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Published January 24, 2014 | Supplemental Material + Submitted
Journal Article Open

Mineralogy of a Mudstone at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars


Sedimentary rocks at Yellowknife Bay (Gale Crater) on Mars include mudstone sampled by the Curiosity rover. The samples, John Klein and Cumberland, contain detrital basaltic minerals, Ca-sulfates, Fe oxide/hydroxides, Fe-sulfides, amorphous material, and trioctahedral smectites. The John Klein smectite has basal spacing of ~10 Å indicating little interlayer hydration. The Cumberland smectite has basal spacing at ~13.2 Å as well as ~10 Å. The ~13.2 Å spacing suggests a partially chloritized interlayer or interlayer Mg or Ca facilitating H_2O retention. Basaltic minerals in the mudstone are similar to those in nearby eolian deposits. However, the mudstone has far less Fe-forsterite, possibly lost with formation of smectite plus magnetite. Late Noachian/Early Hesperian or younger age indicates that clay mineral formation on Mars extended beyond Noachian time.

Additional Information

Copyright 2013 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received for publication 19 July 2013. Accepted for publication 29 October 2013. Published Online December 9 2013. This paper was significantly improved by comments and recommendations from two anonymous reviewers. Support from the NASA Mars Science Laboratory Mission is gratefully acknowledged. Some 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.

Attached Files

Submitted - Vaniman_1243480_mineralogy_revised_Nov_final.pdf

Supplemental Material - Vaniman1243480s_Supplemental_material_revised_Nov_final.pdf


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