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Mineralogy and fluvial history of the watersheds of Gale, Knobel, and Sharp craters: A regional context for the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity's exploration

Ehlmann, Bethany L. and Buz, Jennifer (2015) Mineralogy and fluvial history of the watersheds of Gale, Knobel, and Sharp craters: A regional context for the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity's exploration. Geophysical Research Letters, 42 (2). pp. 264-273. ISSN 0094-8276. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20150513-075628407

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Abstract

A 500 km long network of valleys extends from Herschel crater to Gale, Knobel, and Sharp craters. The mineralogy and timing of fluvial activity in these watersheds provide a regional framework for deciphering the origin of sediments of Gale crater's Mount Sharp, an exploration target for the Curiosity rover. Olivine-bearing bedrock is exposed throughout the region, and its erosion contributed to widespread olivine-bearing sand dunes. Fe/Mg phyllosilicates are found in both bedrock and sediments, implying that materials deposited in Gale crater may have inherited clay minerals, transported from the watershed. While some topographic lows of the Sharp-Knobel watershed host chloride salts, the only salts detected in the Gale watershed are sulfates within Mount Sharp, implying regional or temporal differences in water chemistry. Crater counts indicate progressively more spatially localized aqueous activity: large-scale valley network activity ceased by the early Hesperian, though later Hesperian/Amazonian fluvial activity continued near Gale and Sharp craters.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2014GL062553DOIArticle
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/2014GL062553/abstractPublisherArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Ehlmann, Bethany L.0000-0002-2745-3240
Buz, Jennifer0000-0002-0491-2686
Additional Information:© 2014 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made. Received 19 NOV 2014; Accepted 18 DEC 2014; Accepted article online 22 DEC 2014; Published online 29 JAN 2015. All data used in this paper are available in the NASA Planetary Data System; derived products are available by request. Work was partially funded by an MSL Participating Scientist grant to B.L.E. and by a Rose Hills Foundation fellowship to J.B. Thanks to A. Oshagan for construction of the CTX mosaics used, C. Fassett for sharing a spreadsheet for incremental crater statistics, and N. Warner and M. Golombek for discussions of crater counting methodology. Thanks also to reviewers J. Grant and B. Thomson for their constructive, critical comments.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)UNSPECIFIED
Rose Hills FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:clay mineralogy; chlorides; fluvial activity; olivine bedrock; sediment provenance; MSL
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150513-075628407
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20150513-075628407
Official Citation:Ehlmann, B. L., and J. Buz (2015), Mineralogy and fluvial history of the watersheds of Gale, Knobel, and Sharp craters: A regional context for the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity's exploration, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 264–273, doi:10.1002/2014GL062553.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:57475
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 May 2015 17:51
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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