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The stratigraphy and history of Mars' northern lowlands through mineralogy of impact craters: A comprehensive survey

Pan, Lu and Ehlmann, Bethany L. and Carter, John and Ernst, Carolyn M. (2017) The stratigraphy and history of Mars' northern lowlands through mineralogy of impact craters: A comprehensive survey. Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets, 122 (9). pp. 1824-1854. ISSN 2169-9097.

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The basin-filling materials of the northern lowlands, which cover approximately one third of Mars' surface, record the long-term evolution of Mars' geology and climate. The buried stratigraphy was inferred through analyses of impact crater mineralogy, detected using data acquired by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars. Examining 1045 impact craters across the northern lowlands, we find widespread olivine and pyroxene and diverse hydrated/hydroxylated minerals, including Fe/Mg smectite, chlorite, prehnite, and hydrated silica. The distribution of mafic minerals is consistent with infilling volcanic materials across the entire lowlands (~1–4 × 10^7 km^3), indicating a significant volume of volatile release by volcanic outgassing. Hydrated/hydroxylated minerals are detected more frequently in large craters, consistent with the scenario that the hydrated minerals are being excavated from deep basement rocks, beneath 1–2 km thick mafic lava flows or volcaniclastic materials. The prevalences of different types of hydrated minerals are similar to statistics from the southern highlands. No evidence of concentrated salt deposits has been found, which would indicate a long-lived global ocean. We also find significant geographical variations of local mineralogy and stratigraphy in different basins (geological provinces), independent of dust cover. For example, many hydrated and mafic minerals are newly discovered within the polar Scandia region (>60°N), and Chryse Planitia has more mafic mineral detections than other basins, possibly due to a previously unrecognized volcanic source.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Pan, Lu0000-0002-8151-2125
Ehlmann, Bethany L.0000-0002-2745-3240
Carter, John0000-0002-2698-6926
Ernst, Carolyn M.0000-0002-9434-7886
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 25 JAN 2017; Accepted 10 AUG 2017; Accepted article online 16 AUG 2017; Published online 9 SEP 2017; Corrected 30 NOV 2017. The data supporting the analysis and conclusions have been included in the supporting information, and the processing details will be provided upon request. This work has been fully supported by NASA Mars Data Analysis Program grant NNX12AJ43G. We would also like to thank the CRISM team for targeting and providing the data set, as well as internal reviews that helped shape the early stages of the manuscript. The author also appreciates help from Kelsey Logan in data processing and insights on the statistics of data from Shasha Tong and Qiong Zhang. This manuscript was improved by thoughtful and constructive reviews from Nicolas Mangold and an anonymous reviewer.
Errata:This article was corrected on 30 NOV 2017. See the end of the full text for details.
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Planetary geology; Remote sensing; Mars; Northern lowlands; Spectroscopy
Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170831-142833207
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Official Citation:Pan, L., B. L. Ehlmann, J. Carter, and C. M. Ernst (2017), The stratigraphy and history of Mars' northern lowlands through mineralogy of impact craters: A comprehensive survey, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 122, 1824–1854, doi:10.1002/2017JE005276
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:81038
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:31 Aug 2017 22:30
Last Modified:20 Apr 2020 08:47

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