Mars: Ancient fingerprints in the clay

  title={Mars: Ancient fingerprints in the clay},
  author={David C. Catling},
The thermodynamics of ancient clays on Mars seems inconsistent with the idea that a thick atmosphere of carbon dioxide caused a warm, wet era in the planet's early history. What did cause it remains an enigma. 

Preservation Potential and Habitability of Clay Minerals- and Iron-Rich Environments: Novel Analogs for the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory Mission

Near-future planetary missions, including the US 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL11) and the ESA 2016 Pasteur ExoMars, will primarily seek key information on the geological and biological history of

Authigenic phyllosilicates in modern acid saline lake sediments and implications for Mars

[1] Aluminum- and Fe/Mg-phyllosilicates are considered important geochemical indicators in terrestrial and Martian sedimentary systems. Traditionally, Al-phyllosilicates are characterized as forming

Hydrothermal Processes and Systems on Other Planets and Satellites: Clues for the Search of Extraterrestrial Life

In this chapter, I discuss hydrothermal processes that almost certainly operate, or have operated, on other planets and satellites in our Solar System, including Mars, where liquid water is, or was,

Constraining the formation conditions of the ancient martian ALH 84001 carbonates

The martian meteorite ALH 84001 contains carbonates that provide information about the past aqueous conditions on Mars 3.9 Ga, and have been suggested to display signatures of martian organics.

Effects of meteorite impacts on the atmospheric evolution of Mars.

The results suggest that the impacts alone cannot satisfactorily explain the loss of significant atmospheric mass since the Late Noachian, and other factors of atmospheric erosion and replenishment also need to be taken into account.

Outgassing History and Escape of the Martian Atmosphere and Water Inventory

The evolution and escape of the martian atmosphere and the planet’s water inventory can be separated into an early and late evolutionary epoch. The first epoch started from the planet’s origin and

Water on Mars—A Literature Review

To assess Mars’ potential for both harboring life and providing useable resources for future human exploration, it is of paramount importance to comprehend the water situation on the planet.

Science results from a Mars drilling simulation (Río Tinto, Spain) and ground truth for remote science observations.

The experiment was successful in detecting evidence for life, habitability, and preservation potential of organics in a relevant astrobiological analogue of Mars and provides insights for the preparation of future astrobiology-driven Mars missions.



Early geochemical environment of Mars as determined from thermodynamics of phyllosilicates

The results show that Fe3+-rich phyllosilicates probably precipitated under weakly acidic to alkaline pH, an environment different from that of the following period, which was dominated by strongly acid weathering that led to the sulphate deposits identified on Mars.

Inhibition of carbonate synthesis in acidic oceans on early Mars

Examination of the feasibility of carbonate synthesis in ancient martian oceans using aqueous equilibrium calculations concludes that extensive interaction between an atmosphere dominated by carbon dioxide and a lasting sulphate- and iron-enriched acidic ocean on early Mars is a plausible explanation for the observed absence of carbonates.

Two Years at Meridiani Planum: Results from the Opportunity Rover

Observations from microscopic to orbital scales indicate that ancient Meridiani once had abundant acidic groundwater, arid and oxidizing surface conditions, and occasional liquid flow on the surface.

The Surface of Mars

1. Introduction 2. Overview 3. Impact craters 4. Volcanism 5. Global structure and tectonics 6. Canyons 7. Channels, valleys and gullies 8. Lakes and oceans 9. Ice 10. Wind 11. Poles 12. The view

Principal features of impact‐generated hydrothermal circulation systems: mineralogical and geochemical evidence

Any hypervelocity impact generates a hydrothermal circulation system in resulting craters. Common characteristics of hydrothermal fluids mobilized within impact structures are considered, based on

Sulfates in the North Polar Region of Mars Detected by OMEGA/Mars Express

The observations of the northern circumpolar regions of Mars reveal that water alteration played a major role in the formation of the constituting minerals of northerncircumpolar terrains.

Environmental Effects of Large Impacts on Mars

The martian valley networks formed near the end of the period of heavy bombardment of the inner solar system, about 3.5 billion years ago, and warmed the surface, keeping it above the freezing point of water for periods ranging from decades to millennia, depending on impactor size.

Carbon dioxide clouds in an early dense Martian atmosphere

[1] We use a time-dependent, microphysical cloud model to study the formation of carbon dioxide clouds in the Martian atmosphere. Laboratory studies by Glandorf et al. [2002] show that high critical

Trace element geochemistry of Martian iddingsite in the Lafayette meteorite

The Lafayette meteorite contains abundant iddingsite, a fine-grained intergrowth of smectite clay, ferrihydrite, and ionic salt minerals. Both the meteorite and iddingsite formed on Mars. Samples of