Diagenesis and clay mineral formation at Gale Crater, Mars

Abstract : The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity found host rocks of basaltic composition and alteration assemblages containing clay minerals at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater. On the basis of the observed host rock and alteration minerals, we present results of equilibrium thermochemical modeling of the Sheepbed mudstones of Yellowknife Bay in order to constrain the formation conditions of its secondary mineral assemblage. Building on conclusions from sedimentary observations by the Mars Science Laboratory team, we assume diagenetic, in situ alteration. The modeling shows that the mineral assemblage formed by the reaction of a CO2-poor and oxidizing, dilute aqueous solution (Gale Portage Water) in an open system with the Fe-rich basaltic-composition sedimentary rocks at 10–50°C and water/rock ratio (mass of rock reacted with the starting fluid) of 100–1000, pH of ~7.5–12. Model alteration assemblages predominantly contain phyllosilicates (Fe-smectite, chlorite), the bulk composition of a mixture of which is close to that of saponite inferred from Chemistry and Mineralogy data and to that of saponite observed in the nakhlite Martian meteorites and terrestrial analogues. To match the observed clay mineral chemistry, inhomogeneous dissolution dominated by the amorphous phase and olivine is required. We therefore deduce a dissolving composition of approximately 70% amorphous material, with 20% olivine, and 10% whole rock component.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadatas

Cited literature [53 references]  Display  Hide  Download

https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-01205518
Contributor : Nathalie Pothier <>
Submitted on : Monday, September 28, 2015 - 3:19:43 PM
Last modification on : Friday, October 11, 2019 - 8:23:03 PM
Long-term archiving on : Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 10:15:51 AM

File

jgre20347.pdf
Publisher files allowed on an open archive

Identifiers

Citation

J.C. Bridges, S.P. Schwenzer, Richard Leveille, Frances Westall, R. C. Wiens, et al.. Diagenesis and clay mineral formation at Gale Crater, Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets, Wiley-Blackwell, 2015, 120, pp.1-19. ⟨10.1002/2014JE004757⟩. ⟨insu-01205518⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

523

Files downloads

324