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Chemical alteration of fine-grained sedimentary rocks at Gale crater

Mangold, N. and Dehouck, E. and Fedo, C. and Forni, O. and Achilles, C. and Bristow, T. and Downs, R. T. and Frydenvang, J. and Gasnault, O. and L'Haridon, J. and Le Deit, L. and Maurice, S. and McLennan, S. M. and Meslin, P.-Y. and Morrison, S. and Newsom, H. E. and Rampe, E. and Rapin, W. and Rivera-Hernandez, F. and Salvatore, M. and Wiens, R. C. (2019) Chemical alteration of fine-grained sedimentary rocks at Gale crater. Icarus, 321 . pp. 619-631. ISSN 0019-1035. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2018.11.004.

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From Sol 750 to 1550, the Curiosity rover documented>100 m thick stack of fine-grained sedimentary rocks making up part of the Murray formation, at the base of Mt Sharp, Gale crater. Here, we use data collected by the ChemCam instrument to estimate the level of chemical weathering in these sedimentary rocks. Both the Chemical Index of Alteration (CIA) and the Weathering Index Scale (WIS) indicate a progressive increase in alteration up section, reaching values of CIA of 63 and WIS of 25%. The increase in CIA and WIS values is coupled with a decrease in calcium abundance, suggesting partial dissolution of Ca-bearing minerals (clinopyroxene and plagioclase). Mineralogy from the CheMin X-ray diffraction instrument indicates a decrease in mafic minerals compared with previously analyzed strata and a significant proportion of phyllosilicates consistent with this interpretation. These observations suggest that the sediments were predominantly altered in an open system, before or during their emplacement, contrasting with the rock-dominated conditions inferred in sedimentary deposits analyzed at Yellowknife Bay.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Mangold, N.0000-0002-0022-0631
Dehouck, E.0000-0002-1368-4494
Forni, O.0000-0001-6772-9689
Achilles, C.0000-0001-9185-6768
Bristow, T.0000-0001-6725-0555
Downs, R. T.0000-0002-8380-7728
Frydenvang, J.0000-0001-9294-1227
Gasnault, O.0000-0002-6979-9012
L'Haridon, J.0000-0002-9323-1603
Le Deit, L.0000-0003-1361-5170
McLennan, S. M.0000-0003-4259-7178
Meslin, P.-Y.0000-0002-0703-3951
Morrison, S.0000-0002-1712-8057
Newsom, H. E.0000-0002-4358-8161
Rampe, E.0000-0002-6999-0028
Rapin, W.0000-0003-4660-8006
Rivera-Hernandez, F.0000-0003-1401-2259
Wiens, R. C.0000-0002-3409-7344
Additional Information:© 2018 Elsevier. Received 20 March 2018, Revised 8 November 2018, Accepted 10 November 2018, Available online 17 November 2018. We acknowledge the two reviewers for their insightful comments. This research was carried out with funding from the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) under the program ANR-16-CE31-0012 entitled ʺMars-Primeʺ. Work in the United States was carried out under contract from NASA's Mars Program Office. The data reported in this paper are archived at the Planetary Data System, accessible at J.F. acknowledges the support from the Carlsberg Foundation. Author contributions: N.M. analyzed ChemCam data and wrote the text. E.D., C.F., S.M.M and M.S. provided input on stratigraphy and alteration indices on Earth. E.D., O.F. J.F., O.G., J.H., L.L.D., S.M., P.M., H.E.N., W.R., F.R-H, R.W participated in ChemCam data acquisition and processing. C.A, T.B., S.M., E.R., R.D participated to the processing and analyses of CheMin data.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR)ANR-16-CE31-0012
Carlsberg FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190328-165908314
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Official Citation:N. Mangold, E. Dehouck, C. Fedo, O. Forni, C. Achilles, T. Bristow, R.T. Downs, J. Frydenvang, O. Gasnault, J. L'Haridon, L. Le Deit, S. Maurice, S.M. McLennan, P.-Y. Meslin, S. Morrison, H.E. Newsom, E. Rampe, W. Rapin, F. Rivera-Hernandez, M. Salvatore, R.C. Wiens, Chemical alteration of fine-grained sedimentary rocks at Gale crater, Icarus, Volume 321, 2019, Pages 619-631, ISSN 0019-1035, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:94264
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:29 Mar 2019 19:36
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:04

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