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Martian polar and circum-polar sulfate-bearing deposits: Sublimation tills derived from the North Polar Cap

Massé, Marion and Bourgeois, Olivier and Le Mouélic, Stephane and Verpoorter, Charles and Le Deit, Laetitia and Bibring, Jean-Pierre (2010) Martian polar and circum-polar sulfate-bearing deposits: Sublimation tills derived from the North Polar Cap. Icarus: International Journal of Solar System Studies, 209 (2), pp. 434-451. Elsevier. DOI: doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2010.04.017

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Abstract

Previous spectroscopic studies have shown the presence of hydrated minerals in various kinds of sedimentary accumulations covering and encircling the martian North Polar Cap. More specifically, gypsum, a hydrated calcium sulfate, has been detected on Olympia Planum, a restricted part of the Circum-Polar Dune Field. To further constrain the geographical distribution and the process of formation and accumulation of these hydrated minerals, we performed an integrated morphological, structural and compositional analysis of a key area where hydrated minerals were detected and where the main polar landforms are present. By the development of a spectral processing method based on spectral derivation and by the acquisition of laboratory spectra of gypsum–ice mixtures we find that gypsum-bearing sediment is not restricted to the Olympia Planum dunes but is also present in all kinds of superficial sediment covering the surface of the North Polar Cap and the Circum-Polar Dune Field. Spectral signatures consistent with perchlorates are also detected on these deposits. The interpretation of landforms reveals that this gypsum-bearing sediment was released from the ice cap by sublimation. We thus infer that gypsum crystals that are now present in the Circum-Polar Dune Field derive from the interior of the North Polar Cap. Gypsum crystals that were initially trapped in the ice cap have been released by sublimation of the ice and have accumulated in the form of ablation tills at the surface of the ice cap. These gypsum-bearing sublimation tills are reworked by winds and are transported towards the Circum-Polar Dune Field. Comparison with sulfates found in terrestrial glaciers suggests that gypsum crystals in the martian North Polar Cap have formed by weathering of dust particles, either in the atmosphere prior to their deposition during the formation of the ice cap, and/or in the ice cap after their deposition.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/67959/
Document Type:Article
Title:Martian polar and circum-polar sulfate-bearing deposits: Sublimation tills derived from the North Polar Cap
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Massé, MarionLaboratoire de Planétologie et de Géodynamique de Nantes, CNRS UMR-6112UNSPECIFIED
Bourgeois, OlivierLaboratoire de Planétologie et de Géodynamique de Nantes, CNRS UMR-6112UNSPECIFIED
Le Mouélic, StephaneLaboratoire de Planétologie et de Géodynamique de Nantes, CNRS UMR-6112UNSPECIFIED
Verpoorter, CharlesLaboratoire de Planétologie et de Géodynamique de Nantes, CNRS UMR-6112UNSPECIFIED
Le Deit, Laetitialaetitia.ledeit (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Bibring, Jean-PierreInstitut d’Astrophysique Spatiale, Universite´ Paris XI, OrsayUNSPECIFIED
Date:October 2010
Journal or Publication Title:Icarus: International Journal of Solar System Studies
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
In DOAJ:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:209
DOI :doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2010.04.017
Page Range:pp. 434-451
Publisher:Elsevier
Status:Published
Keywords:Mars, Polar caps; Mars, Polar geology; Mineralogy; Ices, IR spectroscopy; Mars, Surface
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Projekt MARS-EXPRESS / HRSC (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geology
Deposited By: Le Deit, Laetitia
Deposited On:07 Jan 2011 14:13
Last Modified:10 Jan 2019 15:47

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