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Copper enrichments in the Kimberley formation in Gale crater, Mars: Evidence for a Cu deposit at the source

Payré, Valérie and Fabre, Cécile and Sautter, Violaine and Cousin, Agnès and Mangold, Nicolas and Deit, Laetitia Le and Forni, Olivier and Goetz, Walter and Wiens, Roger C. and Gasnault, Olivier and Meslin, Pierre-Yves and Lasue, Jérémie and Rapin, William and Clark, Ben and Nachon, Marion and Lanza, Nina L. and Maurice, Sylvestre (2019) Copper enrichments in the Kimberley formation in Gale crater, Mars: Evidence for a Cu deposit at the source. Icarus, 321 . pp. 736-751. ISSN 0019-1035. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2018.12.015.

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Copper quantification with laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) using a univariate calibration model enables the ChemCam instrument onboard the Curiosity rover to measure unusually elevated Cu concentrations in potassic sandstones and Mn-oxide-bearing fracture fills in the Kimberley region of Gale crater, Mars. Mostly, the copper phases occurring in sedimentary bedrock are associated with detrital silicates, including feldspars, pyroxenes and K-phyllosilicates, likely coming from a potassic igneous source near the northern crater rim, while those present in the fractures are likely adsorbed on the surface of manganese oxides. These two different mineralogical associations imply at least two distinct processes: Cu enrichment in bedrock at the source, likely during crystallization of the igneous silicates, and adsorption of Cu on Mn-oxides precipitated from groundwater that encountered oxidizing conditions within fractures in the bedrock. The potassic sediments enriched in copper may be evidence of a porphyry copper deposit or an impact-induced hydrothermal deposit in the source region.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Payré, Valérie0000-0002-7052-0795
Fabre, Cécile0000-0001-8627-4050
Sautter, Violaine0000-0002-4263-7558
Cousin, Agnès0000-0001-7823-7794
Mangold, Nicolas0000-0002-0022-0631
Deit, Laetitia Le0000-0003-1361-5170
Forni, Olivier0000-0001-6772-9689
Wiens, Roger C.0000-0002-3409-7344
Gasnault, Olivier0000-0002-6979-9012
Meslin, Pierre-Yves0000-0002-0703-3951
Lasue, Jérémie0000-0001-9082-4457
Rapin, William0000-0003-4660-8006
Clark, Ben0000-0002-5546-8757
Nachon, Marion0000-0003-0417-7076
Lanza, Nina L.0000-0003-4445-7996
Additional Information:© 2018 Elsevier. Received 13 July 2018, Revised 5 December 2018, Accepted 5 December 2018, Available online 11 December 2018. All the major element and copper contents of standards and ChemCam points discussed here are listed in the supplementary table and can be found in The MSL teams are thanked for their part in this work. This work was carried out with funding from CNRS and CNES in France and by NASA's Mars Exploration Program in the US.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)UNSPECIFIED
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Copper deposit; Gale crater; Kimberley; ChemCam; hydrothermal alteration
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20181211-101728695
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Valérie Payré, Cécile Fabre, Violaine Sautter, Agnès Cousin, Nicolas Mangold, Laetitia Le Deit, Olivier Forni, Walter Goetz, Roger C. Wiens, Olivier Gasnault, Pierre-Yves Meslin, Jérémie Lasue, William Rapin, Ben Clark, Marion Nachon, Nina L. Lanza, Sylvestre Maurice, Copper enrichments in the Kimberley formation in Gale crater, Mars: Evidence for a Cu deposit at the source, Icarus, Volume 321, 2019, Pages 736-751, ISSN 0019-1035, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:91680
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:11 Dec 2018 22:46
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 03:43

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