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The Curiosity Rover’s Exploration of Glen Torridon, Gale crater, Mars: An Overview of the Campaign and Scientific Results

Bennett, Kristen A. and Fox, Valerie K. and Bryk, Alex and Dietrich, William and Fedo, Christopher and Edgar, Lauren and Thorpe, Michael T. and Williams, Amy J. and Wong, Gregory M. and Dehouck, Erwin and McAdam, Amy and Sutter, Brad and Millan, Maeva and Banham, Steven G. and Bedford, Candice C. and Bristow, Thomas and Fraeman, Abigail and Vasavada, Ashwin R. and Grotzinger, John and Thompson, Lucy and O’Connell-Cooper, Catherine and Gasda, Patrick and Rudolph, Amanda and Sullivan, Robert and Arvidson, Ray and Cousin, Agnes and Horgan, Briony and Stack, Kathryn M. and Treiman, Allan and Eigenbrode, Jennifer and Caravaca, Gwénaël (2022) The Curiosity Rover’s Exploration of Glen Torridon, Gale crater, Mars: An Overview of the Campaign and Scientific Results. Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets . ISSN 2169-9097. doi:10.1029/2022je007185. (In Press)

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The Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, explored the clay mineral-bearing Glen Torridon region for one martian year between January 2019 and January 2021, including a short campaign onto the Greenheugh pediment. The Glen Torridon campaign sought to characterize the geology of the area, seek evidence of habitable environments, and document the onset of a potentially global climatic transition during the Hesperian era. Curiosity roved 5 km in total throughout Glen Torridon, from the Vera Rubin ridge to the northern margin of the Greenheugh pediment. Curiosity acquired samples from 11 drill holes during this campaign and conducted the first martian thermochemolytic-based organics detection experiment with the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite. The lowest elevations within Glen Torridon represent a continuation of lacustrine Murray formation deposits, but overlying widespread cross bedded sandstones indicate an interval of more energetic fluvial environments and prompted the definition of a new stratigraphic formation in the Mount Sharp group called the Carolyn Shoemaker formation. Glen Torridon hosts abundant phyllosilicates yet remains compositionally and mineralogically comparable to the rest of the Mount Sharp group. Glen Torridon samples have a great diversity and abundance of sulfur-bearing organic molecules, which are consistent with the presence of ancient refractory organic matter. The Glen Torridon region experienced heterogeneous diagenesis, with the most striking alteration occurring just below the Siccar Point unconformity at the Greenheugh pediment. Results from the pediment campaign show that the capping sandstone formed within the Stimson Hesperian aeolian sand sea that experienced seasonal variations in wind direction.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Information ItemMars Science Laboratory data ItemNASA Planetary Data System Geosciences Node
Bennett, Kristen A.0000-0001-8105-7129
Fox, Valerie K.0000-0002-0972-1192
Bryk, Alex0000-0002-2013-7456
Fedo, Christopher0000-0002-2626-1132
Edgar, Lauren0000-0001-7512-7813
Thorpe, Michael T.0000-0002-1235-9016
Williams, Amy J.0000-0001-6299-0845
Wong, Gregory M.0000-0003-0136-6373
Dehouck, Erwin0000-0002-1368-4494
McAdam, Amy0000-0001-9120-2991
Sutter, Brad0000-0002-3036-170X
Millan, Maeva0000-0002-8887-4313
Banham, Steven G.0000-0003-1206-1639
Bedford, Candice C.0000-0002-0783-1064
Bristow, Thomas0000-0001-6725-0555
Fraeman, Abigail0000-0003-4017-5158
Vasavada, Ashwin R.0000-0003-2665-286X
Grotzinger, John0000-0001-9324-1257
Thompson, Lucy0000-0002-5444-952X
O’Connell-Cooper, Catherine0000-0003-4561-3663
Gasda, Patrick0000-0003-0895-1153
Rudolph, Amanda0000-0003-2911-9032
Sullivan, Robert0000-0003-4191-598X
Arvidson, Ray0000-0002-2854-0362
Cousin, Agnes0000-0001-7823-7794
Horgan, Briony0000-0001-6314-9724
Stack, Kathryn M.0000-0003-3444-6695
Treiman, Allan0000-0002-8073-2839
Eigenbrode, Jennifer0000-0003-3089-1986
Caravaca, Gwénaël0000-0002-4138-0471
Additional Information:© 2022 American Geophysical Union. Accepted manuscript online: 26 June 2022. Manuscript accepted: 12 May 2022. Manuscript revised: 10 May 2022. Manuscript received: 18 January 2022. We would like to thank theentire MSL team for their hard work on this campaign, including transitioningto fully remote operationsfor the first timein the middle of the campaign to respond tothe global pandemicin 2020.Funding from the Mars Science Laboratory was used to conduct this work.The Mastcam mosaics included in figures were produced by the Mastcam science and operations team at Malin Space Science Systems. We wouldlike to thank Sanjeev Gupta and an anonymous reviewer for their helpful comments that improved the manuscript.Open Research:Data availability statement: All MSL data described in this manuscript areavailable at the Planetary Data System Geosciences Node ( This includes datasets from APXS (Gellert, 2012), MAHLI (Edgett, 2013a, b), Mastcam (Malin, 2013), ChemCam (Wiens, 2013a, b), CheMin(Vaniman, 2013), SAM(Mahaffy, 2013), and DAN(Mitrofanov,2012). Derived data products that were mentionedin the manuscript are available via the cited manuscripts (i.e. the other manuscripts submitted to this special issue).HiRISE(McEwen, 2005)and CTX(Malin, 2007)data used for figure backgroundsare also available at the Planetary Data System Geosciences Node (
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Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220802-744641000
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Official Citation:Bennett, K. A., Fox, V. K., Bryk, A., Dietrich, W., Fedo, C., Edgar, L., et al. (2022). The Curiosity Rover’s Exploration of Glen Torridon, Gale crater, Mars: An Overview of the Campaign and Scientific Results. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 127, e2022JE007185.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:116035
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:02 Aug 2022 19:08
Last Modified:02 Aug 2022 19:09

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