CRISM Web Site
CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars)
HomeMissionInstrumentsScienceDataEducationNews CenterGallery
Mafic Mineralogy in Nili Fossae
Click on image to enlarge.

Mafic Mineralogy in Nili Fossae

Acquired Date: June 21, 2007
Release Date: November 15, 2013
Latitude: 22.15 N
Longitude: 74.25 E
Keywords: Fracture/Faults, Mafic minerals, Dichotomy Boundary
Parameters: HCPINDEX2 (High-Calcium Pyroxene), LCPINDEX2 (Low-Calcium Pyroxene), OLINDEX3 (Olivine)

This image shows a site near Nili Fossae, a group of long, narrow tectonic depressions called graben. Marsí crust is mostly made up of igneous rock, shown here in the various colors. The green/cyan color shown in smaller spots denotes a mineral called pyroxene that has an unusually low content of calcium (low-calcium pyroxene, or LCP). Pyroxene is the dominant silicate mineral in most igneous rocks and contains iron, magnesium and variable amounts of calcium in addition to silicon and oxygen. The more common variety of pyroxene on Mars, with a higher content of calcium (high-calcium pyroxene, or HCP), is shown in blue. Rocks rich in the iron-magnesium silicate mineral olivine appear red.



This image shows a site near Nili Fossae, a group of long, narrow tectonic depressions called graben. Marsí crust is mostly made up of igneous rock, shown here in the various colors. The green/cyan color shown in smaller spots denotes a mineral called pyroxene that has an unusually low content of calcium (low-calcium pyroxene, or LCP). Pyroxene is the dominant silicate mineral in most igneous rocks and contains iron, magnesium and variable amounts of calcium in addition to silicon and oxygen. The more common variety of pyroxene on Mars, with a higher content of calcium (high-calcium pyroxene, or HCP), is shown in blue. Rocks rich in the iron-magnesium silicate mineral olivine appear red.

LCP only occurs in the most ancient terrains on Mars. LCP-rich rocks were mostly buried by younger volcanic rocks and by sedimentary rocks, and are now exposed mainly in walls of ancient valleys and cliffs (shown here) and in craters that have exposed buried ancient rocks.

Link to further description of the spectral parameters shown in this image

Disclaimer: Colors shown here represent indicators of mineralogy and are not what the human eye would see.

Acknowledgements: THEMIS, MOLA, CRISM, Google Earth.

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

« Prev  Next » 

Search | Gallery: Featured Image