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Published January 2016 | Supplemental Material + Published
Journal Article Open

Mineralogy, provenance, and diagenesis of a potassic basaltic sandstone on Mars: CheMin X-ray diffraction of the Windjana sample (Kimberley area, Gale Crater)


The Windjana drill sample, a sandstone of the Dillinger member (Kimberley formation, Gale Crater, Mars), was analyzed by CheMin X‐ray diffraction (XRD) in the MSL Curiosity rover. From Rietveld refinements of its XRD pattern, Windjana contains the following: sanidine (21% weight, ~Or_(95)); augite (20%); magnetite (12%); pigeonite; olivine; plagioclase; amorphous and smectitic material (~25%); and percent levels of others including ilmenite, fluorapatite, and bassanite. From mass balance on the Alpha Proton X‐ray Spectrometer (APXS) chemical analysis, the amorphous material is Fe rich with nearly no other cations—like ferrihydrite. The Windjana sample shows little alteration and was likely cemented by its magnetite and ferrihydrite. From ChemCam Laser‐Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) chemical analyses, Windjana is representative of the Dillinger and Mount Remarkable members of the Kimberley formation. LIBS data suggest that the Kimberley sediments include at least three chemical components. The most K‐rich targets have 5.6% K_2O, ~1.8 times that of Windjana, implying a sediment component with >40% sanidine, e.g., a trachyte. A second component is rich in mafic minerals, with little feldspar (like a shergottite). A third component is richer in plagioclase and in Na_2O, and is likely to be basaltic. The K‐rich sediment component is consistent with APXS and ChemCam observations of K‐rich rocks elsewhere in Gale Crater. The source of this sediment component was likely volcanic. The presence of sediment from many igneous sources, in concert with Curiosity's identifications of other igneous materials (e.g., mugearite), implies that the northern rim of Gale Crater exposes a diverse igneous complex, at least as diverse as that found in similar‐age terranes on Earth.

Additional Information

© 2015 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 31 AUG 2015; Accepted 21 DEC 2015; Accepted article online 27 DEC 2015; Published online 29 JAN 2016. The authors are grateful to the whole MSL Curiosity team, both engineers and scientists, who have made the mission possible and these data available. We are particularly grateful to the engineers who designed and built CheMin, the drill system (SA/SpAH), and the CHIMRA sieve/delivery system. Primary data used here are publically available through the NASA Planetary Data System (https://pds.nasa.gov); additional data are in the supporting information and from the authors. We are grateful to S. Potter‐McIntyre, D. Baratoux (Associate Editor), and two anonymous reviewers for insightful and helpful critiques. NASA funded this research via contracts with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology; part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Naming of commercial products or software packages is for documentation, and does not constitute endorsement by NASA, JPL, or the authors. LPI Contribution 1888.

Attached Files

Published - Treiman_et_al-2016-Journal_of_Geophysical_Research_3A_Planets.pdf

Supplemental Material - jgre20481-sup-0001-s01.doc

Supplemental Material - jgre20481-sup-0002-s02.docx

Supplemental Material - jgre20481-sup-0003-s03.xlsx

Supplemental Material - jgre20481-sup-0004-s04.xlsx


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