Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Geochemistry and mineralogy of Western Australian salt lake sediments: Implications for Meridiani Planum on Mars
Author(s): Ruecker, Alexander
Schröder, Christian
Byrne, James M
Weigold, Pascal
Behrens, Sebastian
Kappler, Andreas
Contact Email:
Keywords: Western Australia
salt lakes
Mars analogue
Issue Date: Jun-2016
Citation: Ruecker A, Schröder C, Byrne JM, Weigold P, Behrens S & Kappler A (2016) Geochemistry and mineralogy of Western Australian salt lake sediments: Implications for Meridiani Planum on Mars, Astrobiology, 16 (7), pp. 525-538.
Abstract: Hypersaline lakes are characteristic for Western Australia and display a rare combination of geochemical and mineralogical properties which make these lakes potential analogues for past conditions on Mars. In our study we focused on the geochemistry and mineralogy of Lake Orr and Lake Whurr. While both lakes are poor in organic carbon (<1%) the sediments’ pH values differ and range from 3.8 to 4.8 in Lake Orr and from 5.4 to 6.3 in Lake Whurr sediments. Lake Whurr sediments were dominated by orange and red sediment zones in which the main Fe minerals were identified as hematite, goethite, and tentatively jarosite and pyrite. Lake Orr was dominated by brownish and blackish sediments where the main Fe minerals were goethite and another paramagnetic Fe(III)-phase that could not be identified. Furthermore, a likely secondary Fe(II)-phase was observed in Lake Orr sediments. The mineralogy of these two salt lakes in the sampling area is strongly influenced by events such as flooding, evaporation and desiccation, processes that explain at least to some extent the observed differences between Lake Orr and Lake Whurr. The iron mineralogy of Lake Whurr sediments and the high salinity make this lake a suitable analogue for Meridiani Planum on Mars and in particular the tentative identification of pyrite in Lake Whurr sediments has implications for the interpretation of the Fe mineralogy of Meridiani Planum sediments.
DOI Link:
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. Published in Astrobiology, Volume: 16 Issue 7: June 29, 2016. Final publication is available from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Ruecker_et_al_resubmission_manuscript.pdf1.37 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.