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Extensive surface pedogenic alteration of the Martian Noachian crust suggested by plateau phyllosilicates around Valles Marineris

Le Deit, L. and Flahaut, J. and Quantin, C. and Hauber, E. and Mège, D. and Bourgeois, O. and Gurgurewicz, J. and Massé, M. and Jaumann, R. (2012) Extensive surface pedogenic alteration of the Martian Noachian crust suggested by plateau phyllosilicates around Valles Marineris. Journal of Geophysical Research, 117 (E00J05). Wiley. DOI: 10.1029/2011JE003983

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Abstract

Thousands of phyllosilicate-rich outcrops, mainly iron or magnesium-rich are exposed on Noachian terrains in the Martian southern highlands. We analyze 90 CRISM observations and more than a hundred HiRISE images located on the plateaus surrounding Valles Marineris. We mapped an extensive Al- and Fe/Mg-phyllosilicate-rich formation covering at least ~197,000 km2, for which we introduce the name “Plateau Phyllosilicates”. Tens of meters in thickness, this light-toned formation crops out at various elevations on top of Noachian units Npl1 and Npl2, as flat exposures on plateaus and along scarps such as valley walls, chasma walls, pit walls and impact crater rims. The Fe/Mg-phyllosilicate-rich lower member of the formation is composed of Fe/Mg-smectites (nontronite, saponite) and vermiculite. The Al-phyllosilicate-rich upper member of the formation contains Al-smectites (montmorillonite, beidellite) and locally kaolinite and/or halloysite. We suggest that the Plateau Phyllosilicates were mainly formed by pedogenesis related to the weathering of the Noachian bedrock by percolation of meteoric water or melted snow under a temperate and subarid climate during the Noachian Epoch in an alkaline to neutral environment. Kaolinite and/or halloysite may have formed in areas of more intense drainage at the surface under slightly acidic environments during the Noachian and Hesperian Epochs. Fluvial activity and deuteric alteration may have locally contributed to the genesis of phyllosilicates. This study suggests that the alteration of the Noachian basement of the plateaus surrounding Valles Marineris was widespread during the Noachian Epoch, and was still active during the Hesperian Epoch even though the water availability was limited.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/79930/
Document Type:Article
Title:Extensive surface pedogenic alteration of the Martian Noachian crust suggested by plateau phyllosilicates around Valles Marineris
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Le Deit, L.laetitia.ledeit (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Flahaut, J. Laboratoire de Géologie de LyonUNSPECIFIED
Quantin, C.Laboratoire de Géologie de LyonUNSPECIFIED
Hauber, E.ernst.hauber (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Mège, D.WROONA Group, Institute of Geological Sciences, Polish AcademyUNSPECIFIED
Bourgeois, O.Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique de NantesUNSPECIFIED
Gurgurewicz, J.WROONA Group, Institute of Geological Sciences, Polish AcademyUNSPECIFIED
Massé, M.WROONA Group, Institute of Geological Sciences, Polish AcademyUNSPECIFIED
Jaumann, R.ralf.jaumann (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:21 March 2012
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Geophysical Research
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:117
DOI :10.1029/2011JE003983
Publisher:Wiley
Status:Published
Keywords:Mars; Phyllosilicates; Valles Marineris; Remote Sensing
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 - Projekt MARS-EXPRESS / HRSC
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geology
Deposited By: Le Deit, Laetitia
Deposited On:18 Dec 2012 10:09
Last Modified:08 Mar 2018 18:44

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