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Igneous mineralogy at Bradbury Rise: The first ChemCam campaign at Gale crater

Sautter, V. and Fabre, C. and Forni, O. and Toplis, M. J. and Cousin, A. and Ollila, A. M. and Meslin, P. Y. and Maurice, S. and Wiens, R. C. and Baratoux, D. and Mangold, N. and Le Mouélic, S. and Gasnault, O. and Berger, G. and Lasue, J. and Anderson, R. A. and Lewin, E. and Schmidt, M. and Dyar, D. and Ehlmann, B. L. and Bridges, J. and Clark, B. and Pinet, P. (2014) Igneous mineralogy at Bradbury Rise: The first ChemCam campaign at Gale crater. Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets, 119 (1). pp. 30-46. ISSN 2169-9097.

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Textural and compositional analyses using Chemistry Camera (ChemCam) remote microimager and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) have been performed on five float rocks and coarse gravels along the first 100 m of the Curiosity traverse at Bradbury Rise. ChemCam, the first LIBS instrument sent to another planet, offers the opportunity to assess mineralogic diversity at grain-size scales (~ 100 µm) and, from this, lithologic diversity. Depth profiling indicates that targets are relatively free of surface coatings. One type of igneous rock is volcanic and includes both aphanitic (Coronation) and porphyritic (Mara) samples. The porphyritic sample shows dark grains that are likely pyroxene megacrysts in a fine-grained mesostasis containing andesine needles. Both types have magnesium-poor basaltic compositions and in this respect are similar to the evolved Jake Matijevic rock analyzed further along the Curiosity traverse both with Alpha-Particle X-ray Spectrometer and ChemCam instruments. The second rock type encountered is a coarse-grained intrusive rock (Thor Lake) showing equigranular texture with millimeter size crystals of feldspars and Fe-Ti oxides. Such a rock is not unique at Gale as the surrounding coarse gravels (such as Beaulieu) and the conglomerate Link are dominated by feldspathic (andesine-bytownite) clasts. Finally, alkali feldspar compositions associated with a silica polymorph have been analyzed in fractured filling material of Preble rock and in Stark, a putative pumice or an impact melt. These observations document magmatic diversity at Gale and describe the first fragments of feldspar-rich lithologies (possibly an anorthosite) that may be ancient crust transported from the crater rim and now forming float rocks, coarse gravel, or conglomerate clasts.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Sautter, V.0000-0002-4263-7558
Fabre, C.0000-0001-8627-4050
Forni, O.0000-0001-6772-9689
Cousin, A.0000-0001-7823-7794
Meslin, P. Y.0000-0002-0703-3951
Wiens, R. C.0000-0002-3409-7344
Mangold, N.0000-0002-0022-0631
Gasnault, O.0000-0002-6979-9012
Lasue, J.0000-0001-9082-4457
Ehlmann, B. L.0000-0002-2745-3240
Bridges, J.0000-0002-9579-5779
Clark, B.0000-0002-5546-8757
Pinet, P.0000-0002-1933-5631
Additional Information:© 2013 American Geophysical Union. Received 25 June 2013; revised 16 October 2013; accepted 2 December 2013; published 8 January 2014. The MSL team is gratefully acknowledged. The manuscript was greatly improved by the reviews of H.Y. McSween, M. McCanta, and H. Nekvasil, as well as editorial comments by J. Filiberto. All are warmly thanked for their help. This research was carried out with funding from NASA’s Mars Exploration Program in the US and in France with the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Curiosity; Gale Crater; igneous rocks; feldspar; laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS); ChemCam
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140606-125313224
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Official Citation:Sautter, V., et al. (2014), Igneous mineralogy at Bradbury Rise: The first ChemCam campaign at Gale crater, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 119, 30–46, doi:10.1002/2013JE004472
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:46128
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:06 Jun 2014 20:08
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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