Mineralogy of the light-toned outcrop at Meridiani Planum as seen by the Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer and implications for its formation

Timothy D. Glotch, Joshua L. Bandfield, Philip Christensen, Wendy M. Calvin, Scott M. McLennan, Benton C. Clark, A. Deanne Rogers, Steven W. Squyres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

Analysis of Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) data has led to the recovery of a pure end-member spectral shape related to the light-toned outcrop observed at Meridiani Planum. Data from the MER Mössbauer spectrometer, APXS, and previous Mini-TES measurements were used to constrain a spectral library used to determine the mineralogy of the outcrop from this spectral shape. Linear deconvolution of the outcrop spectral shape suggests that it is composed primarily of Al-rich opaline silica, Mg-, Ca-, and Fe-bearing sulfates, plagioclase feldspar, nontronite, and hematite. Conversion of modeled mineralogy to chemistry shows good agreement with the chemical composition of the outcrops determined by APXS. Details of the analysis procedure and implications for the formation of the outcrop are discussed along with terrestrial analogs of the ancient environment at Meridiani.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE12S03
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research E: Planets
Volume111
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 20 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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