As part of the Phase 2 Bagnold Dune campaign at Gale Crater, Mars, constraints on the geochemistry, mineralogy, and oxidation state of pristine and disturbed linear sand ripples were made using visible/near-infrared spectral observations for comparison to Phase 1 spectra of the barchan dunes to the north. Spectra acquired by the ChemCam and Mastcam instruments (400–1,000 nm) at four Phase 2 locations revealed similar overall spectral trends between the two regions, but most Phase 2 sands were redder in the visible wavelengths. The majority of targets exhibited lower red/infrared ratios, higher ~530-nm band depths, and higher red/blue ratios than Phase 1 samples, suggesting a greater proportion of redder, fine-grained, ferric sands in Phase 2 samples. This is consistent with the slightly greater proportion of hematite in Phase 2 samples as determined from CheMin analyses of the Ogunquit sands, which may reflect contamination from the surrounding hematite-bearing Murray formation bedrock.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)