A Caltech Library Service

X-ray Diffraction Results from Mars Science Laboratory: Mineralogy of Rocknest at Gale Crater

Bish, D. L. and Blake, D. F. and Vaniman, D. T. and Chipera, S. J. and Morris, R. V. and Ming, D. W. and Treiman, A. H. and Sarrazin, P. and Morrison, S. M. and Downs, R. T. and Achilles, C. N. and Yen, A. S. and Bristow, T. F. and Crisp, J. A. and Morookian, J. M. and Farmer, J. D. and Rampe, E. B. and Stolper, E. M. and Spanovich, N. (2013) X-ray Diffraction Results from Mars Science Laboratory: Mineralogy of Rocknest at Gale Crater. Science, 341 (6153). Art. No. 1238932. ISSN 0036-8075.

PDF (MSL Science Team Author List) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity scooped samples of soil from the Rocknest aeolian bedform in Gale crater. Analysis of the soil with the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) x-ray diffraction (XRD) instrument revealed plagioclase (~An57), forsteritic olivine (~Fo62), augite, and pigeonite, with minor K-feldspar, magnetite, quartz, anhydrite, hematite, and ilmenite. The minor phases are present at, or near, detection limits. The soil also contains 27 ± 14 weight percent x-ray amorphous material, likely containing multiple Fe^(3+)- and volatile-bearing phases, including possibly a substance resembling hisingerite. The crystalline component is similar to the normative mineralogy of certain basaltic rocks from Gusev crater on Mars and of martian basaltic meteorites. The amorphous component is similar to that found on Earth in places such as soils on the Mauna Kea volcano, Hawaii.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription PDF Article HTML Aticle
Blake, D. F.0000-0002-0834-4487
Vaniman, D. T.0000-0001-7661-2626
Ming, D. W.0000-0003-0567-8876
Treiman, A. H.0000-0002-8073-2839
Downs, R. T.0000-0002-8380-7728
Achilles, C. N.0000-0001-9185-6768
Bristow, T. F.0000-0001-6725-0555
Crisp, J. A.0000-0002-3202-4416
Rampe, E. B.0000-0002-6999-0028
Stolper, E. M.0000-0001-8008-8804
Alternate Title:Curiosity at Gale Crater
Additional Information:© 2013 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 9 April 2013; accepted 1 August 2013. Support from the NASA Mars Science Laboratory Mission is gratefully acknowledged. Some of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. XRD data presented here are archived in the Planetary Data System (PDS,
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Rocknest ; Gale Crater ; Mars ; Mars Science Laboratory ; Curiosity
Non-Subject Keywords:Mars Science Laboratory ; Curiosity ; NASA
Issue or Number:6153
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130930-110010639
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:X-ray Diffraction Results from Mars Science Laboratory: Mineralogy of Rocknest at Gale Crater D. L. Bish, D. F. Blake, D. T. Vaniman, S. J. Chipera, R. V. Morris, D. W. Ming, A. H. Treiman, P. Sarrazin, S. M. Morrison, R. T. Downs, C. N. Achilles, A. S. Yen, T. F. Bristow, J. A. Crisp, J. M. Morookian, J. D. Farmer, E. B. Rampe, E. M. Stolper, N. Spanovich, and MSL Science Team Science 27 September 2013: 341 (6153), 1238932 [DOI:10.1126/science.1238932]
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:41554
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:30 Sep 2013 18:56
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

Repository Staff Only: item control page