Special Reports

Mineralogy at Gusev Crater from the Mössbauer Spectrometer on the Spirit Rover

Science  06 Aug 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5685, pp. 833-836
DOI: 10.1126/science.1100020

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Abstract

Mössbauer spectra measured on Mars by the Spirit rover during the primary mission are characterized by two ferrous iron doublets (olivine and probably pyroxene) and a ferric iron doublet (tentatively associated to nanophase ferric iron oxide). Two sextets resulting from nonstoichiometric magnetite are also present, except for a coating on the rock Mazatzal, where a hematite-like sextet is present. Greater proportions of ferric-bearing phases are associated with undisturbed soils and rock surfaces as compared to fresh rock surfaces exposed by grinding. The ubiquitous presence of olivine in soil suggests that physical rather than chemical weathering processes currently dominate at Gusev crater.

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