Chemistry, mineralogy, and grain properties at Namib and High dunes, Bagnold dune field, Gale crater, Mars: A synthesis of Curiosity rover observations

B. L. Ehlmann, K. S. Edgett, B. Sutter, C. N. Achilles, M. L. Litvak, M. G.A. Lapotre, R. Sullivan, A. A. Fraeman, R. E. Arvidson, D. F. Blake, N. T. Bridges, P. G. Conrad, A. Cousin, Robert T Downs, T. S.J. Gabriel, R. Gellert, V. E. Hamilton, C. Hardgrove, J. R. Johnson, S. KuhnP. R. Mahaffy, S. Maurice, M. McHenry, P. Y. Meslin, D. W. Ming, M. E. Minitti, J. M. Morookian, R. V. Morris, C. D. O'Connell-Cooper, P. C. Pinet, S. K. Rowland, S. Schröder, K. L. Siebach, N. T. Stein, L. M. Thompson, D. T. Vaniman, A. R. Vasavada, D. F. Wellington, R. C. Wiens, A. S. Yen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover performed coordinated measurements to examine the textures and compositions of aeolian sands in the active Bagnold dune field. The Bagnold sands are rounded to subrounded, very fine to medium sized (~45–500 μm) with ≥6 distinct grain colors. In contrast to sands examined by Curiosity in a dust-covered, inactive bedform called Rocknest and soils at other landing sites, Bagnold sands are darker, less red, better sorted, have fewer silt-sized or smaller grains, and show no evidence for cohesion. Nevertheless, Bagnold mineralogy and Rocknest mineralogy are similar with plagioclase, olivine, and pyroxenes in similar proportions comprising >90% of crystalline phases, along with a substantial amorphous component (35% ± 15%). Yet Bagnold and Rocknest bulk chemistry differ. Bagnold sands are Si enriched relative to other soils at Gale crater, and H2O, S, and Cl are lower relative to all previously measured Martian soils and most Gale crater rocks. Mg, Ni, Fe, and Mn are enriched in the coarse-sieved fraction of Bagnold sands, corroborated by visible/near-infrared spectra that suggest enrichment of olivine. Collectively, patterns in major element chemistry and volatile release data indicate two distinctive volatile reservoirs in Martian soils: (1) amorphous components in the sand-sized fraction (represented by Bagnold) that are Si-enriched, hydroxylated alteration products and/or H2O- or OH-bearing impact or volcanic glasses and (2) amorphous components in the fine fraction (<40 μm; represented by Rocknest and other bright soils) that are Fe, S, and Cl enriched with low Si and adsorbed and structural H2O.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2510-2543
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Volume122
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

Fingerprint

Mars craters
dunes
dune field
Mineralogy
mineralogy
sands
crater
dune
Mars
chemistry
Sand
sand
soils
synthesis
Soils
Olivine
soil
olivine
craters
reservoir soils

Keywords

  • amorphous phase
  • dust
  • grain size
  • Mars soils
  • sand dunes
  • volatiles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Forestry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Palaeontology

Cite this

Chemistry, mineralogy, and grain properties at Namib and High dunes, Bagnold dune field, Gale crater, Mars : A synthesis of Curiosity rover observations. / Ehlmann, B. L.; Edgett, K. S.; Sutter, B.; Achilles, C. N.; Litvak, M. L.; Lapotre, M. G.A.; Sullivan, R.; Fraeman, A. A.; Arvidson, R. E.; Blake, D. F.; Bridges, N. T.; Conrad, P. G.; Cousin, A.; Downs, Robert T; Gabriel, T. S.J.; Gellert, R.; Hamilton, V. E.; Hardgrove, C.; Johnson, J. R.; Kuhn, S.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Maurice, S.; McHenry, M.; Meslin, P. Y.; Ming, D. W.; Minitti, M. E.; Morookian, J. M.; Morris, R. V.; O'Connell-Cooper, C. D.; Pinet, P. C.; Rowland, S. K.; Schröder, S.; Siebach, K. L.; Stein, N. T.; Thompson, L. M.; Vaniman, D. T.; Vasavada, A. R.; Wellington, D. F.; Wiens, R. C.; Yen, A. S.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, Vol. 122, No. 12, 01.12.2017, p. 2510-2543.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ehlmann, BL, Edgett, KS, Sutter, B, Achilles, CN, Litvak, ML, Lapotre, MGA, Sullivan, R, Fraeman, AA, Arvidson, RE, Blake, DF, Bridges, NT, Conrad, PG, Cousin, A, Downs, RT, Gabriel, TSJ, Gellert, R, Hamilton, VE, Hardgrove, C, Johnson, JR, Kuhn, S, Mahaffy, PR, Maurice, S, McHenry, M, Meslin, PY, Ming, DW, Minitti, ME, Morookian, JM, Morris, RV, O'Connell-Cooper, CD, Pinet, PC, Rowland, SK, Schröder, S, Siebach, KL, Stein, NT, Thompson, LM, Vaniman, DT, Vasavada, AR, Wellington, DF, Wiens, RC & Yen, AS 2017, 'Chemistry, mineralogy, and grain properties at Namib and High dunes, Bagnold dune field, Gale crater, Mars: A synthesis of Curiosity rover observations', Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, vol. 122, no. 12, pp. 2510-2543. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JE005267
Ehlmann, B. L. ; Edgett, K. S. ; Sutter, B. ; Achilles, C. N. ; Litvak, M. L. ; Lapotre, M. G.A. ; Sullivan, R. ; Fraeman, A. A. ; Arvidson, R. E. ; Blake, D. F. ; Bridges, N. T. ; Conrad, P. G. ; Cousin, A. ; Downs, Robert T ; Gabriel, T. S.J. ; Gellert, R. ; Hamilton, V. E. ; Hardgrove, C. ; Johnson, J. R. ; Kuhn, S. ; Mahaffy, P. R. ; Maurice, S. ; McHenry, M. ; Meslin, P. Y. ; Ming, D. W. ; Minitti, M. E. ; Morookian, J. M. ; Morris, R. V. ; O'Connell-Cooper, C. D. ; Pinet, P. C. ; Rowland, S. K. ; Schröder, S. ; Siebach, K. L. ; Stein, N. T. ; Thompson, L. M. ; Vaniman, D. T. ; Vasavada, A. R. ; Wellington, D. F. ; Wiens, R. C. ; Yen, A. S. / Chemistry, mineralogy, and grain properties at Namib and High dunes, Bagnold dune field, Gale crater, Mars : A synthesis of Curiosity rover observations. In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. 2017 ; Vol. 122, No. 12. pp. 2510-2543.
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T2 - A synthesis of Curiosity rover observations

AU - Ehlmann, B. L.

AU - Edgett, K. S.

AU - Sutter, B.

AU - Achilles, C. N.

AU - Litvak, M. L.

AU - Lapotre, M. G.A.

AU - Sullivan, R.

AU - Fraeman, A. A.

AU - Arvidson, R. E.

AU - Blake, D. F.

AU - Bridges, N. T.

AU - Conrad, P. G.

AU - Cousin, A.

AU - Downs, Robert T

AU - Gabriel, T. S.J.

AU - Gellert, R.

AU - Hamilton, V. E.

AU - Hardgrove, C.

AU - Johnson, J. R.

AU - Kuhn, S.

AU - Mahaffy, P. R.

AU - Maurice, S.

AU - McHenry, M.

AU - Meslin, P. Y.

AU - Ming, D. W.

AU - Minitti, M. E.

AU - Morookian, J. M.

AU - Morris, R. V.

AU - O'Connell-Cooper, C. D.

AU - Pinet, P. C.

AU - Rowland, S. K.

AU - Schröder, S.

AU - Siebach, K. L.

AU - Stein, N. T.

AU - Thompson, L. M.

AU - Vaniman, D. T.

AU - Vasavada, A. R.

AU - Wellington, D. F.

AU - Wiens, R. C.

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KW - grain size

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KW - sand dunes

KW - volatiles

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