Evolved gas analyses of sedimentary rocks and eolian sediment in Gale Crater, Mars: Results of the Curiosity rover's sample analysis at Mars instrument from Yellowknife Bay to the Namib Dune

B. Sutter, A. C. McAdam, P. R. Mahaffy, D. W. Ming, K. S. Edgett, E. B. Rampe, J. L. Eigenbrode, H. B. Franz, C. Freissinet, J. P. Grotzinger, A. Steele, C. H. House, P. D. Archer, C. A. Malespin, R. Navarro-González, J. C. Stern, James Bell, F. J. Calef, R. Gellert, D. P. GlavinL. M. Thompson, A. S. Yen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The sample analysis at Mars instrument evolved gas analyzer (SAM-EGA) has detected evolved water, H2, SO2, H2S, NO, CO2, CO, O2, and HCl from two eolian sediments and nine sedimentary rocks from Gale Crater, Mars. These evolved gas detections indicate nitrates, organics, oxychlorine phase, and sulfates are widespread with phyllosilicates and carbonates occurring in select Gale Crater materials. Coevolved CO2 (160 ± 248–2373 ± 820 μgC(CO2)/g) and CO (11 ± 3–320 ± 130 μgC(CO)/g) suggest that organic C is present in Gale Crater materials. Five samples evolved CO2 at temperatures consistent with carbonate (0.32 ± 0.05–0.70 ± 0.1 wt % CO3). Evolved NO amounts to 0.002 ± 0.007–0.06 ± 0.03 wt % NO3. Evolution of O2 suggests that oxychlorine phases (chlorate/perchlorate) (0.05 ± 0.025–1.05 ± 0.44 wt % ClO4) are present, while SO2 evolution indicates the presence of crystalline and/or poorly crystalline Fe and Mg sulfate and possibly sulfide. Evolved H2O (0.9 ± 0.3–2.5 ± 1.6 wt % H2O) is consistent with the presence of adsorbed water, hydrated salts, interlayer/structural water from phyllosilicates, and possible inclusion water in mineral/amorphous phases. Evolved H2 and H2S suggest that reduced phases occur despite the presence of oxidized phases (nitrate, oxychlorine, sulfate, and carbonate). SAM results coupled with CheMin mineralogical and Alpha-Particle X-ray Spectrometer elemental analyses indicate that Gale Crater sedimentary rocks have experienced a complex authigenetic/diagenetic history involving fluids with varying pH, redox, and salt composition. The inferred geochemical conditions were favorable for microbial habitability and if life ever existed, there was likely sufficient organic C to support a small microbial population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2574-2609
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Volume122
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

Fingerprint

Mars craters
sedimentary rocks
dunes
Sedimentary rocks
mars
crater
dune
Mars
sedimentary rock
Carbonates
Sediments
sediments
Carbon Monoxide
Gases
carbon dioxide
craters
gases
Sulfates
carbonates
sulfates

Keywords

  • carbonate
  • Mars
  • nitrate
  • organic carbon
  • perchlroate
  • sulfate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Forestry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Palaeontology

Cite this

Evolved gas analyses of sedimentary rocks and eolian sediment in Gale Crater, Mars : Results of the Curiosity rover's sample analysis at Mars instrument from Yellowknife Bay to the Namib Dune. / Sutter, B.; McAdam, A. C.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Ming, D. W.; Edgett, K. S.; Rampe, E. B.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Franz, H. B.; Freissinet, C.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Steele, A.; House, C. H.; Archer, P. D.; Malespin, C. A.; Navarro-González, R.; Stern, J. C.; Bell, James; Calef, F. J.; Gellert, R.; Glavin, D. P.; Thompson, L. M.; Yen, A. S.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, Vol. 122, No. 12, 01.12.2017, p. 2574-2609.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sutter, B, McAdam, AC, Mahaffy, PR, Ming, DW, Edgett, KS, Rampe, EB, Eigenbrode, JL, Franz, HB, Freissinet, C, Grotzinger, JP, Steele, A, House, CH, Archer, PD, Malespin, CA, Navarro-González, R, Stern, JC, Bell, J, Calef, FJ, Gellert, R, Glavin, DP, Thompson, LM & Yen, AS 2017, 'Evolved gas analyses of sedimentary rocks and eolian sediment in Gale Crater, Mars: Results of the Curiosity rover's sample analysis at Mars instrument from Yellowknife Bay to the Namib Dune', Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, vol. 122, no. 12, pp. 2574-2609. https://doi.org/10.1002/2016JE005225
Sutter, B. ; McAdam, A. C. ; Mahaffy, P. R. ; Ming, D. W. ; Edgett, K. S. ; Rampe, E. B. ; Eigenbrode, J. L. ; Franz, H. B. ; Freissinet, C. ; Grotzinger, J. P. ; Steele, A. ; House, C. H. ; Archer, P. D. ; Malespin, C. A. ; Navarro-González, R. ; Stern, J. C. ; Bell, James ; Calef, F. J. ; Gellert, R. ; Glavin, D. P. ; Thompson, L. M. ; Yen, A. S. / Evolved gas analyses of sedimentary rocks and eolian sediment in Gale Crater, Mars : Results of the Curiosity rover's sample analysis at Mars instrument from Yellowknife Bay to the Namib Dune. In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. 2017 ; Vol. 122, No. 12. pp. 2574-2609.
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T1 - Evolved gas analyses of sedimentary rocks and eolian sediment in Gale Crater, Mars

T2 - Results of the Curiosity rover's sample analysis at Mars instrument from Yellowknife Bay to the Namib Dune

AU - Sutter, B.

AU - McAdam, A. C.

AU - Mahaffy, P. R.

AU - Ming, D. W.

AU - Edgett, K. S.

AU - Rampe, E. B.

AU - Eigenbrode, J. L.

AU - Franz, H. B.

AU - Freissinet, C.

AU - Grotzinger, J. P.

AU - Steele, A.

AU - House, C. H.

AU - Archer, P. D.

AU - Malespin, C. A.

AU - Navarro-González, R.

AU - Stern, J. C.

AU - Bell, James

AU - Calef, F. J.

AU - Gellert, R.

AU - Glavin, D. P.

AU - Thompson, L. M.

AU - Yen, A. S.

PY - 2017/12/1

Y1 - 2017/12/1

N2 - The sample analysis at Mars instrument evolved gas analyzer (SAM-EGA) has detected evolved water, H2, SO2, H2S, NO, CO2, CO, O2, and HCl from two eolian sediments and nine sedimentary rocks from Gale Crater, Mars. These evolved gas detections indicate nitrates, organics, oxychlorine phase, and sulfates are widespread with phyllosilicates and carbonates occurring in select Gale Crater materials. Coevolved CO2 (160 ± 248–2373 ± 820 μgC(CO2)/g) and CO (11 ± 3–320 ± 130 μgC(CO)/g) suggest that organic C is present in Gale Crater materials. Five samples evolved CO2 at temperatures consistent with carbonate (0.32 ± 0.05–0.70 ± 0.1 wt % CO3). Evolved NO amounts to 0.002 ± 0.007–0.06 ± 0.03 wt % NO3. Evolution of O2 suggests that oxychlorine phases (chlorate/perchlorate) (0.05 ± 0.025–1.05 ± 0.44 wt % ClO4) are present, while SO2 evolution indicates the presence of crystalline and/or poorly crystalline Fe and Mg sulfate and possibly sulfide. Evolved H2O (0.9 ± 0.3–2.5 ± 1.6 wt % H2O) is consistent with the presence of adsorbed water, hydrated salts, interlayer/structural water from phyllosilicates, and possible inclusion water in mineral/amorphous phases. Evolved H2 and H2S suggest that reduced phases occur despite the presence of oxidized phases (nitrate, oxychlorine, sulfate, and carbonate). SAM results coupled with CheMin mineralogical and Alpha-Particle X-ray Spectrometer elemental analyses indicate that Gale Crater sedimentary rocks have experienced a complex authigenetic/diagenetic history involving fluids with varying pH, redox, and salt composition. The inferred geochemical conditions were favorable for microbial habitability and if life ever existed, there was likely sufficient organic C to support a small microbial population.

AB - The sample analysis at Mars instrument evolved gas analyzer (SAM-EGA) has detected evolved water, H2, SO2, H2S, NO, CO2, CO, O2, and HCl from two eolian sediments and nine sedimentary rocks from Gale Crater, Mars. These evolved gas detections indicate nitrates, organics, oxychlorine phase, and sulfates are widespread with phyllosilicates and carbonates occurring in select Gale Crater materials. Coevolved CO2 (160 ± 248–2373 ± 820 μgC(CO2)/g) and CO (11 ± 3–320 ± 130 μgC(CO)/g) suggest that organic C is present in Gale Crater materials. Five samples evolved CO2 at temperatures consistent with carbonate (0.32 ± 0.05–0.70 ± 0.1 wt % CO3). Evolved NO amounts to 0.002 ± 0.007–0.06 ± 0.03 wt % NO3. Evolution of O2 suggests that oxychlorine phases (chlorate/perchlorate) (0.05 ± 0.025–1.05 ± 0.44 wt % ClO4) are present, while SO2 evolution indicates the presence of crystalline and/or poorly crystalline Fe and Mg sulfate and possibly sulfide. Evolved H2O (0.9 ± 0.3–2.5 ± 1.6 wt % H2O) is consistent with the presence of adsorbed water, hydrated salts, interlayer/structural water from phyllosilicates, and possible inclusion water in mineral/amorphous phases. Evolved H2 and H2S suggest that reduced phases occur despite the presence of oxidized phases (nitrate, oxychlorine, sulfate, and carbonate). SAM results coupled with CheMin mineralogical and Alpha-Particle X-ray Spectrometer elemental analyses indicate that Gale Crater sedimentary rocks have experienced a complex authigenetic/diagenetic history involving fluids with varying pH, redox, and salt composition. The inferred geochemical conditions were favorable for microbial habitability and if life ever existed, there was likely sufficient organic C to support a small microbial population.

KW - carbonate

KW - Mars

KW - nitrate

KW - organic carbon

KW - perchlroate

KW - sulfate

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