Special Research Articles

Jarosite and Hematite at Meridiani Planum from Opportunity's Mössbauer Spectrometer

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Science  03 Dec 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5702, pp. 1740-1745
DOI: 10.1126/science.1104653

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Mössbauer spectra measured by the Opportunity rover revealed four mineralogical components in Meridiani Planum at Eagle crater: jarosite- and hematite-rich outcrop, hematite-rich soil, olivine-bearing basaltic soil, and a pyroxene-bearing basaltic rock (Bounce rock). Spherules, interpreted to be concretions, are hematite-rich and dispersed throughout the outcrop. Hematitic soils both within and outside Eagle crater are dominated by spherules and their fragments. Olivine-bearing basaltic soil is present throughout the region. Bounce rock is probably an impact erratic. Because jarosite is a hydroxide sulfate mineral, its presence at Meridiani Planum is mineralogical evidence for aqueous processes on Mars, probably under acid-sulfate conditions.

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