An integrated view of the chemistry and mineralogy of martian soils

Yen, A. S. and Gellert, R. and Schröder, C. and Morris, R. V. and Bell Iii, J. F. and Knudson, A. T. and Clark, B. C. and Ming, D. W. and Crisp, J. A. and Arvidson, R. E. and Blaney, D. and Christensen, P. R. and DesMarais, D. J. and De Souza Jr, P. A. and Economou, T. E. and Ghosh, A. and Hahn, B. C. and Herkenhoff, K. E. and Haskin, L. A. and Hurowitz, J. A. and Joliff, B. L. and Johnson, J. R. and Klingelhöfer, G. and Madsen, M. B. and McLennan, S. M. and McSween, H. Y. and Richter, L. and Rieder, R. and Rodionov, D. and Soderblom, L. and Squyres, S. W. and Tosca, N. J and Wang, A. and Wyatt, M. and Zipfel, J. (2005) An integrated view of the chemistry and mineralogy of martian soils. Nature, 436 (7047). pp. 49-54. DOI

[img] PDF
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (403kB)


The mineralogical and elemental compositions of the martian soil are indicators of chemical and physical weathering processes. Using data from the Mars Exploration Rovers, we show that bright dust deposits on opposite sides of the planet are part of a global unit and not dominated by the composition of local rocks. Dark soil deposits at both sites have similar basaltic mineralogies, and could reflect either a global component or the general similarity in the compositions of the rocks from which they were derived. Increased levels of bromine are consistent with mobilization of soluble salts by thin films of liquid water, but the presence of olivine in analysed soil samples indicates that the extent of aqueous alteration of soils has been limited. Nickel abundances are enhanced at the immediate surface and indicate that the upper few millimetres of soil could contain up to one per cent meteoritic material.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Erratum: Reference 34 should have read: "34. Goetz, W. et al. Indication of drier periods on Mars from the chemistry and mineralogy of atmospheric dust. Nature doi:10.1038/nature03807 (this issue)." The HTML version has been corrected online.
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Journal or Publication Title: Nature
Volume: 436
Page Range: pp. 49-54
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2009 11:31
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 09:56

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

About cookies