Mineralogical Diversity and Geology of Humboldt Crater Derived Using Moon Mineralogy Mapper Data.
ABSTRACT: Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) spectroscopic data and high-resolution imagery data sets were used to study the mineralogy and geology of the 207 km diameter Humboldt crater. Analyses of M3 data, using a custom-made method for M3 spectra continuum removal and spectral parameters calculation, reveal multiple pure crystalline plagioclase detections within the Humboldt crater central peak complex, hinting at its crustal origin. However, olivine, spinel, and glass are observed in the crater walls and rims, suggesting these minerals derive from shallower levels than the plagioclase of the central peak complex. High-calcium pyroxenes are detected in association with volcanic deposits emplaced on the crater's floor. Geologic mapping was performed, and the age of Humboldt crater's units was estimated from crater counts. Results suggest that volcanic activity within this floor-fractured crater spanned over a billion years. The felsic mineralogy of the central peak complex region, which presumably excavated deeper material, and the shallow mafic minerals (olivine and spinel) detected in Humboldt crater walls and rim are not in accordance with the general view of the structure of the lunar crust. Our observations can be explained by the presence of a mafic pluton emplaced in the anorthositic crust prior to the Humboldt-forming impact event. Alternatively, the excavation of Australe basin ejecta could explain the observed mineralogical detections. This highlights the importance of detailed combined mineralogical and geological remote sensing studies to assess the heterogeneity of the lunar crust.
Project description:A well-preserved, ancient delta deposit, in combination with ample exposures of carbonate outcrops, makes Jezero Crater in Nili Fossae a compelling astrobiological site. We use Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) observations to characterize the surface mineralogy of the crater and surrounding watershed. Previous studies have documented the occurrence of olivine and carbonates in the Nili Fossae region. We focus on correlations between these two well-studied lithologies in the Jezero crater watershed. We map the position and shape of the olivine 1 ?m absorption band and find that carbonates are found in association with olivine which displays a 1 ?m band shifted to long wavelengths. We then use Thermal Emission Imaging Spectrometer (THEMIS) coverage of Nili Fossae and perform tests to investigate whether the long wavelength shifted (redshifted) olivine signature is correlated with high thermal inertia outcrops. We find that there is no consistent correlation between thermal inertia and the unique olivine signature. We discuss a range of formation scenarios for the olivine and carbonate associations, including the possibility that these lithologies are products of serpentinization reactions on early Mars. These lithologies provide an opportunity for deepening our understanding of early Mars and, given their antiquity, may provide a framework to study the timing of valley networks and the thermal history of the Martian crust and interior from the early Noachian to today.
Project description:We report on the mineralogical and chemical properties of materials investigated by the lunar rover Yutu-2, which landed on the Von Kármán crater in the pre-Nectarian South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin. Yutu-2 carried several scientific payloads, including the Visible and Near-infrared Imaging Spectrometer (VNIS), which is used for mineral identification, offering insights into lunar evolution. We used 86 valid VNIS data for 21 lunar days, with mineral abundance obtained using the Hapke radiative transfer model and sparse unmixing algorithm and chemical compositions empirically estimated. The mineralogical properties of the materials at the Chang'E-4 (CE-4) site referred to as norite/gabbro, based on findings of mineral abundance, indicate that they may be SPA impact melt components excavated by a surrounding impact crater. We find that CE-4 materials are dominated by plagioclase and pyroxene and feature little olivine, with 50 of 86 observations showing higher LCP than HCP in pyroxene. In view of the effects of space weathering, olivine content may be underestimated, with FeO and TiO<sub>2</sub> content estimated using the maturity-corrected method. Estimates of chemical content are 7.42-18.82 wt% FeO and 1.48-2.1 wt% TiO<sub>2</sub>, with a low-medium Mg number (Mg # ~ 55). Olivine-rich materials are not present at the CE-4 landing site, based on the low-medium Mg #. Multi-origin materials at the CE-4 landing site were analyzed with regard to concentrations of FeO and TiO<sub>2</sub> content, supporting our conclusion that the materials at CE-4 do not have a single source but rather are likely a mixture of SPA impact melt components excavated by surrounding impact crater and volcanic product ejecta.
Project description:St. Kitts lies in the northern Lesser Antilles, a subduction-related intraoceanic volcanic arc known for its magmatic diversity and unusually abundant cognate xenoliths. We combine the geochemistry of xenoliths, melt inclusions and lavas with high pressure-temperature experiments to explore magma differentiation processes beneath St. Kitts. Lavas range from basalt to rhyolite, with predominant andesites and basaltic andesites. Xenoliths, dominated by calcic plagioclase and amphibole, typically in reaction relationship with pyroxenes and olivine, can be divided into plutonic and cumulate varieties based on mineral textures and compositions. Cumulate varieties, formed primarily by the accumulation of liquidus phases, comprise ensembles that represent instantaneous solid compositions from one or more magma batches; plutonic varieties have mineralogy and textures consistent with protracted solidification of magmatic mush. Mineral chemistry in lavas and xenoliths is subtly different. For example, plagioclase with unusually high anorthite content (An?100) occurs in some plutonic xenoliths, whereas the most calcic plagioclase in cumulate xenoliths and lavas are An97 and An95, respectively. Fluid-saturated, equilibrium crystallisation experiments were performed on a St. Kitts basaltic andesite, with three different fluid compositions (XH2O = 1.0, 0.66 and 0.33) at 2.4 kbar, 950-1025 °C, and fO2 = NNO - 0.6 to NNO + 1.2 log units. Experiments reproduce lava liquid lines of descent and many xenolith assemblages, but fail to match xenolith and lava phenocryst mineral compositions, notably the very An-rich plagioclase. The strong positive correlation between experimentally determined plagioclase-melt KdCa-Na and dissolved H2O in the melt, together with the occurrence of Al-rich mafic lavas, suggests that parental magmas were water-rich (> 9 wt% H2O) basaltic andesites that crystallised over a wide pressure range (1.5-6 kbar). Comparison of experimental and natural (lava, xenolith) mafic mineral composition reveals that whereas olivine in lavas is predominantly primocrysts precipitated at low-pressure, pyroxenes and spinel are predominantly xenocrysts formed by disaggregation of plutonic mushes. Overall, St. Kitts xenoliths and lavas testify to mid-crustal differentiation of low-MgO basalt and basaltic andesite magmas within a trans-crustal, magmatic mush system. Lower crustal ultramafic cumulates that relate parental low-MgO basalts to primary, mantle -derived melts are absent on St. Kitts.
Project description:The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover performed coordinated measurements to examine the textures and compositions of aeolian sands in the active Bagnold dune field. The Bagnold sands are rounded to subrounded, very fine to medium sized (~45-500 μm) with ≥6 distinct grain colors. In contrast to sands examined by Curiosity in a dust-covered, inactive bedform called Rocknest and soils at other landing sites, Bagnold sands are darker, less red, better sorted, have fewer silt-sized or smaller grains, and show no evidence for cohesion. Nevertheless, Bagnold mineralogy and Rocknest mineralogy are similar with plagioclase, olivine, and pyroxenes in similar proportions comprising >90% of crystalline phases, along with a substantial amorphous component (35% ± 15%). Yet Bagnold and Rocknest bulk chemistry differ. Bagnold sands are Si enriched relative to other soils at Gale crater, and H2O, S, and Cl are lower relative to all previously measured Martian soils and most Gale crater rocks. Mg, Ni, Fe, and Mn are enriched in the coarse-sieved fraction of Bagnold sands, corroborated by visible/near-infrared spectra that suggest enrichment of olivine. Collectively, patterns in major element chemistry and volatile release data indicate two distinctive volatile reservoirs in Martian soils: (1) amorphous components in the sand-sized fraction (represented by Bagnold) that are Si-enriched, hydroxylated alteration products and/or H2O- or OH-bearing impact or volcanic glasses and (2) amorphous components in the fine fraction (<40 μm; represented by Rocknest and other bright soils) that are Fe, S, and Cl enriched with low Si and adsorbed and structural H2O.
Project description:Thermodynamic modeling has recently suggested that condensed carbonaceous matter should be the dominant product of abiotic organic synthesis during serpentinization, although it has not yet been described in natural serpentinites. Here we report evidence for three distinct types of abiotic condensed carbonaceous matter in paragenetic equilibrium with low-temperature mineralogical assemblages hosted by magma-impregnated, mantle-derived, serpentinites of the Ligurian Tethyan ophiolite. The first type coats hydroandraditic garnets in bastitized pyroxenes and bears mainly aliphatic chains. The second type forms small aggregates (~2 µm) associated with the alteration rims of spinel and plagioclase. The third type appears as large aggregates (~100-200 µm), bearing aromatic carbon and short aliphatic chains associated with saponite and hematite assemblage after plagioclase. These assemblages result from successive alteration at decreasing temperature and increasing oxygen fugacity. They affect a hybrid mafic-ultramafic paragenesis commonly occurring in the lower oceanic crust, pointing to ubiquity of the highlighted process during serpentinization.
Project description:In the Late Noachian to Early Hesperian period, rivers transported detritus from igneous source terrains to a downstream lake within Gale crater, creating a stratified stack of fluviolacustrine rocks that is currently exposed along the slopes of Mount Sharp. Controversy exists regarding the paleoclimate that supported overland flow of liquid water at Gale crater, in large part because little is known about how chemical and mineralogical paleoclimate indicators from mafic-rock dominated source-to-sink systems are translated into the rock record. Here, we compile data from basaltic terrains with varying climates on Earth in order to provide a reference frame for the conditions that may have prevailed during the formation of the sedimentary strata in Gale crater, particularly focusing on the Sheepbed and Pahrump Hills members. We calculate the chemical index of alteration for weathering profiles and fluvial sediments to better constrain the relationship between climate and chemical weathering in mafic terrains, a method that best estimates the cooler limit of climate conditions averaged over time. We also compare X-ray diffraction patterns and mineral abundances from fluvial sediments in varying terrestrial climates and martian mudstones to better understand the influence of climate on secondary mineral assemblages in basaltic terrains. We show that the geochemistry and mineralogy of most of the fine-grained sedimentary rocks in Gale crater display first-order similarities with sediments generated in climates that resemble those of present-day Iceland, while other parts of the stratigraphy indicate even colder baseline climate conditions. None of the lithologies examined at Gale crater resemble fluvial sediments or weathering profiles from warm (temperate to tropical) terrestrial climates.
Project description:The Windjana drill sample, a sandstone of the Dillinger member (Kimberley formation, Gale Crater, Mars), was analyzed by CheMin X-ray diffraction (XRD) in the MSL Curiosity rover. From Rietveld refinements of its XRD pattern, Windjana contains the following: sanidine (21% weight, ~Or<sub>95</sub>); augite (20%); magnetite (12%); pigeonite; olivine; plagioclase; amorphous and smectitic material (~25%); and percent levels of others including ilmenite, fluorapatite, and bassanite. From mass balance on the Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) chemical analysis, the amorphous material is Fe rich with nearly no other cations-like ferrihydrite. The Windjana sample shows little alteration and was likely cemented by its magnetite and ferrihydrite. From ChemCam Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) chemical analyses, Windjana is representative of the Dillinger and Mount Remarkable members of the Kimberley formation. LIBS data suggest that the Kimberley sediments include at least three chemical components. The most K-rich targets have 5.6% K<sub>2</sub>O, ~1.8 times that of Windjana, implying a sediment component with >40% sanidine, e.g., a trachyte. A second component is rich in mafic minerals, with little feldspar (like a shergottite). A third component is richer in plagioclase and in Na<sub>2</sub>O, and is likely to be basaltic. The K-rich sediment component is consistent with APXS and ChemCam observations of K-rich rocks elsewhere in Gale Crater. The source of this sediment component was likely volcanic. The presence of sediment from many igneous sources, in concert with Curiosity's identifications of other igneous materials (e.g., mugearite), implies that the northern rim of Gale Crater exposes a diverse igneous complex, at least as diverse as that found in similar-age terranes on Earth.
Project description:We examined the mineralogical, chemical and isotopic compositions of secondary fluid inclusions in olivine-rich rocks from two active serpentinization systems: the Von Damm hydrothermal field (Mid-Cayman Rise) and the Zambales ophiolite (Philippines). Peridotite, troctolite and gabbroic rocks in these systems contain abundant CH4-rich secondary inclusions in olivine, with less abundant inclusions in plagioclase and clinopyroxene. Olivine-hosted secondary inclusions are chiefly composed of CH4 and minor H2, in addition to secondary minerals including serpentine, brucite, magnetite and carbonates. Secondary inclusions in plagioclase are dominated by CH4 with variable amounts of H2 and H2O, while those in clinopyroxene contain only CH4. We determined hydrocarbon abundances and stable carbon isotope compositions by crushing whole rocks and analysing the released volatiles using isotope ratio monitoring-gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Bulk rock gas analyses yielded appreciable quantities of CH4 and C2H6 in samples from Cayman (4-313?nmol?g-1 CH4 and 0.02-0.99?nmol?g-1 C2H6), with lesser amounts in samples from Zambales (2-37?nmol?g-1 CH4 and 0.004-0.082?nmol?g-1 C2H6). Mafic and ultramafic rocks at Cayman exhibit ?13CCH4 values of -16.7‰ to -4.4‰ and ?13CC2H6 values of -20.3‰ to +0.7‰. Ultramafic rocks from Zambales exhibit ?13CCH4 values of -12.4‰ to -2.8‰ and ?13CC2H6 values of -1.2‰ to -0.9‰. Similarities in the carbon isotopic compositions of CH4 and C2H6 in plutonic rocks, Von Damm hydrothermal fluids, and Zambales gas seeps suggest that leaching of fluid inclusions may provide a significant contribution of abiotic hydrocarbons to deep-sea vent fluids and ophiolite-hosted gas seeps. Isotopic compositions of CH4 and C2H6 from a variety of hydrothermal fields hosted in olivine-rich rocks that are similar to those in Von Damm vent fluids further support the idea that a significant portion of abiotic hydrocarbons in ultramafic-influenced vent fluids is derived from fluid inclusions. This article is part of a discussion meeting issue 'Serpentinite in the Earth system'.
Project description:The Andean continental arc is built upon the thickest crust on Earth, whose eruption products reflect varying degrees of crustal assimilation. In order to robustly model magma evolution and assimilation at subduction zones such as the Andes, the compositions of parental magmas feeding crustal magma reservoirs need to be defined. Here we present new olivine and clinopyroxene oxygen isotope data from rare mafic volcanic rocks erupted at the margins of the giant Altiplano-Puna Magma Body (APMB) of the Altiplano-Puna Volcanic Complex, Central Andes. Existing olivine and pyroxene ?<sup>18</sup>O values for the Central Andes are highly variable and potentially not representative of sub-arc parental compositions. However, new olivine (n?=?6) and clinopyroxene (n?=?12) ?<sup>18</sup>O values of six Central Andean volcanoes presented here display a narrow range, with averages at 6.0‰ ± 0.2 (2? S.D.) and 6.7‰ ± 0.3 (2? S.D.), consistent with a common history for the investigated minerals. These data allow us to estimate the ?<sup>18</sup>O values of sub-arc, parental melts to ca. 7.0‰ ± 0.2 (2? S.D.). Parental melts feeding the APMB and associated volcanic centres are postulated to form in the felsic continental crust following assimilation of up to 28% high-?<sup>18</sup>O basement rocks by mantle-derived magmas.
Project description:Jezero crater is the landing site for the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover. The Noachian-aged crater has undergone several periods of fluvial and lacustrine activity and phyllosilicate- and carbonate-bearing rocks were formed and emplaced as a result. It also contains a portion of the regional Nili Fossae olivine-carbonate unit. In this work, we performed spectral mixture analysis of visible/near-infrared hyperspectral imagery over Jezero. We modeled carbonate abundances up to ∼35% and identified three distinct units containing different carbonate phases. Our work also shows that the olivine in Jezero is predominantly restricted to aeolian deposits overlying the carbonate rocks. The diversity of carbonate phases in Jezero points to multiple periods of carbonate formation under varying conditions.