Water alteration of rocks and soils on Mars at the Spirit rover site in Gusev crater

Larry A. Haskin, Alian Wang, Bradley L. Jolliff, Harry Y. McSween, Benton C. Clark, David J. Des Marais, Scott M. McLennan, Nicholas J. Tosca, Joel A. Hurowitz, Jack Farmer, Albert Yen, Steve W. Squyres, Raymond E. Arvidson, Göstar Klingelhöfer, Christian Schröder, Paulo A. De Souza, Douglas W. Ming, Ralf Gellert, Jutta Zipfel, Johannes BrücknerJames Bell, Kenneth Herkenhoff, Philip Christensen, Steven Ruff, Diana Blaney, Steven Gorevan, Nathalie A. Cabrol, Larry Crumpler, John Grant, Lawrence Soderblom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

175 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Gusev crater was selected as the landing site for the Spirit rover because of the possibility that it once held a lake. Thus one of the rover's tasks was to search for evidence of lake sediments. However, the plains at the landing site were found to be covered by a regolith composed of olivine-rich basaltic rock and wind-blown 'global' dust. The analyses of three rock interiors exposed by the rock abrasion tool showed that they are similar to one another, consistent with having originated from a common lava flow. Here we report the investigation of soils, rock coatings and rock interiors by the Spirit rover from sol (martian day) 1 to sol 156, from its landing site to the base of the Columbia hills. The physical and chemical characteristics of the materials analysed provide evidence for limited but unequivocal interaction between water and the volcanic rocks of the Gusev plains. This evidence includes the softness of rock interiors that contain anomalously high concentrations of sulphur, chlorine and bromine relative to terrestrial basalts and martian meteorites; sulphur, chlorine and ferric iron enrichments in multilayer coatings on the light-toned rock Mazatzal; high bromine concentration in filled vugs and veins within the plains basalts; positive correlations between magnesium, sulphur and other salt components in trench soils; and decoupling of sulphur, chlorine and bromine concentrations in trench soils compared to Gusev surface soils, indicating chemical mobility and separation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-69
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume436
Issue number7047
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 7 2005

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Mars
Sulfur
Bromine
Chlorine
Soil
Water
Polymethyl Methacrylate
Lakes
Meteoroids
Dust
Magnesium
Veins
Iron
Salts
Light
basalt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Haskin, L. A., Wang, A., Jolliff, B. L., McSween, H. Y., Clark, B. C., Des Marais, D. J., ... Soderblom, L. (2005). Water alteration of rocks and soils on Mars at the Spirit rover site in Gusev crater. Nature, 436(7047), 66-69. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature03640

Water alteration of rocks and soils on Mars at the Spirit rover site in Gusev crater. / Haskin, Larry A.; Wang, Alian; Jolliff, Bradley L.; McSween, Harry Y.; Clark, Benton C.; Des Marais, David J.; McLennan, Scott M.; Tosca, Nicholas J.; Hurowitz, Joel A.; Farmer, Jack; Yen, Albert; Squyres, Steve W.; Arvidson, Raymond E.; Klingelhöfer, Göstar; Schröder, Christian; De Souza, Paulo A.; Ming, Douglas W.; Gellert, Ralf; Zipfel, Jutta; Brückner, Johannes; Bell, James; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Christensen, Philip; Ruff, Steven; Blaney, Diana; Gorevan, Steven; Cabrol, Nathalie A.; Crumpler, Larry; Grant, John; Soderblom, Lawrence.

In: Nature, Vol. 436, No. 7047, 07.07.2005, p. 66-69.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Haskin, LA, Wang, A, Jolliff, BL, McSween, HY, Clark, BC, Des Marais, DJ, McLennan, SM, Tosca, NJ, Hurowitz, JA, Farmer, J, Yen, A, Squyres, SW, Arvidson, RE, Klingelhöfer, G, Schröder, C, De Souza, PA, Ming, DW, Gellert, R, Zipfel, J, Brückner, J, Bell, J, Herkenhoff, K, Christensen, P, Ruff, S, Blaney, D, Gorevan, S, Cabrol, NA, Crumpler, L, Grant, J & Soderblom, L 2005, 'Water alteration of rocks and soils on Mars at the Spirit rover site in Gusev crater', Nature, vol. 436, no. 7047, pp. 66-69. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature03640
Haskin LA, Wang A, Jolliff BL, McSween HY, Clark BC, Des Marais DJ et al. Water alteration of rocks and soils on Mars at the Spirit rover site in Gusev crater. Nature. 2005 Jul 7;436(7047):66-69. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature03640
Haskin, Larry A. ; Wang, Alian ; Jolliff, Bradley L. ; McSween, Harry Y. ; Clark, Benton C. ; Des Marais, David J. ; McLennan, Scott M. ; Tosca, Nicholas J. ; Hurowitz, Joel A. ; Farmer, Jack ; Yen, Albert ; Squyres, Steve W. ; Arvidson, Raymond E. ; Klingelhöfer, Göstar ; Schröder, Christian ; De Souza, Paulo A. ; Ming, Douglas W. ; Gellert, Ralf ; Zipfel, Jutta ; Brückner, Johannes ; Bell, James ; Herkenhoff, Kenneth ; Christensen, Philip ; Ruff, Steven ; Blaney, Diana ; Gorevan, Steven ; Cabrol, Nathalie A. ; Crumpler, Larry ; Grant, John ; Soderblom, Lawrence. / Water alteration of rocks and soils on Mars at the Spirit rover site in Gusev crater. In: Nature. 2005 ; Vol. 436, No. 7047. pp. 66-69.
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