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Early Earth rock analogues for Martian subsurface processes

Grosch, Eugene and Bishop, J.L. and Maturilli, Alessandro and Helbert, Jörn (2015) Early Earth rock analogues for Martian subsurface processes. AGU 2015, 14-18 December 2015, San Francisco.

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Abstract

Sub-surface mafic-ultramafic crustal and hydrothermal environments on early Earth and Mars may have been very similar [1]. Hydrogen production from low-temperature alteration of ultramafic and basaltic rocks has been proposed to support early microbial life in Earth’s earliest subsurface environments [1]. Similarly, evidence for microbial sulphate reduction has been reported from early Archean metabasaltic pillow lavas [2]. As such, Archean terrestrial rock environments preserved in greenstone belts may play an important role in understanding early Martian subsurface environments, which in turn may have led to preservation of early traces of life. In this context, the rock sequences of the Paleoarchean Barberton greenstone belt of South Africa provide unique Martian analogues as these rocks are exceptionally well preserved and record early Earth (and perhaps Martian-type) subsurface processes. In-situ exploration by rovers, remote sensing studies, and meteorite evidence has indicated the presence of altered gabbros, olivine-/pyroxene-bearing basalts and possible felsic porphyries on Mars. In this study we present a range of relevant 3.5 billion year old Archean greenstone belt analogue samples that include altered tholeiitic basalts, basaltic komatiites, serpentinized ultramafic komatiites and a felsic tonalite. The petrography and mineralogy of the samples are presented in terms of relic igneous phases and clay mineral alteration. We are acquiring visible/near-infrared reflectance and mid-IR emission spectra on these early Archean samples with the aim of using the hyperspectral data for ground truthing remote sensing data and mineral identification/environments on Mars.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/101708/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Title:Early Earth rock analogues for Martian subsurface processes
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Grosch, EugeneUniversity of BergenUNSPECIFIED
Bishop, J.L.Carl Sagan Center, SETI Institute and NASA-Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CAUNSPECIFIED
Maturilli, AlessandroAlessandro.Maturilli (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Helbert, JörnJoern.Helbert (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5346-9505
Date:16 December 2015
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:Mars, PEL
Event Title:AGU 2015
Event Location:San Francisco
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:14-18 December 2015
Organizer:AGU
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Science and Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben BepiColombo (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Experimentelle Planetenphysik
Deposited By: Maturilli, Alessandro
Deposited On:06 Jan 2016 14:11
Last Modified:01 Dec 2018 19:51

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