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Circular Feature near Coprates Chasma
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Circular Feature near Coprates Chasma

Acquired Date: March 8, 2008
Release Date: April 19, 2017
Latitude: 16.00 S
Longitude: 54.50 W
Keywords: Phyllosilicate minerals, Valles Marineris
Parameters: BD2190 (Beidellite/Allophane/Imogolite), BD2210 (Al-OH minerals), D2300 (Fe-Mg phyllosilicates)

A circular feature is located in northwest Noachis Terra, Mars, near the southern rim of Coprates Chasma. A mosaic of CRISM images reveals that while the material making up the feature itself bears iron-magnesium phyllosilicates (blue), a ring of aluminum phyllosilicates (yellow-orange) surrounds the feature. Phyllosilicates are clay and clay-like minerals formed during interaction between rock and liquid water. On Mars, iron-magnesium phyllosilicate is formed by reaction of igneous basaltic rocks with water, and is common in the southern highlands. The formation of aluminum phyllosilicates, however, implies a more sustained interaction and/or the involvement of a heat source. A layered sequence of aluminum phyllosilicates over iron-magnesium phyllosilicates may suggest continued exposure to water (such as rainfall or snow melt) percolating down from the surface. This process is known as pedogenesis. In the exaggerated perspective view, however, it is not clear which type of phyllosilicate is overlying the other in this location.



A circular feature is located in northwest Noachis Terra, Mars, near the southern rim of Coprates Chasma. A mosaic of CRISM images reveals that while the material making up the feature itself bears iron-magnesium phyllosilicates (blue), a ring of aluminum phyllosilicates (yellow-orange) surrounds the feature. Phyllosilicates are clay and clay-like minerals formed during interaction between rock and liquid water. On Mars, iron-magnesium phyllosilicate is formed by reaction of igneous basaltic rocks with water, and is common in the southern highlands. The formation of aluminum phyllosilicates, however, implies a more sustained interaction and/or the involvement of a heat source. A layered sequence of aluminum phyllosilicates over iron-magnesium phyllosilicates may suggest continued exposure to water (such as rainfall or snow melt) percolating down from the surface. This process is known as pedogenesis. In the exaggerated perspective view, however, it is not clear which type of phyllosilicate is overlying the other in this location.

The CRISM mosaic shown is made up of (from north to south): FRT0000A51A (acquired March 8, 2008), FRT00016F51 (March 3, 2010), and FRT0002424C (April 2, 2012).

The Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) is one of six science instruments on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Led by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, the CRISM team includes expertise from universities, government agencies and small businesses in the United States and abroad.

CRISM's mission: Find the spectral fingerprints of aqueous and hydrothermal deposits and map the geology, composition and stratigraphy of surface features. The instrument also tracks seasonal variations in dust and ice aerosols in the Martian atmosphere, and water content in surface materials — leading to new understanding of the climate.

Credit: NASA/JPL/JHUAPL

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