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Redox stratification of an ancient lake in Gale crater, Mars

Hurowitz, J. A. and Grotzinger, J. P. and Fischer, W. W. and McLennan, S. M. and Milliken, R. E. and Stein, N. and Vasavada, A. R. and Blake, D. F. and Dehouck, E. and Eigenbrode, J. L. and Fairén, A. G. and Frydenvang, J. and Gellert, R. and Grant, J. A. and Gupta, S. and Herkenhoff, K. E. and Ming, D. W. and Rampe, E. B. and Schmidt, M. E. and Siebach, K. L. and Stack-Morgan, K. and Sumner, D. Y. and Wiens, R. C. (2017) Redox stratification of an ancient lake in Gale crater, Mars. Science, 356 (6341). Art. No. eaah6849. ISSN 0036-8075.

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In 2012, NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on Mars to assess its potential as a habitat for past life and investigate the paleoclimate record preserved by sedimentary rocks inside the ~150-kilometer-diameter Gale impact crater. Geological reconstructions from Curiosity rover data have revealed an ancient, habitable lake environment fed by rivers draining into the crater. We synthesize geochemical and mineralogical data from lake-bed mudstones collected during the first 1300 martian solar days of rover operations in Gale. We present evidence for lake redox stratification, established by depth-dependent variations in atmospheric oxidant and dissolved-solute concentrations. Paleoclimate proxy data indicate that a transition from colder to warmer climate conditions is preserved in the stratigraphy. Finally, a late phase of geochemical modification by saline fluids is recognized.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Materials
Hurowitz, J. A.0000-0002-5857-8652
Grotzinger, J. P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Fischer, W. W.0000-0002-8836-3054
McLennan, S. M.0000-0003-4259-7178
Milliken, R. E.0000-0003-3240-4918
Vasavada, A. R.0000-0003-2665-286X
Blake, D. F.0000-0002-0834-4487
Dehouck, E.0000-0002-1368-4494
Eigenbrode, J. L.0000-0003-3089-1986
Frydenvang, J.0000-0001-9294-1227
Gellert, R.0000-0001-7928-834X
Grant, J. A.0000-0001-8276-1281
Herkenhoff, K. E.0000-0002-3153-6663
Ming, D. W.0000-0003-0567-8876
Rampe, E. B.0000-0002-6999-0028
Siebach, K. L.0000-0002-6628-6297
Sumner, D. Y.0000-0002-7343-2061
Wiens, R. C.0000-0002-3409-7344
Additional Information:© 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 31 July 2016; accepted 19 April 2017. We are indebted to the MSL project’s engineering and management teams for their efforts in making the mission effective and enhancing science operations. We are also grateful to those MSL team members who participated in tactical and strategic operations, without whom the data presented here could not have been collected. J.A.H. acknowledges support from a subcontract from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. J.P.G. acknowledges the support of the NASA Astrobiology Institute. A.G.F. was supported by the Project “icyMARS,” European Research Council Starting Grant no. 307496. J.F. acknowledges the support from the Villum Foundation. R.G. and M.E.S. acknowledge support from the Canadian Space Agency, which is responsible for funding the APXS instrument and its operations. Data presented in this paper are archived in the Planetary Data System at Three anonymous reviewers are acknowledged for their contributions.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
European Research Council (ERC)307496
Villum FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Canadian Space Agency (CSA)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6341
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170602-101559108
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Redox stratification of an ancient lake in Gale crater, Mars By J. A. Hurowitz, J. P. Grotzinger, W. W. Fischer, S. M. McLennan, R. E. Milliken, N. Stein, A. R. Vasavada, D. F. Blake, E. Dehouck, J. L. Eigenbrode, A. G. Fairén, J. Frydenvang, R. Gellert, J. A. Grant, S. Gupta, K. E. Herkenhoff, D. W. Ming, E. B. Rampe, M. E. Schmidt, K. L. Siebach, K. Stack-Morgan, D. Y. Sumner, R. C. Wiens Science 02 Jun 2017: Vol. 356, Issue 6341, eaah6849 DOI: 10.1126/science.aah6849
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:77915
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:02 Jun 2017 17:57
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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