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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2013-08-31
    Description: Large areas of Mars' surface are covered by oxidative weathering products containing ferric and sulfate ions having analogies to terrestrial gossans derived from sulfide mineralization associated with iron-rich basalts. Chemical weathering of such massive and disseminated pyrrhotite-pentlandite assemblages and host basaltic rocks in the Martian environment could have produced metastable gossaniferous phases (limonite containing poorly crystalline hydrated ferric sulfates and oxyhydroxides, clay silicates and opal). Underlying groundwater, now permafrost on Mars, may still be acidic due to incomplete buffering reactions by wall-rock alteration of unfractured host rock. Such acidic solutions stabilize temperature-sensitive complex ions and sols which flocculate to colloidal precipitates at elevated temperatures. Sampling procedures of Martian regolith will need to be designed bearing in mind that the frozen permafrost may be corrosive and be stabilizing unique complex ions and sols of Fe, Al, Mg, Ni and other minor elements.
    Type: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Workshop on Mars Sample Return Science; p 46-47
    Format: application/pdf
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