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Phyllosilicates in Tyrrhena Terra
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Phyllosilicates in Tyrrhena Terra

Acquired Date: June 17, 2007
Release Date: January 24, 2014
Latitude: 27.23 S
Longitude: 60.34 E
Keywords: Crater Interior/Rim/Ejecta, Hydrated Mineral, Phyllosilicate minerals, Southern Highlands
Parameters: BD1900R/BD1950 (H2O), BD2210 (Al-OH minerals), D2300 (Fe-Mg phyllosilicates)

This image shows spectral signatures of hydrated silicate minerals in Tyrrhena Terra, a heavily-cratered region about 2,300 kilometers (1,430 miles) across, comparable to the length of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Clay-like minerals called phyllosilicates, which in this region are rich in iron and magnesium, appear in pink and are concentrated alongside the nearby crater. Phyllosilicates are formed by chemical reactions of rock with liquid water. Their presence in material excavated by the crater suggests that liquid water reacted with rock units that were deeply buried at the time the crater formed.



This image shows spectral signatures of hydrated silicate minerals in Tyrrhena Terra, a heavily-cratered region about 2,300 kilometers (1,430 miles) across, comparable to the length of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Clay-like minerals called phyllosilicates, which in this region are rich in iron and magnesium, appear in pink and are concentrated alongside the nearby crater. Phyllosilicates are formed by chemical reactions of rock with liquid water. Their presence in material excavated by the crater suggests that liquid water reacted with rock units that were deeply buried at the time the crater formed.

Tyrrhena Terra is located to the northeast of the Hellas basin in the ancient, southern highlands of Mars. The near-surface rocks consist of layers of ejecta deposited during the formation of the Hellas basin, remnants of the pre-Hellas impact terrain, volcanic lava flows, and wind-blown sediment. Here, the material ejected by this relatively small impact crater exposes the mineralogy that was buried at 2-3 kilometers depth in the Martian crust. The presence of phyllosilicates indicates either that water reacted with rock in the subsurface, or that near-surface alteration was buried by Hellas ejecta, volcanic lavas, and/or windblown sediments.

Link to further description of the spectral parameters shown in this image can be found here.

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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