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High manganese concentrations in rocks at Gale crater, Mars

Lanza, Nina L. and Fischer, Woodward W. and Wiens, Roger C. and Grotzinger, John P. and Ollila, Ann M. and Cousin, Agnes and Anderson, Ryan B. and Clark, Benton C. and Gellert, Ralf and Mangold, Nicolas and Maurice, Sylvester and Le Mouélic, Stéphane and Nachon, Marion and Schmidt, Mariek E. and Berger, Jeffrey and Clegg, Samuel M. and Forni, Olivier and Hardgrove, Craig and Melikechi, Noureddine and Newsom, Horton E. and Sautter, Violaine (2014) High manganese concentrations in rocks at Gale crater, Mars. Geophysical Research Letters, 41 (16). pp. 5755-5763. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1002/2014GL060329.

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The surface of Mars has long been considered a relatively oxidizing environment, an idea supported by the abundance of ferric iron phases observed there. However, compared to iron, manganese is sensitive only to high redox potential oxidants, and when concentrated in rocks, it provides a more specific redox indicator of aqueous environments. Observations from the ChemCam instrument on the Curiosity rover indicate abundances of manganese in and on some rock targets that are 1–2 orders of magnitude higher than previously observed on Mars, suggesting the presence of an as-yet unidentified manganese-rich phase. These results show that the Martian surface has at some point in time hosted much more highly oxidizing conditions than has previously been recognized.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Information
Lanza, Nina L.0000-0003-4445-7996
Fischer, Woodward W.0000-0002-8836-3054
Wiens, Roger C.0000-0002-3409-7344
Grotzinger, John P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Cousin, Agnes0000-0001-7823-7794
Anderson, Ryan B.0000-0003-4465-2871
Clark, Benton C.0000-0002-5546-8757
Gellert, Ralf0000-0001-7928-834X
Mangold, Nicolas0000-0002-0022-0631
Nachon, Marion0000-0003-0417-7076
Clegg, Samuel M.0000-0002-0338-0948
Forni, Olivier0000-0001-6772-9689
Hardgrove, Craig0000-0002-8556-6630
Newsom, Horton E.0000-0002-4358-8161
Sautter, Violaine0000-0002-4263-7558
Additional Information:© 2014 American Geophysical Union. Received 29 April 2014; Accepted 13 July 2014; Accepted article online 18 July 2014; Published online 25 August 2014. The data reported here are archived at the Planetary Data System, available at This research was carried out with funding from NASA’s Mars Program Office and the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) in France. We are grateful to Bradley Tebo and an anonymous reviewer for providing valuable feedback. The Editor thanks Bradley Tebo and an anonymous reviewer for their assistance in evaluating this paper.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:16
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141107-111618504
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Lanza, N. L., et al. (2014), Highmanganese concentrations in rocks at Gale crater, Mars, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 5755–5763, doi:10.1002/2014GL060329.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:51436
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:07 Nov 2014 21:57
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 19:10

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