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The Stratigraphy and Evolution of Lower Mt. Sharp from Spectral, Morphological, and Thermophysical Orbital Datasets

Fraeman, A. A. and Ehlmann, B. L. and Arvidson, R. E. and Edwards, C. S. and Grotzinger, J. P. and Milliken, R. E. and Quinn, D. P. and Rice, M. S. (2016) The Stratigraphy and Evolution of Lower Mt. Sharp from Spectral, Morphological, and Thermophysical Orbital Datasets. Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets, 121 (9). pp. 1713-1736. ISSN 2169-9097. PMCID PMC5101845. doi:10.1002/2016JE005095.

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We have developed a refined geologic map and stratigraphy for lower Mt. Sharp using coordinated analyses of new spectral, thermophysical, and morphologic orbital data products. The Mt. Sharp group consists of seven relatively planar units delineated by differences in texture, mineralogy, and thermophysical properties. These units are (1-3) three spatially adjacent units in the Murray formation which contain a variety of secondary phases and are distinguishable by thermal inertia and albedo differences, (4) a phyllosilicate-bearing unit, (5) a hematite-capped ridge unit, (6) a unit associated with material having a strongly sloped spectral signature at visible-near infrared wavelengths, and (7) a layered sulfate unit. The Siccar Point group consists of the Stimson formation and two additional units that unconformably overlie the Mt. Sharp group. All Siccar Point group units are distinguished by higher thermal inertia values and record a period of substantial deposition and exhumation that followed the deposition and exhumation of the Mt. Sharp group. Several spatially extensive silica deposits associated with veins and fractures show late stage silica enrichment within lower Mt. Sharp was pervasive. At least two laterally extensive hematitic deposits are present at different stratigraphic intervals, and both are geometrically conformable with lower Mt. Sharp strata. The occurrence of hematite at multiple stratigraphic horizons suggests redox interfaces were widespread in space and/or in time, and future measurements by the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover will provide further insights into the depositional settings of these and other mineral phases.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Fraeman, A. A.0000-0003-4017-5158
Ehlmann, B. L.0000-0002-2745-3240
Arvidson, R. E.0000-0002-2854-0362
Grotzinger, J. P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Milliken, R. E.0000-0003-3240-4918
Quinn, D. P.0000-0003-1895-3742
Rice, M. S.0000-0002-8370-4139
Additional Information:©2016. 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. Accepted manuscript online: 30 August 2016; Manuscript Accepted: 26 August 2016; Manuscript Revised: 24 August 2016; Manuscript Received: 1 June 2016. Version of record online: 17 September 2016. We thank two anonymous reviewers for their careful reading and insight comments that improved the quality of this manuscript. Thanks to Lulu Pan for providing helpful advice on CRISM parameter mapping techniques, Ara Oshagan for assistance in generating the HiRISE color mosaic, Dawn Sumner for nomenclature guidance, and Kathryn Stack Morgan for fruitful discussions about orbital mapping interpretations and sharing her general knowledge of the Gale Crater geologic context. A.A.F. was partially supported by a W.M. Keck Institution for Space Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship and Caltech Geological and Planetary Sciences Texaco Postdoctoral Fellowship. A portion of this research was also carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and funded through the internal Research and Technology Development program. B.L.E. was partially supported by an MSL Participating Scientist Program grant. All raw data products supporting the conclusions of this work can be obtained from the NASA Planetary Data System (PDS).
Group:Keck Institute for Space Studies, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS)UNSPECIFIED
Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary SciencesUNSPECIFIED
JPL Internal Research and Technology Development ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Mt. Sharp; Remote sensing; Orbital mapping; Spectroscopy; Stratigraphy
Issue or Number:9
PubMed Central ID:PMC5101845
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160831-102421641
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Fraeman, A. A., B. L. Ehlmann, R. E. Arvidson, C. S. Edwards, J. P. Grotzinger, R. E. Milliken, D. P. Quinn, and M. S. Rice (2016), The stratigraphy and evolution of lower Mount Sharp from spectral, morphological, and thermophysical orbital data sets, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 121, 1713–1736, doi:10.1002/2016JE005095.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:70070
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:31 Aug 2016 17:35
Last Modified:29 Nov 2022 23:48

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