Schmidt ME, Farrand WH, Johnson JR, Schröder C, Hurowitz JA, McCoy TJ, Ruff SW, Arvidson RE, DesMarais DJ, Lewis KW, Ming DW, Squyres SW & de Souza Jr PA (2009) Spectral, mineralogical, and geochemical variations across Home Plate, Gusev Crater, Mars indicate high and low temperature alteration. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 281 (3-4), pp. 258-266. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2009.02.030
Over the last ~3 years in Gusev Crater, Mars, the Spirit rover observed coherent variations in color, mineralogy, and geochemistry across Home Plate, an ~80 m-diameter outcrop of basaltic tephra. Observations of Home Plate from orbit and from the summit of Husband Hill reveal clear differences in visible/near-infrared (VNIR) colors between its eastern and western regions that are consistent with mineralogical compositions indicated by Mössbauer spectrometer (MB) and by Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES). Pyroxene and magnetite dominate the east side, while olivine, nanophase Fe oxide (npOx) and glass are more abundant on the western side. Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) observations reveal that eastern Home Plate has higher Si/Mg, Al, Zn, Ni, and K, while Cl and Br are higher in the west. We propose that these variations are the result of two distinct alteration regimes that may or may not be temporally related: a localized, higher temperature recrystallization and alteration of the east side of Home Plate and lower temperature alteration of the western side that produced npOx.
Mars geology; Gusev Crater; hydrothermal alteration
Earth and Planetary Science Letters: Volume 281, Issue 3-4