37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 21 Mars II
Oral, Tuesday, September 6, 2005, 11:00am-12:30pm, Music Concert Hall

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[21.08] Searching for Aqueous Activity on Mars through Analyses of OMEGA Spectra

J. L. Bishop (SETI Institute/NASA-ARC), J.-P. Bibring (Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale), M. D. Dyar (Mt. Holyoke college), A. Gendrin (Brown University), M. D. Lane (Planetary Science Institute), J. F. Mustard (Brown University), M. Parente (Stanford University), F. Poulet (Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale)

Analyses of OMEGA spectra have shown the presence of sulfate and clay minerals in a number of regions including Valles Marineris, Nili Fossae and Terra Meridiani (1-4). We are searching for spectral features associated with these minerals in OMEGA image cubes and are using expanded spectral libraries to further characterize these features. Shown below are three OMEGA spectra from the Valles Marineris and Syrtis Major regions, identified from top to bottom as containing kieserite, nontronite, and polyhydrated sulfates (2,3). They are compared in the figure with spectra of nontronite and of the hydrous sulfate minerals szomolnokite (Fe2+SO4\bulletH2O kieserite group) and rozenite (Fe2+S4\bullet4H2O starkeyite group). We seek to identify and characterize areas on Mars where it is possible to refine the mineralogical interpretations. We are searching for locations where minerals such as szomolnokite or rozenite may be the spectrally dominant component in spectra characterized so far as monohydrated and polyhydrated sulfates.

1) J.-P. Bibring et al., Science 307, 1576 (2005). 2) A. Gendrin et al., 2nd Conf. on Early Mars, Jackson Hole, Wyoming 2004. 3) A. Gendrin et al., Science 307, 1587 (2005). 4) J. F. Mustard et al., LPSC #1341 (2005).

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.