Gypsum, bassanite, and anhydrite at Gale crater, Mars

David T. Vaniman, Germán M. Martínez, Elizabeth B. Rampe, Thomas F. Bristow, David F. Blake, Albert S. Yen, Douglas W. Ming, William Rapin, Pierre Yves Meslin, John Michael Morookian, Robert T Downs, Steve J. Chipera, Richard V. Morris, Shaunna M. Morrison, Allan H. Treiman, Cherie N. Achilles, Kevin Robertson, John P. Grotzinger, Robert M. Hazen, Roger C. WiensDawn Y. Sumner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Analyses by the CheMin X-ray diffraction instrument on Mars Science Laboratory show that gypsum, bassanite, and anhydrite are common minerals at Gale crater. Warm conditions (∼6 to 30 °C) within CheMin drive gypsum dehydration to bassanite; measured surface temperatures and modeled temperature depth profiles indicate that near-equatorial warm-season surface heating can also cause gypsum dehydration to bassanite. By accounting for instrumental dehydration effects we are able to quantify the in situ abundances of Ca-sulfate phases in sedimentary rocks and in eolian sands at Gale crater. All three Ca-sulfate minerals occur together in some sedimentary rocks and their abundances and associations vary stratigraphically. Several Ca-sulfate diagenetic events are indicated. Salinity-driven anhydrite precipitation at temperatures below ∼50 °C may be supported by co-occurrence of more soluble salts. An alternative pathway to anhydrite via dehydration might be possible, but if so would likely be limited to warmer near-equatorial dark eolian sands that presently contain only anhydrite. The polyphase Ca-sulfate associations at Gale crater reflect limited opportunities for equilibration, and they presage mixed salt associations anticipated in higher strata that are more sulfate-rich and may mark local or global environmental change. Mineral transformations within CheMin also provide a better understanding of changes that might occur in samples returned from Mars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1011-1020
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Mineralogist
Volume103
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 26 2018

Fingerprint

Mars craters
bassanite
Calcium Sulfate
gypsum
anhydrite
Dehydration
Sulfates
crater
Mars
sulfates
dehydration
sulfate
Sedimentary rocks
craters
sedimentary rocks
Minerals
minerals
Sulfate minerals
Sand
Salts

Keywords

  • bassanite anhydrite
  • Gypsum
  • Mars
  • Martian Rocks and Minerals
  • Meteorites
  • Orbiters
  • Perspectives from Rovers
  • X-ray diffraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

Cite this

Vaniman, D. T., Martínez, G. M., Rampe, E. B., Bristow, T. F., Blake, D. F., Yen, A. S., ... Sumner, D. Y. (2018). Gypsum, bassanite, and anhydrite at Gale crater, Mars. American Mineralogist, 103(7), 1011-1020. https://doi.org/10.2138/am-2018-6346

Gypsum, bassanite, and anhydrite at Gale crater, Mars. / Vaniman, David T.; Martínez, Germán M.; Rampe, Elizabeth B.; Bristow, Thomas F.; Blake, David F.; Yen, Albert S.; Ming, Douglas W.; Rapin, William; Meslin, Pierre Yves; Morookian, John Michael; Downs, Robert T; Chipera, Steve J.; Morris, Richard V.; Morrison, Shaunna M.; Treiman, Allan H.; Achilles, Cherie N.; Robertson, Kevin; Grotzinger, John P.; Hazen, Robert M.; Wiens, Roger C.; Sumner, Dawn Y.

In: American Mineralogist, Vol. 103, No. 7, 26.07.2018, p. 1011-1020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Vaniman, DT, Martínez, GM, Rampe, EB, Bristow, TF, Blake, DF, Yen, AS, Ming, DW, Rapin, W, Meslin, PY, Morookian, JM, Downs, RT, Chipera, SJ, Morris, RV, Morrison, SM, Treiman, AH, Achilles, CN, Robertson, K, Grotzinger, JP, Hazen, RM, Wiens, RC & Sumner, DY 2018, 'Gypsum, bassanite, and anhydrite at Gale crater, Mars', American Mineralogist, vol. 103, no. 7, pp. 1011-1020. https://doi.org/10.2138/am-2018-6346
Vaniman DT, Martínez GM, Rampe EB, Bristow TF, Blake DF, Yen AS et al. Gypsum, bassanite, and anhydrite at Gale crater, Mars. American Mineralogist. 2018 Jul 26;103(7):1011-1020. https://doi.org/10.2138/am-2018-6346
Vaniman, David T. ; Martínez, Germán M. ; Rampe, Elizabeth B. ; Bristow, Thomas F. ; Blake, David F. ; Yen, Albert S. ; Ming, Douglas W. ; Rapin, William ; Meslin, Pierre Yves ; Morookian, John Michael ; Downs, Robert T ; Chipera, Steve J. ; Morris, Richard V. ; Morrison, Shaunna M. ; Treiman, Allan H. ; Achilles, Cherie N. ; Robertson, Kevin ; Grotzinger, John P. ; Hazen, Robert M. ; Wiens, Roger C. ; Sumner, Dawn Y. / Gypsum, bassanite, and anhydrite at Gale crater, Mars. In: American Mineralogist. 2018 ; Vol. 103, No. 7. pp. 1011-1020.
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