A Caltech Library Service

Phyllosilicate Diversity and Past Aqueous Activity Revealed at Mawrth Vallis, Mars

Bishop, Janice L. and Dobrea, Eldar Z. Noe and McKeown, Nancy K. and Parente, Mario and Ehlmann, Bethany L. and Michalski, Joseph R. and Milliken, Ralph E. and Poulet, Francois and Swayze, Gregg A. and Mustard, John F. and Murchie, Scott L. and Bibring, Jean-Pierre (2008) Phyllosilicate Diversity and Past Aqueous Activity Revealed at Mawrth Vallis, Mars. Science, 321 (5890). pp. 830-833. ISSN 0036-8075. PMCID PMC7007808.

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
See Usage Policy.

PDF - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.

[img] Video (MPEG) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Observations by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter/Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars in the Mawrth Vallis region show several phyllosilicate species, indicating a wide range of past aqueous activity. Iron/magnesium (Fe/Mg)–smectite is observed in light-toned outcrops that probably formed via aqueous alteration of basalt of the ancient cratered terrain. This unit is overlain by rocks rich in hydrated silica, montmorillonite, and kaolinite that may have formed via subsequent leaching of Fe and Mg through extended aqueous events or a change in aqueous chemistry. A spectral feature attributed to an Fe^(2+) phase is present in many locations in the Mawrth Vallis region at the transition from Fe/Mg-smectite to aluminum/silicon (Al/Si)–rich units. Fe^(2+)-bearing materials in terrestrial sediments are typically associated with microorganisms or changes in pH or cations and could be explained here by hydrothermal activity. The stratigraphy of Fe/Mg-smectite overlain by a ferrous phase, hydrated silica, and then Al-phyllosilicates implies a complex aqueous history.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle Material CentralArticle
Ehlmann, Bethany L.0000-0002-2745-3240
Milliken, Ralph E.0000-0003-3240-4918
Murchie, Scott L.0000-0002-1616-8751
Additional Information:© 2008 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received for publication 28 April 2008; accepted for publication 17 June 2008. The authors thank E. Cloutis and an anonymous reviewer for helpful editorial comments and the CRISM Science Team for acquisition of the images. Supported by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter project, Mars Data Analysis program, Mars Fundamental Research program, and the NASA Astrobiology Institute.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter projectUNSPECIFIED
NASA Astrobiology InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:5890
PubMed Central ID:PMC7007808
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121015-131020298
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Phyllosilicate Diversity and Past Aqueous Activity Revealed at Mawrth Vallis, Mars. By Janice L. Bishop, Eldar Z. Noe Dobrea, Nancy K. McKeown, Mario Parente, Bethany L. Ehlmann, Joseph R. Michalski, Ralph E. Milliken, Francois Poulet, Gregg A. Swayze, John F. Mustard, Scott L. Murchie, Jean-Pierre Bibring. Science 08 Aug 2008: 830-833; doi: 10.1126/science.1159699
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:34903
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:15 Oct 2012 21:22
Last Modified:04 May 2020 20:22

Repository Staff Only: item control page