Basaltic rocks analyzed by the Spirit rover in Gusev crater

H. Y. McSween, R. E. Arvidson, James Bell, D. Blaney, N. A. Cabrol, Philip Christensen, B. C. Clark, J. A. Crisp, L. S. Crumpler, D. J. Des Marias, Jack Farmer, R. Gellert, A. Ghosh, S. Gorevan, T. Graff, J. Grant, L. A. Haskin, K. E. Herkenhoff, J. R. Johnson, B. L. JolliffG. Klingelhoefer, A. T. Knudson, S. McLennan, K. A. Milam, J. E. Moersch, R. V. Morris, R. Rieder, Steven Ruff, P. A. De Souza, S. W. Squyres, H. Wänke, A. Wang, M. B. Wyatt, A. Yen, J. Zipfel

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Abstract

The Spirit landing site in Gusev Crater on Mars contains dark, fine-grained, vesicular rocks interpreted as lavas. Pancam and Mini-Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) spectra suggest that all of these rocks are similar but have variable coatings and dust mantles. Magnified images of brushed and abraded rock surfaces show alteration rinds and veins. Rock interiors contain ≤25% megacrysts. Chemical analyses of rocks by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer are consistent with picritic basalts, containing normative olivine, pyroxenes, plagioclase, and accessory FeTi oxides. Mössbauer, Pancam, and Mini-TES spectra confirm the presence of olivine, magnetite, and probably pyroxene. These basalts extend the known range of rock compositions composing the martian crust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)842-845
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume305
Issue number5685
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 6 2004

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    McSween, H. Y., Arvidson, R. E., Bell, J., Blaney, D., Cabrol, N. A., Christensen, P., Clark, B. C., Crisp, J. A., Crumpler, L. S., Des Marias, D. J., Farmer, J., Gellert, R., Ghosh, A., Gorevan, S., Graff, T., Grant, J., Haskin, L. A., Herkenhoff, K. E., Johnson, J. R., ... Zipfel, J. (2004). Basaltic rocks analyzed by the Spirit rover in Gusev crater. Science, 305(5685), 842-845. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.3050842