Two years at Meridiani Planum: Results from the opportunity rover

Squyres, S. W. and Knoll, A. H. and Arvidson, R. E. and Clark, B. C. and Grotzinger, J. P. and Jolliff, B. L. and McLennan, S. M. and Tosca, N. J. and Bell Iii, J. F. and Calvin, W. M. and Farrand, W. H. and Glotch, T. D. and Golombek, M. P. and Herkenhoff, K. E. and Johnson, J. R. and KlingelhC6fer, G. and McSween, H. Y. and Yen, A. S. (2006) Two years at Meridiani Planum: Results from the opportunity rover. Science, 313 (5792). pp. 1403-1407. DOI 10.1126/science.1130890

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Abstract

The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has spent more than 2 years exploring Meridiani Planum, traveling b <8 kilometers and detecting features that reveal ancient environmental conditions. These include well-developed festoon (trough) cross-lamination formed in flowing liquid water, strata with smaller and more abundant hematite-rich concretions than those seen previously, possible relict "hopper crystals" that might reflect the formation of halite, thick weathering rinds on rock surfaces, resistant fracture fills, and networks of polygonal fractures likely caused by dehydration of sulfate salts. Chemical variations with depth show that the siliciclastic fraction of outcrop rock has undergone substantial chemical alteration from a precursor basaltic composition. Observations from microscopic to orbital scales indicate that ancient Meridiani once had abundant acidic groundwater, arid and oxidizing surface conditions, and occasional liquid flow on the surface.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Journal or Publication Title: Science
Volume: 313
Page Range: pp. 1403-1407
Identification Number: 10.1126/science.1130890
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2009 12:13
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 09:56
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/1246

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