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Hydrogen and chlorine abundances in the Kimberley formation of Gale crater measured by the DAN instrument on board the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover

Litvak, M. L. and Mitrofanov, I. G. and Hardgrove, C. and Stack, K. M. and Sanin, A. B. and Lisov, D. and Boynton, W. V. and Fedosov, F. and Golovin, D. and Harshman, K. and Jun, I. and Kozyrev, A. S. and Kuzmin, R. O. and Malakhov, A. and Milliken, R. and Mischna, M. and Moersch, J. and Mokrousov, M. and Nikiforov, S. and Starr, R. and Tate, C. and Tret'yakov, V. I. and Vostrukhin, A. (2016) Hydrogen and chlorine abundances in the Kimberley formation of Gale crater measured by the DAN instrument on board the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover. Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets, 121 (5). pp. 836-845. ISSN 2169-9097. doi:10.1002/2015je004960.

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The Dynamic Albedo of Neutron (DAN) instrument on board the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover acquired a series of measurements as part of an observational campaign of the Kimberley area in Gale crater. These observations were planned to assess the variability of bulk hydrogen and neutron‐absorbing elements, characterized as chlorine‐equivalent concentration, in the geologic members of the Kimberley formation and in surface materials exposed throughout the area. During the traverse of the Kimberley area, Curiosity drove primarily over the “Smooth Hummocky” unit, a unit composed primarily of sand and loose rocks, with occasional stops at bedrock of the Kimberley formation. During the Kimberley campaign, DAN detected ranges of water equivalent hydrogen (WEH) and chlorine‐equivalent concentrations of 1.5–2.5 wt % and 0.6–2 wt %, respectively. Results show that as the traverse progressed, DAN observed an overall decrease in both WEH and chlorine‐equivalent concentration measured over the sand and loose rocks of the Smooth Hummocky unit. DAN measurements of WEH and chlorine‐equivalent concentrations in the well‐exposed sedimentary bedrock of the Kimberley formation show fluctuations with stratigraphic position. The Kimberley campaign also provided an opportunity to compare measurements from DAN with those from the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) and the Alpha‐Particle X‐ray Spectrometer (APXS) instruments. DAN measurements obtained near the Windjana drill location show a WEH concentration of ~1.5 wt %, consistent with the concentration of low‐temperature absorbed water measured by SAM for the Windjana drill sample. A comparison between DAN chlorine‐equivalent concentrations measured throughout the Kimberley area and APXS observations of corresponding local surface targets and drill fines shows general agreement between the two instruments.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Hardgrove, C.0000-0002-8556-6630
Stack, K. M.0000-0003-3444-6695
Lisov, D.0000-0002-3306-9819
Jun, I.0000-0001-5663-8888
Milliken, R.0000-0003-3240-4918
Mischna, M.0000-0002-8022-5319
Nikiforov, S.0000-0002-7221-8602
Additional Information:© 2016 American Geophysical Union. Issue Online: 11 June 2016; Version of Record online: 14 May 2016; Accepted manuscript online: 23 April 2016; Manuscript accepted: 20 April 2016; Manuscript revised: 22 March 2016; Manuscript received: 17 October 2015. The numerical simulations of water distribution performed in this work are supported by grant 14‐22‐00249 from the Russian Science Foundation. U.S. DAN team members, coauthors of this paper, are supported by contracts from NASA/JPL. Part of the research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Instrument data used here are publically available through the NASA Planetary Data System (‐Release.shtml, see, for details, Mars Science Laboratory Data Releases with APXS and DAN data). The DAN team is thankful to the highly professional MSL project team members who have maximized opportunities for DAN measurements on Mars. The DAN team very much appreciates the work of colleagues from the N.L. Dukhov Institute for Automatics for the development of the reliable pulse neutron generator for this experiment. Finally, the team thanks the Curiosity science team, which provided essential comments and advice to the DAN team during numerous discussions.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Russian Science Foundation14-22-00249
Subject Keywords:neutrons; hydrogen; chlorine; Mars; water; DAN
Issue or Number:5
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200902-092959517
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Litvak, M. L., et al. (2016), Hydrogen and chlorine abundances in the Kimberley formation of Gale crater measured by the DAN instrument on board the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 121, 836–845, doi:10.1002/2015JE004960
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:105213
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Sep 2020 22:36
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:40

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