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Paleoclimate of Mars as captured by the stratigraphic record in Gale Crater

Milliken, R. E. and Grotzinger, J. P. and Thomson, B. J. (2010) Paleoclimate of Mars as captured by the stratigraphic record in Gale Crater. Geophysical Research Letters, 37 . Art. No. L04201. ISSN 0094-8276.

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A kilometers-thick sedimentary sequence in Gale Crater exhibits stratigraphic changes in lithology that are consistent with transitions in aqueous and climatic conditions purported to be global in scale. The sequence is divided into two formations, where the Lower formation exhibits a net transition in mineralogy from clay/sulfate to sulfate/oxide assemblages and is separated from the overlying Upper formation by an erosional unconformity. Superposition and crater counts suggest strata in the Lower formation lie along the Noachian-Hesperian time-stratigraphic boundary, whereas beds in the Upper formation, which lack signatures indicative of clay minerals or sulfates, are thinner, more regularly spaced, and clearly younger. The observed stratigraphic trends are consistent with the rocks at Gale Crater recording a global transition from a climate favorable to clay mineral formation to one more favorable to forming sulfates and other salts.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Milliken, R. E.0000-0003-3240-4918
Grotzinger, J. P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Additional Information:© 2010 American Geophysical Union. Received 20 November 2009; revised 6 January 2010; accepted 14 January 2010; published 19 February 2010. A portion of the research described in this paper was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA. Partial support of this research was provided by a NASA Astrobiology grant to J.P.G.
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Subject Keywords:Mars; Gale Crater; clays
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100308-082552678
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Official Citation:Milliken, R. E., J. P. Grotzinger, and B. J. Thomson (2010), Paleoclimate of Mars as captured by the stratigraphic record in Gale Crater, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L04201, doi:10.1029/2009GL041870.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:17685
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 Mar 2010 22:43
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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