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Deposition, exhumation, and paleoclimate of an ancient lake deposit, Gale crater, Mars

Grotzinger, J. P. and Gupta, S. and Malin, M. C. and Rubin, D. M. and Schieber, J. and Siebach, K. and Sumner, D. Y. and Stack, K. M. and Vasavada, A. R. and Arvidson, R. E. and Calef, F. and Edgar, L. and Fischer, W. F. and Grant, J. A. and Griffes, J. and Kah, L. C. and Lamb, M. P. and Lewis, K. W. and Mangold, N. and Minitti, M. E. and Palucis, M. and Rice, M. and Williams, R. M. E. and Yingst, R. A. and Blake, D. and Blaney, D. and Conrad, P. and Crisp, J. and Dietrich, W. E. and Dromart, G. and Edgett, K. S. and Ewing, R. C. and Gellert, R. and Hurowitz, J. A. and Kocurek, G. and Mahaffy, P. R. and McBride, M. J. and McLennan, S. M. and Mischna, M. A. and Ming, D. and Milliken, R. and Newsom, H. and Oehler, D. and Parker, T. J. and Vaniman, D. and Wiens, R. C. and Wilson, S. A. (2015) Deposition, exhumation, and paleoclimate of an ancient lake deposit, Gale crater, Mars. Science, 350 (6257). Art. No. aac7575. ISSN 0036-8075. doi:10.1126/science.aac7575.

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The landforms of northern Gale crater on Mars expose thick sequences of sedimentary rocks. Based on images obtained by the Curiosity rover, we interpret these outcrops as evidence for past fluvial, deltaic, and lacustrine environments. Degradation of the crater wall and rim probably supplied these sediments, which advanced inward from the wall, infilling both the crater and an internal lake basin to a thickness of at least 75 meters. This intracrater lake system probably existed intermittently for thousands to millions of years, implying a relatively wet climate that supplied moisture to the crater rim and transported sediment via streams into the lake basin. The deposits in Gale crater were then exhumed, probably by wind-driven erosion, creating Aeolis Mons (Mount Sharp).

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription PDF Article Full Text Material InRelated Article
Grotzinger, J. P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Siebach, K.0000-0002-6628-6297
Sumner, D. Y.0000-0002-7343-2061
Stack, K. M.0000-0003-3444-6695
Vasavada, A. R.0000-0003-2665-286X
Arvidson, R. E.0000-0002-2854-0362
Grant, J. A.0000-0001-8276-1281
Kah, L. C.0000-0001-7172-2033
Lamb, M. P.0000-0002-5701-0504
Lewis, K. W.0000-0003-3412-803X
Mangold, N.0000-0002-0022-0631
Minitti, M. E.0000-0003-4715-4544
Williams, R. M. E.0000-0003-1571-6952
Yingst, R. A.0000-0002-0628-4265
Crisp, J.0000-0002-3202-4416
Edgett, K. S.0000-0001-7197-5751
Ewing, R. C.0000-0001-6337-610X
Gellert, R.0000-0001-7928-834X
Hurowitz, J. A.0000-0002-5857-8652
Mahaffy, P. R.0000-0003-1896-1726
McLennan, S. M.0000-0003-4259-7178
Mischna, M. A.0000-0002-8022-5319
Ming, D.0000-0003-0567-8876
Newsom, H.0000-0002-4358-8161
Wiens, R. C.0000-0002-3409-7344
Additional Information:© 2015 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received for publication 8 June 2015. Accepted for publication 4 August 2015. The authors are indebted to the MSL project’s engineering and management teams for their exceptionally skilled and diligent efforts in making the mission as effective as possible and enhancing science operations. We are also grateful to all those MSL team members who participated in tactical and strategic operations. Without the support of both the engineering and science teams, the data presented here could not have been collected. Helpful reviews were provided by K. Bohacs and two anonymous reviewers. Some of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA. Work in the UK was funded by the UK Space Agency. Data presented in this paper are archived in the Planetary Data System (
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United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6257
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20151009-084255932
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:60940
Deposited By: Joy Painter
Deposited On:09 Oct 2015 15:58
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 22:42

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