Ferrian saponite from the eastern Santa Monica Mountain, near Griffith Park (Los Angeles, California), was investigated as a mineralogical analog to smectites discovered on Mars by the CheMin X-ray diffraction instrument onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover. The martian clay minerals occur in sediment of basaltic composition and have 02l diffraction bands peaking at 4.59 Å, consistent with tri-octahedral smectites. The Griffith saponite occurs in basalts as pseudomorphs after olivine and mesostasis glass and as fillings of vesicles and cracks and has 02l diffraction bands at that same position. We obtained chemical compositions (by electron microprobe), X-ray diffraction patterns with a lab version of the CheMin instrument, Mössbauer spectra, and visible and near-IR reflectance (VNIR) spectra on several samples from that locality. The Griffith saponite is magnesian, Mg/(Mg+SFe) = 65-70%, lacks tetrahedral Fe3+ and octahedral Al3+, and has Fe3+/SFe from 64 to 93%. Its chemical composition is cons.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology