Sol 2039 1st May 2018 Unique Samples from the Deep Martian Crust

We have recently come across a unique set of samples from the deeper crust of Mars, kilometres below what was the Gale Lake 4 billion years ago. This sample – called Askival after similar rocks from the Isle of Rhum in Scotland – formed from crystals settling down through or rising through a magma body. The light toned grains are a mineral called feldspar. One of the curious features about Askival is that it is very silica-rich suggesting that aqueous solutions altered the rock. Finally an impact in the martian ancient highlands must have excavated the samples from the crust and dropped them as impact ejecta onto the surface of Gale.


Askival RMI

Askival cumulate from the deep martian crust. Image from ChemCam/IRAP/MSL








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About jbridges

This blog is a record of my experiences and work during the Mars Science Laboratory mission, from the preparation, landing on August 5th 2012 Pacific Time, and onwards... I will also post updates about our other Mars work on meteorites, ExoMars and new missions. You can also follow the planetary science activities with @LeicsPlanets Professor John Bridges, School of Physics and Astronomy

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