The Sedimentary Rock Record of Mars: Distribution, Origins, and Global Stratigraphy

  title={The Sedimentary Rock Record of Mars: Distribution, Origins, and Global Stratigraphy},
  author={John P. Grotzinger and Ralph E. Milliken},
The last decade of Mars exploration produced a series of discoveries that provide compelling evidence for the existence of sedimentary rocks on Mars. Previously, Mars was regarded principally as a volcanic planet, the dominant surface processes of which were eruption of lavas and pyroclastic deposits, although early studies did recognize valley networks, enormous outflow channels, and the required transport of sedimentary materials to the northern plains of Mars. In contrast, our new view of… 

Occurrence and origin of rhythmic sedimentary rocks on Mars

Sedimentary rocks preserved on the surface of Mars represent a natural archive of past climate conditions. Although the details of their formation often remain poorly constrained, the recent

Recognition of Sedimentary Rock Occurrences in Satellite and Aerial Images of Other Worlds - Insights from Mars

Global coverage at 0.25–6 m/pixel, and observations from the Curiosity rover in Gale crater, expand the ability to recognize Martian sedimentary rocks, and it is likely that Mars likely has much more sedimentary rock than previously recognized.

Burial and Exhumation of Sedimentary Rocks Revealed by the Base Stimson Erosional Unconformity, Gale Crater, Mars

Sedimentary rocks record the ancient climate of Mars through changes between subaqueous and eolian depositional environments, recognized by their stratal geometries and suites of sedimentary

Brine-driven destruction of clay minerals in Gale crater, Mars

It is proposed that destabilization of silicate minerals driven by silica-poor brines (rarely observed on Earth) was widespread on ancient Mars, because sulfate deposits are globally distributed.

Geochemistry constrains global hydrology on Early Mars

Mars as a time machine to Precambrian Earth

As Mars transitioned from an early Earth-like state to the cold desert planet it is today, it preserved a near pristine record of surface environments in a world without plate tectonics and complex

Extraformational sediment recycling on Mars.

The results permit prediction that lithified deltaic sediments at the Perseverance and Rosalind Franklin rover field sites could contain extraformational recycled sediment, indicating the dominance of physical weathering processes during the second known cycle of tectonism.



The Rock Record of Mars: Structure, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

This work combines several studies related to the sedimentary rock record of Mars. Data from several spacecraft are employed to ascertain the formation mechanisms and timescales of stratified

Evidence for a sedimentary origin of clay minerals in the Mawrth Vallis region, Mars

Clay minerals detected spectroscopically in the Mawrth Vallis region of Mars correspond to a complex, layered, thick (>600 m) stratigraphic section of ancient bedrock. Because the light-toned,

Voluminous volcanism on early Mars revealed in Valles Marineris

The relative rates and importance of impact cratering, volcanism, erosion, and the deposition of sediments to the early geological history of Mars are poorly known. That history is recorded in the

Diagenesis of Clay Minerals on Mars and Implications for the Mars Science Laboratory Rover

Introduction: The discovery of clay minerals in ancient Martian terrains [1-3] has had a profound effect on our understanding of the timing, duration, and extent of aqueous processes on that planet.

Sedimentary deposits in Xanthe Terra: Implications for the ancient climate on Mars

Quasi-Periodic Bedding in the Sedimentary Rock Record of Mars

1-meter stereo topographic maps are used to demonstrate the presence of rhythmic bedding at several outcrops in the Arabia Terra region and likely points to cyclicity in environmental conditions, possibly as a result of astronomical forcing.

Martian sedimentary rock stratigraphy: Outcrops and interbedded craters of northwest Sinus Meridiani and southwest Arabia Terra

Layers in the upper martian crust record a complex history of deposition and erosion. We examined a region between 2°–9°N, 1°–8°W and found that light‐toned, layered, sedimentary rocks in northwest

Sedimentary rocks of early Mars.

Affinity for impact craters suggests dominance of lacustrine deposition; alternatively, the materials were deposited in a dry, subaerial setting in which atmospheric density, and variations thereof mimic a subaqueous depositional environment.

Meridiani Planum and the global hydrology of Mars

It is demonstrated that Meridiani is one of the few regions of currently exposed ancient crust predicted to have experienced significant groundwater upwelling and evaporation, and the evaporite formation coincided with a transition to more arid conditions that increased the relative impact of a deep-seated, global-scale hydrology on the surface evolution.

Clay minerals in delta deposits and organic preservation potential on Mars

Clay-rich sedimentary deposits are often sites of organic matter preservation and have therefore been sought in Mars exploration. However, regional deposits of hydrous minerals, including