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GRS Evidence and the possibility of paleooceans on Mars

AuthorsDohm, James M.; Baker, Víctor R.; Boynton, William V.; González Fairén, Alberto; Ferris, Justin C.; Finch, Michael; Furfaro, Roberto; Hare, Trent M.; Janes, Daniel M.; Kargel, Jeffrey S.; Karunatillake, Suniti; Keller, John; Kerry, Kris; Kim, Kyeong; Komatsu, Goro; Mahaney, William C.; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Marinangeli, Lucía; Ori, Gian G.; Ruiz Pérez, Javier; Wheelock, Shawn J.
Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS)
Mars Odyssey spacecraft
Potassium (K), thorium (Th), and iron (Fe) distribution
Evaporite deposits
Ancient acidic oceans
Issue Date29-Oct-2008
CitationPlanetary and Space Science (2008, in press)
AbstractThe Gamma Ray Spectrometer (Mars Odyssey spacecraft) has revealed elemental distributions of potassium (K), thorium (Th), and iron (Fe) on Mars that require fractionation of K (and possibly Th and Fe) consistent with aqueous activity. This includes weathering, evolution of soils, and transport, sorting, and deposition, as well as with the location of first-order geomorphological demarcations identified as possible paleoocean boundaries. The element abundances occur in patterns consistent with weathering in situ and possible presence of relict or exhumed paleosols, deposition of weathered materials (salts and clastic minerals), and eathering/transport under neutral to acidic brines. The abundances are explained by hydrogeology consistent with the possibly overlapping alternatives of paleooceans and/or heterogeneous rock compositions from diverse provenances (e.g, differing igneous compositions).
Description71 manuscript pages, 12 figures, 3 tables.-- Presented at the 2nd International Workshop on Exploring Mars and its Earth Analogues, Trento, Italy, June 19-23, 2007: http://digital.csic.es/handle/10261/8617
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2008.10.008
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