The appearance of rusty iron-rich oxidized cappings over sulfide-bearing rocks on earth indicates that similar gossans may have formed on the surface of Mars. Electrochemical processes and thermodynamic relationships linking acidity to oxidation-reduction reactions between primary sulfide minerals and their oxidative weathering products present in the regolith of Mars are discussed. Remote-sensed visible spectra of the Martian surface are in keeping with the presence of poorly-crystalline FeOOH, jarosite, silica, and clay silicates found in gossans, while incompletely weathered pyrrhotite may represent the magnetic material observed in Martian regolith.
LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Lunar and Planetary Science Conference; Mar 16, 1987 - Mar 20, 1987; Houston, TX; United States