Aqueous origins of bright salt deposits on Ceres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bright materials have been reported in association with impact craters on Ceres. The abundant Na2CO3 and some ammonium salts, NH4HCO3 and/or NH4Cl, were detected in bright deposits within Occator crater with Dawn near infrared spectroscopy. The composition and appearance of the salts suggest their aqueous mobilization and emplacement after formation of the crater. Here we consider origins of the bright deposits through calculation of speciation in the H–C–N–O–Na–Cl water-salt type system constrained by the mass balance of observed salts. Calculations of chemical equilibria show that initial solutions had the pH of ∼10. The temperature and salinity of solutions could have not exceeded ∼273 K and ∼100 g per kg H2O, respectively. Freezing models reveal an early precipitation of Na2CO3·10H2O followed by minor NaHCO3. Ammonium salts precipitate near eutectic from brines enriched in NH4 +, Cl and Na+. A late-stage precipitation of NaCl·2H2O is modeled for solution compositions with added NaCl. Calculated eutectics are above 247 K. The apparently unabundant ammonium and chloride salts in Occator's deposits imply a rapid emplacement without a compositional evolution of solution. Salty ice grains could have deposited from post-impact ballistic plumes formed through low-pressure boiling of subsurface solutions. Hydrated and ammonium salts are unstable at maximum temperatures of Ceres’ surface and could decompose through space weathering. Occator's ice-free salt deposits formed through a post-depositional sublimation of ice followed by dehydration of Na2CO3·10H2O and NaHCO3 to Na2CO3. In other regions, excavated and exposed bright materials could be salts initially deposited from plumes and accumulated at depth via post-impact boiling. The lack of detection of sulfates and an elevated carbonate/chloride ratio in Ceres’ materials suggest an involvement of compounds abundant in the outer solar system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-304
Number of pages16
JournalIcarus
Volume296
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

Fingerprint

deposits
salts
salt
ammonium
crater
craters
ice
eutectics
boiling
emplacement
plumes
plume
chloride
chlorides
space weathering
brines
sublimation
salt water
mass balance
infrared spectroscopy

Keywords

  • Asteroids
  • Composition
  • Mineralogy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Aqueous origins of bright salt deposits on Ceres. / Zolotov, Mikhail.

In: Icarus, Vol. 296, 01.11.2017, p. 289-304.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{5835f045fbed4a21a7d9bb5ea5b52971,
title = "Aqueous origins of bright salt deposits on Ceres",
abstract = "Bright materials have been reported in association with impact craters on Ceres. The abundant Na2CO3 and some ammonium salts, NH4HCO3 and/or NH4Cl, were detected in bright deposits within Occator crater with Dawn near infrared spectroscopy. The composition and appearance of the salts suggest their aqueous mobilization and emplacement after formation of the crater. Here we consider origins of the bright deposits through calculation of speciation in the H–C–N–O–Na–Cl water-salt type system constrained by the mass balance of observed salts. Calculations of chemical equilibria show that initial solutions had the pH of ∼10. The temperature and salinity of solutions could have not exceeded ∼273 K and ∼100 g per kg H2O, respectively. Freezing models reveal an early precipitation of Na2CO3·10H2O followed by minor NaHCO3. Ammonium salts precipitate near eutectic from brines enriched in NH4 +, Cl− and Na+. A late-stage precipitation of NaCl·2H2O is modeled for solution compositions with added NaCl. Calculated eutectics are above 247 K. The apparently unabundant ammonium and chloride salts in Occator's deposits imply a rapid emplacement without a compositional evolution of solution. Salty ice grains could have deposited from post-impact ballistic plumes formed through low-pressure boiling of subsurface solutions. Hydrated and ammonium salts are unstable at maximum temperatures of Ceres’ surface and could decompose through space weathering. Occator's ice-free salt deposits formed through a post-depositional sublimation of ice followed by dehydration of Na2CO3·10H2O and NaHCO3 to Na2CO3. In other regions, excavated and exposed bright materials could be salts initially deposited from plumes and accumulated at depth via post-impact boiling. The lack of detection of sulfates and an elevated carbonate/chloride ratio in Ceres’ materials suggest an involvement of compounds abundant in the outer solar system.",
keywords = "Asteroids, Composition, Mineralogy",
author = "Mikhail Zolotov",
year = "2017",
month = "11",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.icarus.2017.06.018",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "296",
pages = "289--304",
journal = "Icarus",
issn = "0019-1035",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Aqueous origins of bright salt deposits on Ceres

AU - Zolotov, Mikhail

PY - 2017/11/1

Y1 - 2017/11/1

N2 - Bright materials have been reported in association with impact craters on Ceres. The abundant Na2CO3 and some ammonium salts, NH4HCO3 and/or NH4Cl, were detected in bright deposits within Occator crater with Dawn near infrared spectroscopy. The composition and appearance of the salts suggest their aqueous mobilization and emplacement after formation of the crater. Here we consider origins of the bright deposits through calculation of speciation in the H–C–N–O–Na–Cl water-salt type system constrained by the mass balance of observed salts. Calculations of chemical equilibria show that initial solutions had the pH of ∼10. The temperature and salinity of solutions could have not exceeded ∼273 K and ∼100 g per kg H2O, respectively. Freezing models reveal an early precipitation of Na2CO3·10H2O followed by minor NaHCO3. Ammonium salts precipitate near eutectic from brines enriched in NH4 +, Cl− and Na+. A late-stage precipitation of NaCl·2H2O is modeled for solution compositions with added NaCl. Calculated eutectics are above 247 K. The apparently unabundant ammonium and chloride salts in Occator's deposits imply a rapid emplacement without a compositional evolution of solution. Salty ice grains could have deposited from post-impact ballistic plumes formed through low-pressure boiling of subsurface solutions. Hydrated and ammonium salts are unstable at maximum temperatures of Ceres’ surface and could decompose through space weathering. Occator's ice-free salt deposits formed through a post-depositional sublimation of ice followed by dehydration of Na2CO3·10H2O and NaHCO3 to Na2CO3. In other regions, excavated and exposed bright materials could be salts initially deposited from plumes and accumulated at depth via post-impact boiling. The lack of detection of sulfates and an elevated carbonate/chloride ratio in Ceres’ materials suggest an involvement of compounds abundant in the outer solar system.

AB - Bright materials have been reported in association with impact craters on Ceres. The abundant Na2CO3 and some ammonium salts, NH4HCO3 and/or NH4Cl, were detected in bright deposits within Occator crater with Dawn near infrared spectroscopy. The composition and appearance of the salts suggest their aqueous mobilization and emplacement after formation of the crater. Here we consider origins of the bright deposits through calculation of speciation in the H–C–N–O–Na–Cl water-salt type system constrained by the mass balance of observed salts. Calculations of chemical equilibria show that initial solutions had the pH of ∼10. The temperature and salinity of solutions could have not exceeded ∼273 K and ∼100 g per kg H2O, respectively. Freezing models reveal an early precipitation of Na2CO3·10H2O followed by minor NaHCO3. Ammonium salts precipitate near eutectic from brines enriched in NH4 +, Cl− and Na+. A late-stage precipitation of NaCl·2H2O is modeled for solution compositions with added NaCl. Calculated eutectics are above 247 K. The apparently unabundant ammonium and chloride salts in Occator's deposits imply a rapid emplacement without a compositional evolution of solution. Salty ice grains could have deposited from post-impact ballistic plumes formed through low-pressure boiling of subsurface solutions. Hydrated and ammonium salts are unstable at maximum temperatures of Ceres’ surface and could decompose through space weathering. Occator's ice-free salt deposits formed through a post-depositional sublimation of ice followed by dehydration of Na2CO3·10H2O and NaHCO3 to Na2CO3. In other regions, excavated and exposed bright materials could be salts initially deposited from plumes and accumulated at depth via post-impact boiling. The lack of detection of sulfates and an elevated carbonate/chloride ratio in Ceres’ materials suggest an involvement of compounds abundant in the outer solar system.

KW - Asteroids

KW - Composition

KW - Mineralogy

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85021098212&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85021098212&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.icarus.2017.06.018

DO - 10.1016/j.icarus.2017.06.018

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85021098212

VL - 296

SP - 289

EP - 304

JO - Icarus

JF - Icarus

SN - 0019-1035

ER -