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Physicochemical properties of concentrated Martian surface waters

Tosca, Nicholas J. and McLennan, Scott M. and Lamb, Michael P. and Grotzinger, John P. (2011) Physicochemical properties of concentrated Martian surface waters. Journal of Geophysical Research E, 116 (E5). Art. No. E05004. ISSN 0148-0227.

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Understanding the processes controlling chemical sedimentation is an important step in deciphering paleoclimatic conditions from the rock records preserved on both Earth and Mars. Clear evidence for subaqueous sedimentation at Meridiani Planum, widespread saline mineral deposits in the Valles Marineris region, and the possible role of saline waters in forming recent geomorphologic features all underscore the need to understand the physical properties of highly concentrated solutions on Mars in addition to, and as a function of, their distinct chemistry. Using thermodynamic models predicting saline mineral solubility, we generate likely brine compositions ranging from bicarbonate-dominated to sulfate-dominated and predict their saline mineralogy. For each brine composition, we then estimate a number of thermal, transport, and colligative properties using established models that have been developed for highly concentrated multicomponent electrolyte solutions. The available experimental data and theoretical models that allow estimation of these physicochemical properties encompass, for the most part, much of the anticipated variation in chemistry for likely Martian brines. These estimates allow significant progress in building a detailed analysis of physical sedimentation at the ancient Martian surface and allow more accurate predictions of thermal behavior and the diffusive transport of matter through chemically distinct solutions under comparatively nonstandard conditions.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
McLennan, Scott M.0000-0003-4259-7178
Lamb, Michael P.0000-0002-5701-0504
Grotzinger, John P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Additional Information:© 2011 American Geophysical Union. Received 27 July 2010; revised 1 December 2010; accepted 23 February 2011; published 17 May 2011. We thank John Southard for helpful discussions. N. J. T. is grateful for support from Churchill College, Cambridge.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Cambridge University, Churchill CollegeUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Mars; electrolytes; thermodynamics
Issue or Number:E5
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110607-113546169
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Official Citation:Tosca, N. J., S. M. McLennan, M. P. Lamb, and J. P. Grotzinger (2011), Physicochemical properties of concentrated Martian surface waters, J. Geophys. Res., 116, E05004, doi:10.1029/2010JE003700.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:23931
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:09 Jun 2011 23:09
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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