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Chemistry and texture of the rocks at Rocknest, Gale Crater: Evidence for sedimentary origin and diagenetic alteration

Blaney, D.L.; Wiens, Roger C.; Maurice, Sylvester; Clegg, S.; Anderson, R.B.; Kah, L.C.; Le Mouelic, S; Ollila, Anne M.; Bridges, N; Tokar, R; Berger, G; King, Penelope

Description

A suite of eight rocks analyzed by the Curiosity Rover while it was stopped at the Rocknest sand ripple shows the greatest chemical divergence of any potentially sedimentary rocks analyzed in the early part of the mission. Relative to average Martian soil and to the stratigraphically lower units encountered as part of the Yellowknife Bay formation, these rocks are significantly depleted in MgO, with a mean of 1.3 wt %, and high in Fe, averaging over 20 wt % FeOT, with values between 15 and 26wt...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorBlaney, D.L.
dc.contributor.authorWiens, Roger C.
dc.contributor.authorMaurice, Sylvester
dc.contributor.authorClegg, S.
dc.contributor.authorAnderson, R.B.
dc.contributor.authorKah, L.C.
dc.contributor.authorLe Mouelic, S
dc.contributor.authorOllila, Anne M.
dc.contributor.authorBridges, N
dc.contributor.authorTokar, R
dc.contributor.authorBerger, G
dc.contributor.authorKing, Penelope
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-07T22:27:44Z
dc.identifier.issn0148-0227
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/22032
dc.description.abstractA suite of eight rocks analyzed by the Curiosity Rover while it was stopped at the Rocknest sand ripple shows the greatest chemical divergence of any potentially sedimentary rocks analyzed in the early part of the mission. Relative to average Martian soil and to the stratigraphically lower units encountered as part of the Yellowknife Bay formation, these rocks are significantly depleted in MgO, with a mean of 1.3 wt %, and high in Fe, averaging over 20 wt % FeOT, with values between 15 and 26wt % FeOT. The variable iron and low magnesium and rock texture make it unlikely that these are igneous rocks. Rock surface textures range from rough to smooth, can be pitted or grooved, and show various degrees of wind erosion. Some rocks display poorly defined layering while others seem to show possible fractures. Narrow vertical voids are present in Rocknest 3, one of the rocks showing the strongest layering. Rocks in the vicinity of Rocknest may have undergone some diagenesis similar to other rocks in the Yellowknife Bay Formation as indicated by the presence of soluble calcium phases. The most reasonable scenario is that fine-grained sediments, potentially a mixture of feldspar-rich rocks from Bradbury Rise and normal Martian soil, were lithified together by an iron-rich cement. Key Points Rocks show morphologic diversity but similar chemistryRocknest rocks have high Fe and low Mg that sets them apartThey may be fine-grained sediments with an iron-rich cement
dc.publisherAmerican Geophysical Union
dc.rightsAuthor/s retain copyright
dc.sourceJournal of Geophysical Research
dc.titleChemistry and texture of the rocks at Rocknest, Gale Crater: Evidence for sedimentary origin and diagenetic alteration
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume119
dc.date.issued2014
local.identifier.absfor040302 - Extraterrestrial Geology
local.identifier.ariespublicationu8906087xPUB19
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationBlaney, D.L., Jet Propulsion Laboratory
local.contributor.affiliationWiens, Roger C., Los Alamos National Laboratory
local.contributor.affiliationMaurice, Sylvester, Université Paul Sabatier
local.contributor.affiliationClegg, S., Alamos National Laboratory
local.contributor.affiliationAnderson, R.B., U.S. Geological Survey
local.contributor.affiliationKah, L.C., University of Tennessee
local.contributor.affiliationLe Mouelic, S, Universite Nantes
local.contributor.affiliationOllila, Anne M., Institute of Meteoritics
local.contributor.affiliationBridges, N, Applied Physics Laboratory
local.contributor.affiliationTokar, R, Planetary Science Institute
local.contributor.affiliationBerger, G , Universite Paul Sabatier
local.contributor.affiliationKing, Penelope, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, ANU
local.bibliographicCitation.issue9
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage2109
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage2131
local.identifier.doi10.1002/2013JE004590
local.identifier.absseo970104 - Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences
dc.date.updated2015-12-07T09:56:05Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84918592019
local.identifier.thomsonID000343820900006
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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