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High-Calcium Pyroxene in Bosporus Planum
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High-Calcium Pyroxene in Bosporus Planum

Acquired Date: October 19, 2007
Release Date: January 17, 2014
Latitude: -38.89 N
Longitude: -59.72 E
Keywords: Crater Interior/Rim/Ejecta, Volcanic Feature, Mafic minerals, Southern Highlands, Tharsis Region
Parameters: HCPINDEX2 (High-Calcium Pyroxene), LCPINDEX2 (Low-Calcium Pyroxene), OLINDEX3 (Olivine)

The two featured images here show iron/magnesium-rich minerals in the Bosporus Planum region of Mars. The martian crust is made mostly of igneous rock containing the minerals olivine and pyroxene. 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. Rocks rich in the iron-magnesium silicate mineral olivine appear red. The blue coloring shows high-calcium pyroxene (HCP). Both minerals are very commonly on Mars as well as in volcanic rocks on Earth.



The two featured images here show iron/magnesium-rich minerals in the Bosporus Planum region of Mars. The martian crust is made mostly of igneous rock containing the minerals olivine and pyroxene. 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. Rocks rich in the iron-magnesium silicate mineral olivine appear red. The blue coloring shows high-calcium pyroxene (HCP). Both minerals are very commonly on Mars as well as in volcanic rocks on Earth.

Bosporus Planum is thought to have formed by lava flows because of its proximity to the Tharsis volcanic region. Ejecta from Argyre, a large impact basin just to the southeast, also could have played a part in its formation. The presence of abundant HCP is an important indicator that these rocks are igneous (formed from magma) rather than metamorphic (chemically or physically altered by heat, pressure, and/or heated subsurface water).

Links to further description of the spectral parameters shown in the first and second 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

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