Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Opportunity observations of the Burns formation

Crater hopping at Meridiani Planum

R. E. Arvidson, James Bell, J. G. Catalano, B. C. Clark, V. K. Fox, R. Gellert, J. P. Grotzinger, E. A. Guinness, K. E. Herkenhoff, A. H. Knoll, M. G.A. Lapotre, S. M. McLennan, D. W. Ming, R. V. Morris, S. L. Murchie, K. E. Powell, M. D. Smith, S. W. Squyres, M. J. Wolff, J. J. Wray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars hyperspectral (1.0-2.65 μm) along-track oversampled observations covering Victoria, Santa Maria, Endeavour, and Ada craters were processed to 6 m/pixel and used in combination with Opportunity observations to detect and map hydrated Mg and Ca sulfate minerals in the Burns formation. The strongest spectral absorption features were found to be associated with outcrops that are relatively young and fresh (Ada) or preferentially scoured of dust, soil, and coatings by prevailing winds. At Victoria and Santa Maria, the scoured areas are on the southeastern rims and walls, opposite to the sides where wind-blown sands extend out of the craters. At Endeavour, the deepest absorptions are in Botany Bay, a subdued and buried rim segment that exhibits high thermal inertias, extensive outcrops, and is interpreted to be a region of enhanced wind scour extending up and out of the crater. Ada, Victoria, and Santa Maria outcrops expose the upper portion of the preserved Burns formation and show spectral evidence for the presence of kieserite. In contrast, gypsum is pervasive spectrally in the Botany Bay exposures. Gypsum, a relatively insoluble evaporative mineral, is interpreted to have formed close to the contact with the Noachian crust as rising groundwaters brought brines close to and onto the surface, either as a direct precipitate or during later diagenesis. The presence of kieserite at the top of the section is hypothesized to reflect precipitation from evaporatively concentrated brines or dehydration of polyhydrated sulfates, in both scenarios as the aqueous environment evolved to very arid conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-451
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Volume120
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

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Ada (programming language)
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
maria
Temazepam
botany
outcrops
craters
crater
Calcium Sulfate
Mars
brines
Brines
outcrop
gypsum
rims
sulfates
Sulfate minerals
sulfate minerals
minerals
sulfate

Keywords

  • CRISM
  • MER
  • Meridiani
  • MRO
  • Opportunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Forestry
  • Ecology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

Cite this

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Opportunity observations of the Burns formation : Crater hopping at Meridiani Planum. / Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, James; Catalano, J. G.; Clark, B. C.; Fox, V. K.; Gellert, R.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Guinness, E. A.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Knoll, A. H.; Lapotre, M. G.A.; McLennan, S. M.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Murchie, S. L.; Powell, K. E.; Smith, M. D.; Squyres, S. W.; Wolff, M. J.; Wray, J. J.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, Vol. 120, No. 3, 01.03.2015, p. 429-451.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Arvidson, RE, Bell, J, Catalano, JG, Clark, BC, Fox, VK, Gellert, R, Grotzinger, JP, Guinness, EA, Herkenhoff, KE, Knoll, AH, Lapotre, MGA, McLennan, SM, Ming, DW, Morris, RV, Murchie, SL, Powell, KE, Smith, MD, Squyres, SW, Wolff, MJ & Wray, JJ 2015, 'Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Opportunity observations of the Burns formation: Crater hopping at Meridiani Planum', Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, vol. 120, no. 3, pp. 429-451. https://doi.org/10.1002/2014JE004686
Arvidson, R. E. ; Bell, James ; Catalano, J. G. ; Clark, B. C. ; Fox, V. K. ; Gellert, R. ; Grotzinger, J. P. ; Guinness, E. A. ; Herkenhoff, K. E. ; Knoll, A. H. ; Lapotre, M. G.A. ; McLennan, S. M. ; Ming, D. W. ; Morris, R. V. ; Murchie, S. L. ; Powell, K. E. ; Smith, M. D. ; Squyres, S. W. ; Wolff, M. J. ; Wray, J. J. / Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Opportunity observations of the Burns formation : Crater hopping at Meridiani Planum. In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. 2015 ; Vol. 120, No. 3. pp. 429-451.
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