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Carbonate and Phyllosilicates in Leighton Crater
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Carbonate and Phyllosilicates in Leighton Crater

Acquired Date: March 11, 2008
Release Date: March 7, 2014
Latitude: 3.09 N
Longitude: 57.76 E
Keywords: Crater Interior/Rim/Ejecta, Carbonate Mineral, Phyllosilicate minerals, Southern Highlands
Parameters: BD1900R/BD1950 (H2O), BD2210 (Al-OH minerals), D2300 (Fe-Mg phyllosilicates)

This image shows alteration products in the central peak of Leighton Crater, a 65-kilometer diameter crater in the Tyrrhena Terra region of the southern highlands. This CRISM image reveals the presence of hydrated iron-magnesium phyllosilicate and carbonate minerals (shown in magenta and blue) around the central peak. Phyllosilicates, which include clay and clay-like minerals, form from the chemical reaction of water with igneous rocks. Carbonates form where carbon dioxide combines with the rocks. Minerals that have formed by chemical interaction of water or carbon dioxide with igneous rocks record information about the past environment in which the reactions occurred, and therefore are high science priority targets for future exploration of Mars. The small area shown in green contains aluminum-rich minerals, where circulating water may have partially flushed the iron and magnesium from the rock.



This image shows alteration products in the central peak of Leighton Crater, a 65-kilometer diameter crater in the Tyrrhena Terra region of the southern highlands. This CRISM image reveals the presence of hydrated iron-magnesium phyllosilicate and carbonate minerals (shown in magenta and blue) around the central peak. Phyllosilicates, which include clay and clay-like minerals, form from the chemical reaction of water with igneous rocks. Carbonates form where carbon dioxide combines with the rocks. Minerals that have formed by chemical interaction of water or carbon dioxide with igneous rocks record information about the past environment in which the reactions occurred, and therefore are high science priority targets for future exploration of Mars. The small area shown in green contains aluminum-rich minerals, where circulating water may have partially flushed the iron and magnesium from the rock.

Central peak craters are formed when the excavated crater becomes so large that it collapses on itself, and the deepest part of the crater rebounds to form the central peak. The materials in Leighton Crater's central peak originated about 3.5 kilometers below the surface. The phyllosilicates and carbonates exposed there either formed at depth, or alternatively may have formed near the surface and been buried by younger volcanic materials and impact basin ejecta.

Detailed information concerning the terrain covered by this image can be seen here: Michalski and Niles, 2010.

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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