Special Reports

Olivine and Pyroxene Diversity in the Crust of Mars

Science  11 Mar 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5715, pp. 1594-1597
DOI: 10.1126/science.1109098

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Abstract

Datafromthe Observatoire pour la Minéralogie, l'Eau, les Glaces, et l'Activité (OMEGA) on the Mars Express spacecraft identify the distinct mafic, rock-forming minerals olivine, low-calcium pyroxene (LCP), and high-calcium pyroxene (HCP) on the surface of Mars. Olivine- and HCP-rich regions are found in deposits that span the age range of geologic units. However, LCP-rich regions are found only in the ancient Noachian-aged units, which suggests that melts for these deposits were derived from a mantle depleted in aluminum and calcium. Extended dark regions in the northern plains exhibit no evidence of strong mafic absorptions or absorptions due to hydrated materials.

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