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Silicic volcanism on Mars evidenced by tridymite in high-SiO_2 sedimentary rock at Gale crater

Morris, Richard V. and Vaniman, David T. and Blake, David F. and Gellert, Ralf and Chipera, Steve J. and Rampe, Elizabeth B. and Ming, Douglas W. and Morrison, Shaunna M. and Downs, Robert T. and Treiman, Allan H. and Yen, Albert S. and Grotzinger, John P. and Achilles, Cherie N. and Bristow, Thomas F. and Crisp, Joy A. and Des Marais, David J. and Farmer, Jack D. and Fendrich, Kim V. and Frydenvang, Jens and Graff, Trevor G. and Morookian, John-Michael and Stolper, Edward M. and Schwenzer, Susanne P. (2016) Silicic volcanism on Mars evidenced by tridymite in high-SiO_2 sedimentary rock at Gale crater. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113 (26). pp. 7071-7076. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC4932983. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20160613-163955148

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Abstract

Tridymite, a low-pressure, high-temperature (>870 °C) SiO_2 polymorph, was detected in a drill sample of laminated mudstone (Buckskin) at Marias Pass in Gale crater, Mars, by the Chemistry and Mineralogy X-ray diffraction instrument onboard the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity. The tridymitic mudstone has ∼40 wt.% crystalline and ∼60 wt.% X-ray amorphous material and a bulk composition with ∼74 wt.% SiO_2 (Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer analysis). Plagioclase (∼17 wt.% of bulk sample), tridymite (∼14 wt.%), sanidine (∼3 wt.%), cation-deficient magnetite (∼3 wt.%), cristobalite (∼2 wt.%), and anhydrite (∼1 wt.%) are the mudstone crystalline minerals. Amorphous material is silica-rich (∼39 wt.% opal-A and/or high-SiO_2 glass and opal-CT), volatile-bearing (16 wt.% mixed cation sulfates, phosphates, and chlorides−perchlorates−chlorates), and has minor TiO_2 and Fe_2O_3T oxides (∼5 wt.%). Rietveld refinement yielded a monoclinic structural model for a well-crystalline tridymite, consistent with high formation temperatures. Terrestrial tridymite is commonly associated with silicic volcanism, and detritus from such volcanism in a “Lake Gale” catchment environment can account for Buckskin’s tridymite, cristobalite, feldspar, and any residual high-SiO_2 glass. These cogenetic detrital phases are possibly sourced from the Gale crater wall/rim/central peak. Opaline silica could form during diagenesis from high-SiO_2 glass, as amorphous precipitated silica, or as a residue of acidic leaching in the sediment source region or at Marias Pass. The amorphous mixed-cation salts and oxides and possibly the crystalline magnetite (otherwise detrital) are primary precipitates and/or their diagenesis products derived from multiple infiltrations of aqueous solutions having variable compositions, temperatures, and acidities. Anhydrite is post lithification fracture/vein fill.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1607098113DOIArticle
http://www.pnas.org/content/113/26/7071PublisherArticle
http://www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1607098113/-/DCSupplementalPublisherSupplementary Information
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4932983/PubMed CentralArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Vaniman, David T.0000-0001-7661-2626
Blake, David F.0000-0002-0834-4487
Gellert, Ralf0000-0001-7928-834X
Rampe, Elizabeth B.0000-0002-6999-0028
Ming, Douglas W.0000-0003-0567-8876
Downs, Robert T.0000-0002-8380-7728
Treiman, Allan H.0000-0002-8073-2839
Grotzinger, John P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Achilles, Cherie N.0000-0001-9185-6768
Bristow, Thomas F.0000-0001-6725-0555
Crisp, Joy A.0000-0002-3202-4416
Frydenvang, Jens0000-0001-9294-1227
Stolper, Edward M.0000-0001-8008-8804
Schwenzer, Susanne P.0000-0002-9608-0759
Alternate Title:Silicic volcanism on Mars evidenced by tridymite in high-SiO2 sedimentary rock at Gale crater
Additional Information:© 2016 National Academy of Sciences. Freely available online through the PNAS open access option. Contributed by John P. Grotzinger, May 5, 2016 (sent for review March 18, 2016); reviewed by Jon Blundy, Robert M. Hazen, and Harry Y. McSween) We acknowledge the unwavering support of the JPL engineering and MSL operations staff. This research was supported by the NASA Mars Science Laboratory Mission. The MSL APXS was financed and managed by the Canadian Space Agency, with MacDonald Dettwiler & Assoc., Brampton, as prime subcontractor for the construction of the instrument. Operation of the MSL APXS is supported by CSA Contract 9F052-110786 and by NASA. Some of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. J.D.F. thanks the Danish Villum Foundation for support. S.P.S. acknowledges UK Space Agency funding. Author contributions: R.V.M., D.T.V., D.F.B., R.G., S.J.C., D.W.M., S.M.M., A.S.Y., J.P.G., T.F.B., and J.-M.M. designed research; R.V.M., D.T.V., D.F.B., R.G., S.J.C., E.B.R., D.W.M., S.M.M., R.T.D., A.H.T., A.S.Y., J.P.G., C.N.A., T.F.B., J.A.C., D.J.D.M., J.D.F., K.V.F., J.F., T.G.G., and J.-M.M. performed research; R.V.M., D.T.V., D.F.B., R.G., S.J.C., E.B.R., D.W.M., S.M.M., R.T.D., A.H.T., A.S.Y., J.P.G., C.N.A., T.F.B., J.A.C., D.J.D.M., J.D.F., K.V.F., J.F., T.G.G., J.-M.M., E.M.S., and S.P.S. analyzed data; and R.V.M. and J.P.G. wrote the paper. Reviewers: J.B., Bristol University; R.M.H., Carnegie Institution of Washington; and H.Y.M., The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The authors declare no conflict of interest. Data deposition: CheMin and APXS experiment data records and CheMin diffraction patterns have been deposited with the NASA Planetary Data System at pds-geosciences.wustl.edu/msl/msl-m-chemin-4-rdr-v1/mslcmn_1xxx/ for the CheMin data and pds-geosciences.wustl.edu/msl/msl-m-apxs-4_5-rdr-v1/mslapx_1xxx/ for the APXS data. This article contains supporting information online at www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1607098113/-/DCSupplemental.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA/JPL/CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Canadian Space Agency (CSA)9F052-110786
Villum FoundationUNSPECIFIED
United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Mars; tridymite; Gale crater; lake; volcanism
Issue or Number:26
PubMed Central ID:PMC4932983
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160613-163955148
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20160613-163955148
Official Citation:Richard V. Morris, David T. Vaniman, David F. Blake, Ralf Gellert, Steve J. Chipera, Elizabeth B. Rampe, Douglas W. Ming, Shaunna M. Morrison, Robert T. Downs, Allan H. Treiman, Albert S. Yen, John P. Grotzinger, Cherie N. Achilles, Thomas F. Bristow, Joy A. Crisp, David J. Des Marais, Jack D. Farmer, Kim V. Fendrich, Jens Frydenvang, Trevor G. Graff, John-Michael Morookian, Edward M. Stolper, and Susanne P. Schwenzer Silicic volcanism on Mars evidenced by tridymite in high-SiO2 sedimentary rock at Gale crater PNAS 2016 113 (26) 7071-7076; published ahead of print June 13, 2016, doi:10.1073/pnas.1607098113
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:67896
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:14 Jun 2016 14:59
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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