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In Situ Analysis of Opal in Gale Crater, Mars

Rapin, W. and Chauviré, B. and Gabriel, T. S. J. and McAdam, A. C. and Ehlmann, B. L. and Hardgrove, C. and Meslin, P.-Y. and Rondeau, B. and Dehouck, E. and Franz, H. B. and Mangold, N. and Chipera, S. J. and Wiens, R. C. and Frydenvang, J. and Schröder, Susanne (2018) In Situ Analysis of Opal in Gale Crater, Mars. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-PLANETS, 123, pp. 1955-1972. Wiley. DOI: 10.1029/2017JE005483 ISSN 2169-9097

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2017JE005483

Abstract

Silica enrichments resulting in up to ~90 wt% SiO2 have been observed by the Curiosity rover's instruments in Gale crater, Mars, within the Murray and Stimson formations. Samples acquired by the rover drill revealed a significant abundance of an X‐ray amorphous silica phase. Laser‐induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) highlights an overall correlation of the hydrogen signal with silica content for these Si‐enriched targets. The increased hydration of the high‐silica rocks compared to the surrounding bedrock is also confirmed by active neutron spectroscopy. Laboratory LIBS experiments have been performed to calibrate the hydrogen signal and show that the correlation observed on Mars is consistent with a silica phase containing on average 6.3 ± 1.4 wt% water. X‐ray diffraction and LIBS measurements indicate that opal‐A, amorphous hydrated silica, is the most likely phase containing this water in the rocks. Pyrolysis experiments were also performed on drilled samples by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument to measure volatile content, but the data suggests that most of the water was released during handling prior to pyrolysis. The inferred low‐temperature release of water helps constrain the nature of the opal. Given the geological context and the spatial association with other phases such as calcium sulfates, the opal was likely formed from multiple diagenetic fluid events and possibly represents the latest significant water‐rock interaction in these sedimentary rocks.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/123343/
Document Type:Article
Title:In Situ Analysis of Opal in Gale Crater, Mars
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Rapin, W.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Chauviré, B.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Gabriel, T. S. J.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
McAdam, A. C.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Ehlmann, B. L.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Hardgrove, C.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Meslin, P.-Y.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Rondeau, B.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Dehouck, E.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Franz, H. B.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Mangold, N.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Chipera, S. J.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Wiens, R. C.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Frydenvang, J.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Schröder, SusanneSusanne.Schroeder (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:2018
Journal or Publication Title:JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-PLANETS
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:123
DOI :10.1029/2017JE005483
Page Range:pp. 1955-1972
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:2169-9097
Status:Published
Keywords:Opal, Mars, MSL, Gale crater, hydrogen, water
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 Exploration des Sonnensystems, R - Vorhaben OptoRob
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Optical Sensor Systems > Terahertz and Laser Spectroscopy
Institute of Optical Sensor Systems
Deposited By: Schröder, Susanne
Deposited On:21 Nov 2018 10:16
Last Modified:21 Nov 2018 10:16

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