXS observed any significant increase in FeOT (total iron oxide) abundances compared to the rest of the Murray formation. Instead, Curiosity discovered dark‐toned diagenetic features displaying anomalously high FeOT abundances, commonly observed in association with light‐toned Ca‐sulfate veins but also as crystal pseudomorphs in the host rock. These iron‐rich diagenetic features are predominantly observed in “gray” outcrops on the upper part of the ridge, which lack the telltale ferric signature of other Vera Rubin ridge outcrops. Their composition is consistent with anhydrous Fe‐oxide, as the enrichment in iron is not associated with enrichment in any other elements, nor with detections of volatiles. The lack of ferric absorption features in the ChemCam reflectance spectra and the hexagonal crystalline structure associated with dark‐toned crystals points toward coarse “gray” hematite. In addition, the host rock adjacent to these features appears bleached and shows low‐FeOT content as well as depletion in Mn, indicating mobilization of these redox‐sensitive elements during diagenesis. Thus, groundwater fluid circulations could account for the remobilization of iron and recrystallization as crystalline hematite during diagenesis on Vera Rubin ridge.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemNASA Planetary Data System
L’Haridon, J.0000-0002-9323-1603
Mangold, N.0000-0002-0022-0631
Fraeman, A. A.0000-0003-4017-5158
Johnson, J. R.0000-0002-5586-4901
Cousin, A.0000-0001-7823-7794
Rapin, W.0000-0003-4660-8006
David, G.0000-0002-2719-1586
Dehouck, E.0000-0002-1368-4494
Sun, V.0000-0003-1480-7369
Frydenvang, J.0000-0001-9294-1227
Gasnault, O.0000-0002-6979-9012
Gasda, P.0000-0003-0895-1153
Lanza, N.0000-0003-4445-7996
Forni, O.0000-0001-6772-9689
Meslin, P.-Y.0000-0002-0703-3951
Schwenzer, S. P.0000-0002-9608-0759
Bridges, J.0000-0002-9579-5779
Horgan, B. H. N.0000-0001-6314-9724
House, C. H.0000-0002-4926-4985
Salvatore, M.0000-0002-1551-8342
Maurice, S.0000-0001-5702-8002
Wiens, R. C.0000-0002-3409-7344
Additional Information:© 2020 American Geophysical Union. Issue Online: 13 November 2020; Version of Record online: 13 November 2020; Accepted manuscript online: 28 August 2020; Manuscript accepted: 08 August 2020; Manuscript revised: 04 August 2020; Manuscript received: 29 November 2019. We are indebted to the Mars Science Laboratory Project engineering and science teams for their participations in tactical and strategic operations. All data used in this study are accessible at the Planetary Data System (http://pds‐ Data provided by the ChemCam instrument are supported in the United States by NASA's Mars Exploration Program and in France by the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) under the program ANR‐16‐CE31‐0012 entitled “Mars‐Prime.” J. Frydenvang acknowledges the support of the Carlsberg Foundation.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR)ANR-16-CE31-0012
Carlsberg FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Diagenesis; ChemCam; Redox processes; Iron mobility
Issue or Number:11
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200901-103430744
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:L'Haridon, J., Mangold, N., Fraeman, A. A., Johnson, J. R., Cousin, A., Rapin, W., et al. (2020). Iron mobility during diagenesis at Vera Rubin ridge, Gale Crater, Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 125, e2019JE006299.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:105200
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Sep 2020 19:59
Last Modified:02 Jun 2021 19:51

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