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A hematite-bearing layer in Gale Crater, Mars: Mapping and implications for past aqueous conditions

Fraeman, A. A. and Arvidson, R. E. and Catalano, J. G. and Grotzinger, J. P. and Morris, R. V. and Murchie, S. L. and Stack, K. M. and Humm, D. C. and McGovern, J. A. and Seelos, F. P. and Viviano, C. E. (2013) A hematite-bearing layer in Gale Crater, Mars: Mapping and implications for past aqueous conditions. Geology, 41 (10). pp. 1103-1106. ISSN 0091-7613.

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Oversampled Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) visible and near-infrared hyperspectral data over Mount Sharp in Gale Crater, Mars, were used to generate spatially sharpened maps of the location of red crystalline hematite within the uppermost stratum of an ∼6.5-km-long ridge on the mound’s northern flank. Finely layered strata underlie the ridge to the north and have dips consistent with the nearby Mount Sharp sedimentary sequence. Fe-Mg smectites are exposed in a valley to the south of the ridge. Emplacement of the hematite is hypothesized to result either from exposure of anoxic Fe^(2+)-rich groundwater to an oxidizing environment, leading to precipitation of hematite or its precursors, or from in-place weathering of precursor silicate materials under oxidizing conditions. These hypotheses and implications for habitability will be testable with in situ measurements by the Mars rover Curiosity when it reaches Mount Sharp.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Fraeman, A. A.0000-0003-4017-5158
Arvidson, R. E.0000-0002-2854-0362
Catalano, J. G.0000-0001-9311-977X
Grotzinger, J. P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Murchie, S. L.0000-0002-1616-8751
Stack, K. M.0000-0003-3444-6695
Additional Information:© 2013 Geological Society of America. Manuscript received 1 April 2013. Revised manuscript received 19 June 2013. Manuscript accepted 27 June 2013. We thank the CRISM Science Operations Center for their assistance in developing the along-track oversampled observations scheme. This manuscript was substantially improved by insightful reviews from E. Rampe, N. Tosca, S. Ruff, and one anonymous reviewer; we also thank S. McLennan and J. Hurowitz for comments on an early version. This work was supported by CRISM APL/JPL contract 104149, and Fraeman was funded by National Science Foundation Graduate Student Research Fellowship grant DGE-1143954. Catalano acknowledges financial support from the NASA Mars Fundamental Research Program (grant NNX11AH09G), and Morris acknowledges the support of the Mars Exploration Program.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF Graduate Student Research FellowshipDGE-1143954
NASA Mars Fundamental Research ProgramNNX11AH09G
Mars Exploration ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:10
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140107-070422555
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Official Citation: A.A. Fraeman, R.E. Arvidson, J.G. Catalano, J.P. Grotzinger, R.V. Morris, S.L. Murchie, K.M. Stack, D.C. Humm, J.A. McGovern, F.P. Seelos, K.D. Seelos, and C.E. Viviano A hematite-bearing layer in Gale Crater, Mars: Mapping and implications for past aqueous conditions Geology, October 2013, v. 41, p. 1103-1106, First published on July 30, 2013, doi:10.1130/G34613.1
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:43237
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:07 Jan 2014 15:29
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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