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Carbonate minerals near Huygens crater
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Carbonate minerals near Huygens crater

Acquired Date: April 26, 2009
Release Date: October 13, 2014
Latitude: -11.60 N
Longitude: 51.93 E
Keywords: Crater Interior/Rim/Ejecta, Fracture/Faults, Carbonate Mineral, Hydrated Mineral, Phyllosilicate minerals, Southern Highlands
Parameters: BD1900R/BD1950 (H2O), CINDEX (Carbonates), D2300 (Fe-Mg phyllosilicates)

Here we see Fe/Ca carbonates (pink) along the southeastern wall of an unnamed crater’s central pit. Because these carbonates are seen in the central pit, it is thought that they were formed in the subsurface (underground) but then brought up and exposed by the impact that formed this crater. The high resolution image on the right shows a close up of the location of the carbonates. They map to a high albedo (light) region that is highly fractured.



Here we see Fe/Ca carbonates (pink) along the southeastern wall of an unnamed crater’s central pit. Because these carbonates are seen in the central pit, it is thought that they were formed in the subsurface (underground) but then brought up and exposed by the impact that formed this crater. The high resolution image on the right shows a close up of the location of the carbonates. They map to a high albedo (light) region that is highly fractured.

Carbonates were at one time thought to be a potential sink for an early, denser martian atmosphere that allowed the existence of surface water. However, CRISM’s mapping of the occurrences of carbonate suggest that there is too little carbonate to store much more than a few millibars of carbon dioxide, about the same as the amount still in the modern, very thin atmosphere.

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: CTX, HiRISE, CRISM, Google Earth.

References: Wray et al., 2011




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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