Clay minerals on Mars: updated views on distribution, mineralogy and geologic context
Joe Michalski, Earth Sciences Department, NHM
Earth Sciences Seminar Room (Basement, WEB 05, the previous Mineralogy Seminar Room)
Tuesday 13th January, 1600h
While some Martian meteorites contain minor abundances of clays formed on Mars, most of our understanding of the clay mineralogy of Mars comes from orbital infrared remote sensing measurements. The European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft was, in 2004, the first mission to detect clay minerals on Mars. Since that time, both Mars Express and NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have detected >10,000 deposits spanning a range of geologic contexts and mineralogies. These deposits are extremely interesting for many reasons, not the least of which is that they seemingly date to an era not preserved on Earth (>3.7 Ga).
In this talk, Joe will describe an updated perspective on the mineralogy of Martian clays, and their implications for ancient aqueous geological processes on and habitability of Mars.
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