Special Reports

Spectral Reflectance and Morphologic Correlations in Eastern Terra Meridiani, Mars

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Science  11 Mar 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5715, pp. 1591-1594
DOI: 10.1126/science.1109509

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Abstract

The Mars Express Observatoire pour la Minéralogie, l'Eau, les Glaces, et l'Activité (OMEGA) hyperspectral image data covering eastern Terra Meridiani indicate the ubiquitous presence of molecular water in etched terrain materials that disconformably overlie heavily cratered terrains and underlie the hematite-bearing plains explored by the Opportunity rover. Identification of crystalline water in kieserite (MgSO4·H2O) is linked to materials exposed in a valley and plateau to the north of hematite-bearing plains. The mineralogical similarities between the etched terrain deposits examined with OMEGA data and the layered rocks examined by Opportunity imply that the ancient aqueous environments inferred from analyses of the rover data extend over regional scales.

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