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Aluminum Phyllosilicates in Mawrth Vallis
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Aluminum Phyllosilicates in Mawrth Vallis

Acquired Date: July 4, 2008
Release Date: May 9, 2014
Latitude: 23.98 N
Longitude: -19.22 E
Keywords: Channel, Crater Interior/Rim/Ejecta, Phyllosilicate minerals, Dichotomy Boundary
Parameters: BD1900R/BD1950 (H2O), BD2210 (Al-OH minerals), D2300 (Fe-Mg phyllosilicates)

This image is located right along the dichotomy boundary within a drainage channel named Mawrth Vallis. Here we see aluminum phyllosilicates (cyan to blue) exposed on the rim of a crater. Phyllosilicates are clay and clay-like minerals formed by chemical reactions with liquid water. They are very thin (microscopic) stacked layer crystal forms, also called sheet silicates.



This image is located right along the dichotomy boundary within a drainage channel named Mawrth Vallis. Here we see aluminum phyllosilicates (cyan to blue) exposed on the rim of a crater. Phyllosilicates are clay and clay-like minerals formed by chemical reactions with liquid water. They are very thin (microscopic) stacked layer crystal forms, also called sheet silicates.

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. Mawrth Vallis was carved by the release of huge amounts of running water, probably forming 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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