Characterization and petrologic interpretation of olivine-rich basalts at Gusev Crater, Mars

H. Y. McSween, Michael B. Wyatt, R. Gellert, James Bell, Richard V. Morris, K. E. Herkenhoff, Larry S. Crumpler, K. A. Milam, K. R. Stockstill, L. L. Tornabene, R. E. Arvidson, P. Bartlett, D. Blaney, N. A. Cabrol, Philip Christensen, Benton C. Clark, Joy A. Crisp, David J. Des Marais, T. Economou, Jack FarmerW. Farrand, A. Ghosh, Matt Golombek, S. Gorevan, R. Greeley, V. E. Hamilton, J. R. Johnson, B. L. Joliff, G. Klingelhöfer, Amy T. Knudson, Scott McLennan, Douglas Ming, J. E. Moersch, R. Rieder, Steven Ruff, C. Schrörder, Jr A. de Souza, S. W. Squyres, H. Wänke, Alian Wang, Albert Yen, J. Zipfel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

194 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rocks on the floor of Gusev crater are basalts of uniform composition and mineralogy. Olivine, the only mineral to have been identified or inferred from data by all instruments on the Spirit rover, is especially abundant in these rocks. These picritic basalts are similar in many respects to certain Martian meteorites (olivine-phyric shergottites). The olivine megacrysts in both have intermediate compositions, with modal abundances ranging up to 20-30%. Associated minerals in both include low-calcium and high-calcium pyroxenes, plagioclase of intermediate composition, iron-titanium-chromium oxides, and phosphate. These rocks also share minor element trends, reflected in their nickel-magnesium and chromium-magnesium ratios. Gusev basalts and shergottites appear to have formed from primitive magmas produced by melting an undepleted mantle at depth and erupted without significant fractionation. However, apparent differences between Gusev rocks and shergottites in their ages, plagioclase abundances, and volatile contents preclude direct correlation. Orbital determinations of global olivine distribution and compositions by thermal emission spectroscopy suggest that olivine-rich rocks may be widespread. Because weathering under acidic conditions preferentially attacks olivine and disguises such rocks beneath alteration rinds, picritic basalts formed from primitive magmas may even be a common component of the Martian crust formed during ancient and recent times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE02S10
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research E: Planets
Volume111
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 20 2006

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Mars craters
olivine
basalt
crater
Mars
shergottites
Rocks
rocks
rock
plagioclase
Chemical analysis
Magnesium
Minerals
chromium
magnesium
calcium
minerals
SNC meteorites
Meteorites
Calcium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

Cite this

McSween, H. Y., Wyatt, M. B., Gellert, R., Bell, J., Morris, R. V., Herkenhoff, K. E., ... Zipfel, J. (2006). Characterization and petrologic interpretation of olivine-rich basalts at Gusev Crater, Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets, 111(2), [E02S10]. https://doi.org/10.1029/2005JE002477

Characterization and petrologic interpretation of olivine-rich basalts at Gusev Crater, Mars. / McSween, H. Y.; Wyatt, Michael B.; Gellert, R.; Bell, James; Morris, Richard V.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Crumpler, Larry S.; Milam, K. A.; Stockstill, K. R.; Tornabene, L. L.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bartlett, P.; Blaney, D.; Cabrol, N. A.; Christensen, Philip; Clark, Benton C.; Crisp, Joy A.; Des Marais, David J.; Economou, T.; Farmer, Jack; Farrand, W.; Ghosh, A.; Golombek, Matt; Gorevan, S.; Greeley, R.; Hamilton, V. E.; Johnson, J. R.; Joliff, B. L.; Klingelhöfer, G.; Knudson, Amy T.; McLennan, Scott; Ming, Douglas; Moersch, J. E.; Rieder, R.; Ruff, Steven; Schrörder, C.; de Souza, Jr A.; Squyres, S. W.; Wänke, H.; Wang, Alian; Yen, Albert; Zipfel, J.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets, Vol. 111, No. 2, E02S10, 20.02.2006.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

McSween, HY, Wyatt, MB, Gellert, R, Bell, J, Morris, RV, Herkenhoff, KE, Crumpler, LS, Milam, KA, Stockstill, KR, Tornabene, LL, Arvidson, RE, Bartlett, P, Blaney, D, Cabrol, NA, Christensen, P, Clark, BC, Crisp, JA, Des Marais, DJ, Economou, T, Farmer, J, Farrand, W, Ghosh, A, Golombek, M, Gorevan, S, Greeley, R, Hamilton, VE, Johnson, JR, Joliff, BL, Klingelhöfer, G, Knudson, AT, McLennan, S, Ming, D, Moersch, JE, Rieder, R, Ruff, S, Schrörder, C, de Souza, JA, Squyres, SW, Wänke, H, Wang, A, Yen, A & Zipfel, J 2006, 'Characterization and petrologic interpretation of olivine-rich basalts at Gusev Crater, Mars', Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets, vol. 111, no. 2, E02S10. https://doi.org/10.1029/2005JE002477
McSween, H. Y. ; Wyatt, Michael B. ; Gellert, R. ; Bell, James ; Morris, Richard V. ; Herkenhoff, K. E. ; Crumpler, Larry S. ; Milam, K. A. ; Stockstill, K. R. ; Tornabene, L. L. ; Arvidson, R. E. ; Bartlett, P. ; Blaney, D. ; Cabrol, N. A. ; Christensen, Philip ; Clark, Benton C. ; Crisp, Joy A. ; Des Marais, David J. ; Economou, T. ; Farmer, Jack ; Farrand, W. ; Ghosh, A. ; Golombek, Matt ; Gorevan, S. ; Greeley, R. ; Hamilton, V. E. ; Johnson, J. R. ; Joliff, B. L. ; Klingelhöfer, G. ; Knudson, Amy T. ; McLennan, Scott ; Ming, Douglas ; Moersch, J. E. ; Rieder, R. ; Ruff, Steven ; Schrörder, C. ; de Souza, Jr A. ; Squyres, S. W. ; Wänke, H. ; Wang, Alian ; Yen, Albert ; Zipfel, J. / Characterization and petrologic interpretation of olivine-rich basalts at Gusev Crater, Mars. In: Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets. 2006 ; Vol. 111, No. 2.
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abstract = "Rocks on the floor of Gusev crater are basalts of uniform composition and mineralogy. Olivine, the only mineral to have been identified or inferred from data by all instruments on the Spirit rover, is especially abundant in these rocks. These picritic basalts are similar in many respects to certain Martian meteorites (olivine-phyric shergottites). The olivine megacrysts in both have intermediate compositions, with modal abundances ranging up to 20-30{\%}. Associated minerals in both include low-calcium and high-calcium pyroxenes, plagioclase of intermediate composition, iron-titanium-chromium oxides, and phosphate. These rocks also share minor element trends, reflected in their nickel-magnesium and chromium-magnesium ratios. Gusev basalts and shergottites appear to have formed from primitive magmas produced by melting an undepleted mantle at depth and erupted without significant fractionation. However, apparent differences between Gusev rocks and shergottites in their ages, plagioclase abundances, and volatile contents preclude direct correlation. Orbital determinations of global olivine distribution and compositions by thermal emission spectroscopy suggest that olivine-rich rocks may be widespread. Because weathering under acidic conditions preferentially attacks olivine and disguises such rocks beneath alteration rinds, picritic basalts formed from primitive magmas may even be a common component of the Martian crust formed during ancient and recent times.",
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AU - Bell, James

AU - Morris, Richard V.

AU - Herkenhoff, K. E.

AU - Crumpler, Larry S.

AU - Milam, K. A.

AU - Stockstill, K. R.

AU - Tornabene, L. L.

AU - Arvidson, R. E.

AU - Bartlett, P.

AU - Blaney, D.

AU - Cabrol, N. A.

AU - Christensen, Philip

AU - Clark, Benton C.

AU - Crisp, Joy A.

AU - Des Marais, David J.

AU - Economou, T.

AU - Farmer, Jack

AU - Farrand, W.

AU - Ghosh, A.

AU - Golombek, Matt

AU - Gorevan, S.

AU - Greeley, R.

AU - Hamilton, V. E.

AU - Johnson, J. R.

AU - Joliff, B. L.

AU - Klingelhöfer, G.

AU - Knudson, Amy T.

AU - McLennan, Scott

AU - Ming, Douglas

AU - Moersch, J. E.

AU - Rieder, R.

AU - Ruff, Steven

AU - Schrörder, C.

AU - de Souza, Jr A.

AU - Squyres, S. W.

AU - Wänke, H.

AU - Wang, Alian

AU - Yen, Albert

AU - Zipfel, J.

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