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Mineralogy of an Active Eolian Sediment from the Namib Dune, Gale Crater, Mars

Achilles, C. N. and Downs, R. T. and Ming, D. W. and Rampe, E. B. and Morris, R. V. and Treiman, A. H. and Morrison, S. M. and Blake, D. F. and Vaniman, D. T. and Ewing, R. C. and Chipera, S. J. and Yen, A. S. and Bristow, T. F. and Ehlmann, B. L. and Gellert, R. and Hazen, R. M. and Fendrich, K. V. and Craig, P. I. and Grotzinger, J. P. and Des Marais, D. J. and Farmer, J. D. and Sarrazin, P. C. and Morookian, J. M. (2017) Mineralogy of an Active Eolian Sediment from the Namib Dune, Gale Crater, Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets, 122 (11). pp. 2344-2361. ISSN 2169-9097. doi:10.1002/2017JE005262.

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The Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, is using a comprehensive scientific payload to explore rocks and soils in Gale crater, Mars. Recent investigations of the Bagnold Dune Field provided the first in situ assessment of an active dune on Mars. The Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffraction instrument on Curiosity performed quantitative mineralogical analyses of the <150 μm size fraction of the Namib dune at a location called Gobabeb. Gobabeb is dominated by basaltic minerals. Plagioclase, Fo56 olivine, and two Ca-Mg-Fe pyroxenes account for the majority of crystalline phases along with minor magnetite, quartz, hematite, and anhydrite. In addition to the crystalline phases, a minimum ~42 wt % of the Gobabeb sample is X-ray amorphous. Mineralogical analysis of the Gobabeb data set provides insights into the origin(s) and geologic history of the dune material and offers an important opportunity for ground truth of orbital observations. CheMin's analysis of the mineralogy and phase chemistry of modern and ancient Gale crater dune fields, together with other measurements by Curiosity's science payload, provides new insights into present and past eolian processes on Mars.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Achilles, C. N.0000-0001-9185-6768
Downs, R. T.0000-0002-8380-7728
Ming, D. W.0000-0003-0567-8876
Rampe, E. B.0000-0002-6999-0028
Treiman, A. H.0000-0002-8073-2839
Blake, D. F.0000-0002-0834-4487
Vaniman, D. T.0000-0001-7661-2626
Ewing, R. C.0000-0001-6337-610X
Bristow, T. F.0000-0001-6725-0555
Ehlmann, B. L.0000-0002-2745-3240
Gellert, R.0000-0001-7928-834X
Craig, P. I.0000-0003-4080-4997
Grotzinger, J. P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Additional Information:© 2017 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 14 JAN 2017; Accepted 7 JUN 2017; Accepted article online 15 JUN 2017; Published online 30 NOV 2017. This research was supported by the NASA Mars Science Laboratory Mission (grant NNX11AP82A) and by NASA Headquarters under the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship Program (grant NNX16AL41H). We would like to acknowledge the support of JPL engineering and the Mars Science Laboratory operations team. All data used in this manuscript are available at the NASA Planetary Data System Geosciences Node. Any opinions, findings, or recommendations expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:mineralogy; Mars; Bagnold Dunes
Issue or Number:11
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170615-153929827
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Official Citation:Achilles, C. N., et al. (2017), Mineralogy of an active eolian sediment from the Namib dune, Gale crater, Mars, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 122, 2344–2361, doi:10.1002/2017JE005262
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:78256
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:22 Jun 2017 18:09
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 17:38

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