Temporal observations of bright soil exposures at Gusev crater, Mars

M. S. Rice, James Bell, E. A. Cloutis, J. J. Wray, K. E. Herkenhoff, R. Sullivan, J. R. Johnson, R. B. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has discovered bright soil deposits in its wheel tracks that previously have been confirmed to contain ferric sulfates and/or opaline silica. Repeated Pancam multispectral observations have been acquired at four of these deposits to monitor spectral and textural changes over time during exposure to Martian surface conditions. Previous studies suggested that temporal spectral changes occur because of mineralogic changes (e.g., phase transitions accompanying dehydration). In this study, we present a multispectral and temporal analysis of eight Pancam image sequences at the Tyrone exposure, three at the Gertrude Weise exposure, two at the Kit Carson exposure, and ten at the Ulysses exposure that have been acquired as of sol 2132 (1 January 2010). We compare observed variations in Pancam data to spectral changes predicted by laboratory experiments for the dehydration of ferric sulfates. We also present a spectral analysis of repeated Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE observations spanning 32 sols and a textural analysis of Spirit Microscopic Imager observations of Ulysses spanning 102 sols. At all bright soil exposures, we observe no statistically significant spectral changes with time that are uniquely diagnostic of dehydration and/or mineralogic phase changes. However, at Kit Carson and Ulysses, we observe significant textural changes, including slumping within the wheel trench, movement of individual grains, disappearance of fines, and dispersal of soil clods. All observed textural changes are consistent with aeolian sorting and/or minor amounts of air fall dust deposition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE00F14
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research E: Planets
Volume116
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Mars craters
Polymethyl Methacrylate
Dehydration
crater
Mars
soils
Soils
Wheels
Deposits
dehydration
kits
soil
wheels
Sorting
Image sensors
Spectrum analysis
Dust
sulfates
Phase transitions
deposits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Rice, M. S., Bell, J., Cloutis, E. A., Wray, J. J., Herkenhoff, K. E., Sullivan, R., ... Anderson, R. B. (2011). Temporal observations of bright soil exposures at Gusev crater, Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets, 116(1), [E00F14]. https://doi.org/10.1029/2010JE003683

Temporal observations of bright soil exposures at Gusev crater, Mars. / Rice, M. S.; Bell, James; Cloutis, E. A.; Wray, J. J.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Sullivan, R.; Johnson, J. R.; Anderson, R. B.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets, Vol. 116, No. 1, E00F14, 2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rice, MS, Bell, J, Cloutis, EA, Wray, JJ, Herkenhoff, KE, Sullivan, R, Johnson, JR & Anderson, RB 2011, 'Temporal observations of bright soil exposures at Gusev crater, Mars', Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets, vol. 116, no. 1, E00F14. https://doi.org/10.1029/2010JE003683
Rice, M. S. ; Bell, James ; Cloutis, E. A. ; Wray, J. J. ; Herkenhoff, K. E. ; Sullivan, R. ; Johnson, J. R. ; Anderson, R. B. / Temporal observations of bright soil exposures at Gusev crater, Mars. In: Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets. 2011 ; Vol. 116, No. 1.
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