A Caltech Library Service

Evolved Gas Analyses of Sedimentary Rocks and Eolian Sediment in Gale Crater, Mars: Results of the Curiosity Rover's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument from Yellowknife Bay to the Namib Dune

Sutter, B. and McAdam, A. C. and Mahaffy, P. R. and Ming, D. W. and Edgett, K. S. and Rampe, E. B. and Eigenbrode, J. L. and Franz, H. B. and Freissinet, C. and Grotzinger, J. P. and Steele, A. and House, C. H. and Archer, P. D. and Malespin, C. A. and Navarro-González, R. and Stern, J. C. and Bell, J. F. and Calef, F. J. and Gellert, R. and Glavin, D. P. and Thompson, L. M. and Yen, A. S. (2017) Evolved Gas Analyses of Sedimentary Rocks and Eolian Sediment in Gale Crater, Mars: Results of the Curiosity Rover's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument from Yellowknife Bay to the Namib Dune. Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets, 122 (12). pp. 2574-2609. ISSN 2169-9097. doi:10.1002/2016JE005225.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

[img] MS Word (Data S1) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The Sample Analysis at Mars instrument evolved gas analyzer (SAM-EGA) has detected evolved water, H_2, SO_2, H_2S, NO, CO_2, CO, O_2 and HCl from two eolian sediments and nine sedimentary rocks from Gale Crater, Mars. These evolved gas detections indicate nitrates, organics, oxychlorine phase, and sulfates are widespread with phyllosilicates and carbonates occurring in select Gale Crater materials. Coevolved CO_2 (160 ± 248 - 2373 ± 820 μgC_((CO2))/g), and CO (11 ± 3 - 320 ± 130 μgC(CO)/g) suggest organic-C is present in Gale Crater materials. Five samples evolved CO_2 at temperatures consistent with carbonate (0.32± 0.05 - 0.70± 0.1 wt.% CO_3). Evolved NO amounts to 0.002 ± 0.007 - 0.06 ± 0.03 wt.% NO_3. Evolution of O_2 suggests oxychlorine phases (chlorate/perchlorate) (0.05 ± 0.025 - 1.05 ± 0.44wt. % ClO_4) are present while SO_2 evolution indicates the presence of crystalline and/or poorly crystalline Fe- and Mg-sulfate and possibly sulfide. Evolved H_2O (0.9 ± 0.3 - 2.5 ± 1.6 wt.% H_2O) is consistent with the presence of adsorbed water, hydrated salts, interlayer/structural water from phyllosilicates, and possible inclusion water in mineral/amorphous phases. Evolved H_2 and H_2S suggest reduced phases occur despite the presence of oxidized phases (nitrate, oxychlorine, sulfate, carbonate). SAM results coupled with CheMin mineralogical and APXS elemental analyses indicate that Gale Crater sedimentary rocks have experienced a complex authigenetic/diagenetic history involving fluids with varying pH, redox, and salt composition. The inferred geochemical conditions were favorable for microbial habitability and if life ever existed, there was likely sufficient organic-C to support a small microbial population.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Sutter, B.0000-0002-3036-170X
Mahaffy, P. R.0000-0003-1896-1726
Ming, D. W.0000-0003-0567-8876
Edgett, K. S.0000-0001-7197-5751
Rampe, E. B.0000-0002-6999-0028
Eigenbrode, J. L.0000-0003-3089-1986
Grotzinger, J. P.0000-0001-9324-1257
House, C. H.0000-0002-4926-4985
Malespin, C. A.0000-0002-5852-5016
Stern, J. C.0000-0002-0162-8807
Bell, J. F.0000-0002-2006-4074
Gellert, R.0000-0001-7928-834X
Glavin, D. P.0000-0001-7779-7765
Thompson, L. M.0000-0002-5444-952X
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 18 NOV 2016; Accepted 6 JUL 2017; Accepted article online 12 JUL 2017; Published online 7 DEC 2017. The authors are grateful to the engineers and scientists of the MSL Curiosity team, who have made the mission possible and the reported data available. SAM data are publically available through the NASA Planetary Data System at: This work was funded by support from NASA to the SAM and MSL teams. D.P.G., J.L.E., A.C.M, and C.H.H. acknowledge funding support from the NASA ROSES MSL Participating Scientist Program. C.F. acknowledges support from the NASA Postdoctoral Program, administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities through a contract with NASA. R.N.G. acknowledges funding from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (DGAPA-IN109416) and Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología de México (CONACyT 220626). The authors acknowledge the Mastcam and MAHLI operations team at Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) for producing and providing all Mastcam mosaic and MAHLI images used in this manuscript. The authors are grateful for assistance from Deirdra M. Fey, Marie J. McBride, and Michael A. Ravine who produced the MAHLI images and MAHLI mosaics used in this manuscript. We are grateful to Steven D'hondt and Jens Kallmeyer for useful discussions regarding organic carbon data generated by the shipboard party of Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 329 and the use of those data for comparison to Mars. We would like to thank Tanya Peretyazhko, the JGR Editor David Baratoux, the Associate Editor, and two anonymous reviewers for useful comments and edits that significantly improved this manuscript.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Postdoctoral ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)DGAPA-IN109416
Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT)220626
Subject Keywords:Mars; nitrate; perchlroate; carbonate; organic-carbon; sulfate
Issue or Number:12
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170831-153718737
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Sutter, B., et al. (2017), Evolved gas analyses of sedimentary rocks and eolian sediment in Gale Crater, Mars: Results of the Curiosity rover's sample analysis at Mars instrument from Yellowknife Bay to the Namib Dune, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 122, 2574–2609, doi:10.1002/2016JE005225.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:81049
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:31 Aug 2017 22:57
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 19:40

Repository Staff Only: item control page