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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Weathering of Fe-bearing minerals under Martian conditions, investigated by Mössbauer spectroscopy
Author(s): Schröder, Christian
Klingelhoefer, Goestar
Tremel, Wolfgang
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Keywords: Mossbauer spectroscopy
Issue Date: Sep-2004
Citation: Schröder C, Klingelhoefer G & Tremel W (2004) Weathering of Fe-bearing minerals under Martian conditions, investigated by Mössbauer spectroscopy, Planetary and Space Science, 52 (11), pp. 997-1010.
Abstract: The surface of Mars is covered by weathered material. Mars’ rusty red colour in particular is commonly ascribed to ferric ironbearing minerals. The planet’s surface is generally iron rich. Mössbauer spectroscopy is a powerful tool for quantitative mineralogical analysis of Fe-bearing minerals. Consequently, the miniaturized Mössbauer spectrometer MIMOS II is part of the payload of NASA’s twin Mars Exploration Rovers ‘‘Spirit’’ and ‘‘Opportunity’’, and ESA’s ill-fated Mars Express lander ‘‘Beagle 2’’. Both Mars Exploration Rovers are currently conducting successful surface operations on Mars. In this paper, we give a brief insight into mission operations with respect to the reconstruction of local weathering scenarios at the landing sites, which in turn will help to illuminate the climatic history of the planet. Mössbauer spectra obtained in preparation of the mission from the SNC meteorites Nakhla, Dar al Gani 476, and Sayh al Uhaymir, show weathering and other alteration features. Preliminary results of laboratory weathering experiments on Fe-bearing minerals (olivine and pyroxene) show the importance of analysing individual minerals to understand weathering of more complex mineral assemblages like, e.g., basalt.
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