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Dark aeolian sediments in Martian craters: Composition and sources

Tirsch, Daniela and Jaumann, Ralf and Pacifici, A. and Poulet, F. (2011) Dark aeolian sediments in Martian craters: Composition and sources. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, E03002. Wiley. doi: 10.1029/2009JE003562.



Our research focuses on the mineralogical characteristics of dark sediment deposits in Martian craters (dunes, dune fields, and sand sheets) and their local sediment sources, carried out on the basis of 70 selected localities. Morphological analyses reveal dark layers exposed in a number of crater walls, showing indications of material transport from the layers downwall to the intracrater deposits. Additional sites show dark sediment emerging from several craters floors, suggesting a dark material source beneath the crater floor. Spectral analyses of OMEGA and CRISM data showed for the first time that a direct mineralogical connection exists between the dark layers in the crater walls and the intracrater dune and sand sheet material. Based on these findings, it is shown that these layers are the local sources for the dark aeolian sediment inside the craters. Spectral analyses further indicate that all deposits are nearly of the same mafic mineralogical composition, hinting at a similar origin. We conclude that the mineralogical composition points to a volcanic origin of the material. The dark layers which we infer to be the material sources might represent layers of volcanic ash, almost globally deposited in Early Noachian times and subsequently covered by regolith. Groundwater, impact erosion, and crustal movement led to the highly fragmented situation of the dark layers today. However, burial protected the layers of dark sediment from chemical alteration caused by surficial fluvial processes. Impact erosion after the wet periods on Mars led to the exposure and mobilization of the material today.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/69396/
Document Type:Article
Title:Dark aeolian sediments in Martian craters: Composition and sources
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Tirsch, Danieladaniela.tirsch (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Jaumann, Ralfralf.jaumann (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Pacifici, A.IRSPS, Universita d’Annunzio, Pescara, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Poulet, F.Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale, Université Paris‐Sud, Orsay, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Date:3 March 2011
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Geophysical Research
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1029/2009JE003562
Page Range:E03002
Keywords:Mars, Dunes, Spectroscopy, Mineralogy
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: Tirsch, Daniela
Deposited On:11 May 2011 14:22
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 19:31

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