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Hydration state of calcium sulfates in Gale crater, Mars: Identification of bassanite veins

Abstract : In-situ analyses reveal the presence of hydrogen within calcium sulfate veins crosscutting the sediments found in Gale crater. Laboratory experiments were performed to calibrate the hydrogen signal measured by laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) in a range applicable to martian data. The analyses indicate that all veins targeted so far at Gale consist predominantly of bassanite which most likely formed by dehydration of gypsum. This scenario suggests that the percolating water produced gypsum, possibly by hydration of anhydrite in aqueous solution, and remained at temperatures below ∼60 °C at that time. Desiccating conditions followed, consistent with a hyperarid climate and favored by burial or impacts. Additionally, anhydrite with lesser bassanite has been found by XRD in samples of sediments hosting the veins. Our result suggests bassanite is likely found in the veins and anhydrite may be more common as a fine-grained component within the sediments.
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Submitted on : Monday, May 16, 2022 - 3:51:41 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 4, 2022 - 10:29:29 AM

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W. Rapin, P. -y. Meslin, S. Maurice, D. Vaniman, M. Nachon, et al.. Hydration state of calcium sulfates in Gale crater, Mars: Identification of bassanite veins. EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS, 2016, 452, pp.197-205. ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2016.07.045⟩. ⟨insu-03669424⟩



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