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Diagenetic silica enrichment and late-stage groundwater activity in Gale crater, Mars

Frydenvang, J. and Gasda, P. J. and Hurowitz, J. A. and Grotzinger, J. P. and Wiens, R. C. and Newsom, H. E. and Edgett, K. S. and Watkins, J. and Bridges, J. C. and Maurice, S. and Fisk, M. R. and Johnson, J. R. and Rapin, W. and Stein, N. T. and Clegg, S. M. and Schwenzer, S. P. and Bedford, C. C. and Edwards, P. and Mangold, N. and Cousin, A. and Anderson, R. B. and Payré, V. and Vaniman, D. and Blake, D. F. and Lanza, N. L. and Gupta, S. and Van Beek, J. and Sautter, V. and Meslin, P.-Y. and Rice, M. and Milliken, R. and Gellert, R. and Thompson, L. and Clark, B. C. and Sumner, D. Y. and Fraeman, A. A. and Kinch, K. M. and Madsen, M. B. and Mitrofanov, I. G. and Jun, I. and Calef, F. and Vasavada, A. R. (2017) Diagenetic silica enrichment and late-stage groundwater activity in Gale crater, Mars. Geophysical Research Letters, 44 (10). pp. 4716-4724. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1002/2017gl073323.

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Diagenetic silica enrichment in fracture‐associated halos that crosscut lacustrine and unconformably overlying aeolian sedimentary bedrock is observed on the lower north slope of Aeolis Mons in Gale crater, Mars. The diagenetic silica enrichment is colocated with detrital silica enrichment observed in the lacustrine bedrock yet extends into a considerably younger, unconformably draping aeolian sandstone, implying that diagenetic silica enrichment postdates the detrital silica enrichment. A causal connection between the detrital and diagenetic silica enrichment implies that water was present in the subsurface of Gale crater long after deposition of the lacustrine sediments and that it mobilized detrital amorphous silica and precipitated it along fractures in the overlying bedrock. Although absolute timing is uncertain, the observed diagenesis likely represents some of the most recent groundwater activity in Gale crater and suggests that the timescale of potential habitability extended considerably beyond the time that the lacustrine sediments of Aeolis Mons were deposited.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Frydenvang, J.0000-0001-9294-1227
Gasda, P. J.0000-0003-0895-1153
Hurowitz, J. A.0000-0002-5857-8652
Grotzinger, J. P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Newsom, H. E.0000-0002-4358-8161
Edgett, K. S.0000-0001-7197-5751
Bridges, J. C.0000-0002-9579-5779
Johnson, J. R.0000-0002-5586-4901
Rapin, W.0000-0003-4660-8006
Stein, N. T.0000-0003-3385-9957
Clegg, S. M.0000-0002-0338-0948
Schwenzer, S. P.0000-0002-9608-0759
Bedford, C. C.0000-0002-0783-1064
Mangold, N.0000-0002-0022-0631
Cousin, A.0000-0001-7823-7794
Anderson, R. B.0000-0003-4465-2871
Payré, V.0000-0002-7052-0795
Vaniman, D.0000-0001-7661-2626
Blake, D. F.0000-0002-0834-4487
Lanza, N. L.0000-0003-4445-7996
Sautter, V.0000-0002-4263-7558
Meslin, P.-Y.0000-0002-0703-3951
Rice, M.0000-0002-8370-4139
Milliken, R.0000-0003-3240-4918
Gellert, R.0000-0001-7928-834X
Thompson, L.0000-0002-5444-952X
Clark, B. C.0000-0002-5546-8757
Sumner, D. Y.0000-0002-7343-2061
Fraeman, A. A.0000-0003-4017-5158
Kinch, K. M.0000-0002-4629-8880
Jun, I.0000-0001-5663-8888
Vasavada, A. R.0000-0003-2665-286X
Additional Information:© 2017 American Geophysical Union. Issue Online: 24 June 2017; Version of Record online: 30 May 2017; Accepted manuscript online: 26 April 2017; Manuscript accepted: 24 April 2017; Manuscript revised: 22 April 2017; Manuscript received: 02 March 2017. This research was supported by the NASA MSL Mission, operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. We acknowledge the support of the MSL engineering and operations staff. J.F. thanks the Villum Foundation, K.M.K. and M.B.M. thank the Danish Council for Independent Research (4002‐00292), J.C.B. and S.P.S. thank UKSA (ST/P002110/1), and C.C.B. thanks STFC (ST/N50421X/1) for support. Data from the MSL mission are available online (http://pds‐ ChemCam and APXS derived data products used in this work are attached as supporting information.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Villum FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Danish Council for Independent Research4002‐00292
United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA)ST/P002110/1
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/N50421X/1
Subject Keywords:Diagenesis; Silica; Groundwater; Gale crater, Mars; MSL
Issue or Number:10
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200902-091425199
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Frydenvang, J., et al. (2017), Diagenetic silica enrichment and late‐stage groundwater activity in Gale crater, Mars, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 4716–4724, doi:10.1002/2017GL073323
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:105212
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Sep 2020 23:35
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:40

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