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The Sedimentary Cycle on Early Mars

McLennan, Scott M. and Grotzinger, John P. and Hurowitz, Joel A. and Tosca, Nicholas J. (2019) The Sedimentary Cycle on Early Mars. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 47 . pp. 91-118. ISSN 0084-6597. doi:10.1146/annurev-earth-053018-060332.

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Two decades of intensive research have demonstrated that early Mars (2 Gyr) had an active sedimentary cycle, including well-preserved stratigraphic records, understandable within a source-to-sink framework with remarkable fidelity. This early cycle exhibits first-order similarities to (e.g., facies relationships, groundwater diagenesis, recycling) and first-order differences from (e.g., greater aeolian versus subaqueous processes, basaltic versus granitic provenance, absence of plate tectonics) Earth's record. Mars’ sedimentary record preserves evidence for progressive desiccation and oxidation of the surface over time, but simple models for the nature and evolution of paleoenvironments (e.g., acid Mars, early warm and wet versus late cold and dry) have given way to the view that, similar to Earth, different climate regimes on Mars coexisted on regional scales and evolved on variable timescales, and redox chemistry played a pivotal role. A major accomplishment of Mars exploration has been to demonstrate that surface and subsurface sedimentary environments were both habitable and capable of preserving any biological record.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
McLennan, Scott M.0000-0003-4259-7178
Grotzinger, John P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Hurowitz, Joel A.0000-0002-5857-8652
Additional Information:© 2019 Annual Reviews. We are grateful to our many collaborators and colleagues, too many to be named individually, on the various Mars missions that we have been privileged to be associated with (and that provided funding), including the Mars Exploration Rovers (Spirit, Opportunity), Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity), Mars Odyssey (GRS), Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (HiRISE), InSight Lander, and the upcoming Mars2020 Rover. J.P.G. and J.A.H. were partially supported by grants from the Simons Collaboration on the Origin of Life, and N.J.T. was partially supported by the Leverhulme Trust (PLP-2015-286). The authors are unaware of any affiliations, memberships, funding, or financial holdings that might be perceived as affecting the objectivity of this review.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Simons Collaboration on Origins of LifeUNSPECIFIED
Leverhulme TrustPLP-2015-286
Subject Keywords:Mars, sedimentology, stratigraphy, sedimentary cycles, diagenesis, geochemistry
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190619-155622795
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Official Citation:The Sedimentary Cycle on Early Mars. Scott M. McLennan, John P. Grotzinger, Joel A. Hurowitz, Nicholas J. Tosca. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 2019 47:1, 91-118; doi: 10.1146/annurev-earth-053018-060332
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:96575
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 Jun 2019 23:06
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:22

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