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Centimeter to Decimeter Hollow Concretions and Voids In Gale Crater Sediments, Mars

Wiens, R. C. and Rubin, David and Goetz, Walter and Fairen, Alberto and Schwenzer, Susanne and Johnson, Jeffrey R. and Miliken, Ralph and Clark, Ben and Mangold, Nicolas and Stack, Kathy and Oehler, Dorothy and Rowland, Scott and Vaniman, David and Maurice, Sylvestre and Gasnault, Olivier and Schröder, Susanne and Rapin, William and Clegg, Samuel M. and Forni, Olivier and Cousin, Agnes and Grotzinger, John P. (2017) Centimeter to Decimeter Hollow Concretions and Voids In Gale Crater Sediments, Mars. Icarus: International Journal of Solar System Studies. Elsevier. DOI: /10.1016/j.icarus.2017.02.003 ISSN 0019-1035

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2017.02.003

Abstract

Voids and hollow spheroids between ∼1 and 23 cm in diameter occur at several locations along the traverse of the Curiosity rover in Gale crater, Mars. These hollow spherical features are significantly different from anything observed in previous landed missions. The voids appear in dark-toned, rough-textured outcrops, most notably at Point Lake (sols 302-305) and Twin Cairns Island (sol 343). Point Lake displays both voids and cemented spheroids in close proximity; other locations show one or the other form. The spheroids have 1-4 mm thick walls and appear relatively dark-toned in all cases, some with a reddish hue. Only one hollow spheroid (Winnipesaukee, sol 653) was analyzed for composition, appearing mafic (Fe-rich), in contrast to the relatively felsic host rock. The interior surface of the spheroid appears to have a similar composition to the exterior with the possible exceptions of being more hydrated and slightly depleted in Fe and K. Origins of the spheroids as Martian tektites or volcanic bombs appear unlikely due to their hollow and relatively fragile nature and the absence of in-place clearly igneous rocks. A more likely explanation to both the voids and the hollow spheroids is reaction of reduced iron with oxidizing groundwater followed by some re-precipitation as cemented rind concretions at a chemical reaction front. Although some terrestrial concretion analogs are produced from a precursor siderite or pyrite, diagenetic minerals could also be direct precipitates for other terrestrial concretions. The Gale sediments differ from terrestrial sandstones in their high initial iron content, perhaps facilitating a higher occurrence of such diagenetic reactions.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/111261/
Document Type:Article
Title:Centimeter to Decimeter Hollow Concretions and Voids In Gale Crater Sediments, Mars
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Wiens, R. C.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Rubin, DavidUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Goetz, WalterUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Fairen, AlbertoUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Schwenzer, SusanneUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Johnson, Jeffrey R.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Miliken, RalphUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Clark, BenUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Mangold, NicolasUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Stack, KathyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Oehler, DorothyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Rowland, ScottUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Vaniman, DavidUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Maurice, SylvestreUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Gasnault, OlivierUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Schröder, SusanneSusanne.Schroeder (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Rapin, WilliamUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Clegg, Samuel M.los alamos national laboratory, los alamos, new mexico, usaUNSPECIFIED
Forni, OlivierUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Cousin, AgnesUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Grotzinger, John P.jet propulsion laboratory, california institute of technology, pasadena, ca, usa.UNSPECIFIED
Date:21 January 2017
Journal or Publication Title:Icarus: International Journal of Solar System Studies
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :/10.1016/j.icarus.2017.02.003
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0019-1035
Status:Published
Keywords:Concretions; Voids; Spherules; Nodules; Gale crater; Mars; Mars Science Laboratory
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Optische Sensorik - Theorie, Kalibration, Verifikation, R - Vorhaben Robotischer Wissenschafts-Explorer, R - Robotische Exploration (old), R - Vorhaben Robotische Explorationstechnologie (old), R - Vorhaben Exploration des Sonnensystems
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Optical Sensor Systems
Deposited By: Schröder, Susanne
Deposited On:24 Feb 2017 10:57
Last Modified:10 Jan 2019 15:47

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