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Aluminum and Iron/Magnesium Phyllosilicates in Mawrth Vallis
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Aluminum and Iron/Magnesium Phyllosilicates in Mawrth Vallis

Acquired Date: August 21, 2008
Release Date: June 13, 2014
Latitude: 24.59 N
Longitude: -18.98 E
Keywords: Channel, Hydrated Mineral, Phyllosilicate minerals, Dichotomy Boundary
Parameters: BD1900R/BD1950 (H2O), BD2210 (Al-OH minerals), D2300 (Fe-Mg phyllosilicates)

This image, which covers a site located northeast of Oyama Crater, shows aluminum-containing minerals called phyllosilicates in a cyan color and iron-magnesium-containing phyllosilicates in a red/magenta color. Phyllosilicates are clay and clay-like minerals formed by chemical reactions with liquid water. Their microscopic crystal form in very thin stacked layers and are also called sheet silicates. In the perspective view, the higher terrain is covered by the aluminum phyllosillicates.



This image, which covers a site located northeast of Oyama Crater, shows aluminum-containing minerals called phyllosilicates in a cyan color and iron-magnesium-containing phyllosilicates in a red/magenta color. Phyllosilicates are clay and clay-like minerals formed by chemical reactions with liquid water. Their microscopic crystal form in very thin stacked layers and are also called sheet silicates. In the perspective view, the higher terrain is covered by the aluminum phyllosillicates.

There is a recurring pattern of aluminum-phyllosilicates overlying iron/magnesium-phyllosilicates on Mars. This relationship can also be seen in some of areas of Earth, showing that a pedogenic (soil-forming) process may have been responsible for the clay mineralsí formation. The nearby Mawrth Vallis outflow channel, carved by the release of huge amounts of running water, probably formed before this clay-rich rock unit.

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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