Discovery of Olivine in the Nili Fossae Region of Mars

Todd M. Hoefen, Roger N. Clark, Joshua L. Bandfield, Michael D. Smith, John C. Pearl, Philip Christensen

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We have detected a 30,000-square-kilometer area rich in olivine in the Nili Fossae region of Mars. Nili Fossae has been interpreted as a complex of grabens and fractures related to the formation of the Isidis impact basin. We propose that post-impact faulting of this area has exposed subsurface layers rich in olivine. Linear mixture analysis of Thermal Emission Spectrometer spectra shows surface exposures of 30% olivine, where the composition of the olivine ranges from Fo30 to Fo70.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-630
Number of pages4
Issue number5645
StatePublished - Oct 24 2003

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    Hoefen, T. M., Clark, R. N., Bandfield, J. L., Smith, M. D., Pearl, J. C., & Christensen, P. (2003). Discovery of Olivine in the Nili Fossae Region of Mars. Science, 302(5645), 627-630.