Martian Minerals

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Science  19 Dec 2008:
Vol. 322, Issue 5909, pp. 1753
DOI: 10.1126/science.322.5909.1753f

Most orbital and rover data has indicated that early Mars' was a fairly acidic environment; large areas of carbonate minerals have not been found in either the older or younger terrains. Ehlmann et al. (p. 1828) now report the detection of some carbonate minerals using a spectrometer on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The carbonate minerals are closely associated with abundant clay minerals in this area, implying that weathering of the crust here was by neutral or alkaline waters and that any later alterations by acidic weathering were insufficient to dissolve the carbonate minerals.

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