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Phyllosilicates in a Tyrrhena Terra Crater Rim
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Phyllosilicates in a Tyrrhena Terra Crater Rim

Acquired Date: March 27, 2007
Release Date: February 7, 2014
Latitude: 13.36 S
Longitude: 93.40 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 layers clays and clay-like minerals called phyllosilicates that are exposed in Tyrrhena Terra, part of Mars’ ancient, heavily-cratered southern highlands. Tyrrhena Terra is roughly 2,300 kilometers (1,430 miles) across, about the size of Earth’s continent of Antarctica! Magenta colors show exposures of phyllosilicates rich in the elements iron and magnesium in the wall of the crater. This composition of phyllosilicate is most common in the southern highlands, and is thought to consist of minerals formed by reaction of igneous basaltic rocks with water, without flushing of soluble elements.



This image shows layers clays and clay-like minerals called phyllosilicates that are exposed in Tyrrhena Terra, part of Mars’ ancient, heavily-cratered southern highlands. Tyrrhena Terra is roughly 2,300 kilometers (1,430 miles) across, about the size of Earth’s continent of Antarctica! Magenta colors show exposures of phyllosilicates rich in the elements iron and magnesium in the wall of the crater. This composition of phyllosilicate is most common in the southern highlands, and is thought to consist of minerals formed by reaction of igneous basaltic rocks with water, without flushing of soluble elements.

Some other regions of Mars contains phyllosilicates rich in aluminum, formed where magnesium and to a lesser extent iron have been flushed out of the rock by water circulating through it. The iron and magnesium phyllosilicates present in much of Tyrrhena Terra suggest instead that only limited amounts of water might have been present when the rock was altered.

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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