Volatile, isotope, and organic analysis of martian fines with the Mars curiosity rover

L. A. Leshin*, P. R. Mahaffy, C. R. Webster, M. Cabane, P. Coll, P. G. Conrad, P. D. Archer, S. K. Atreya, A. E. Brunner, A. Buch, J. L. Eigenbrode, G. J. Flesch, H. B. Franz, C. Freissinet, D. P. Glavin, A. C. McAdam, K. E. Miller, D. W. Ming, R. V. Morris, R. Navarro-González & 14 others P. B. Niles, T. Owen, R. O. Pepin, S. Squyres, A. Steele, J. C. Stern, R. E. Summons, D. Y. Sumner, B. Sutter, C. Szopa, S. Teinturier, M. G. Trainer, J. J. Wray, J. P. Grotzinger

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    281 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Samples from the Rocknest aeolian deposit were heated to ∼835°C under helium flow and evolved gases analyzed by Curiosity 's Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite. H2O, SO2, CO2, and O2 were the major gases released. Water abundance (1.5 to 3 weight percent) and release temperature suggest that H2O is bound within an amorphous component of the sample. Decomposition of fine-grained Fe or Mg carbonate is the likely source of much of the evolved CO2. Evolved O2 is coincident with the release of Cl, suggesting that oxygen is produced from thermal decomposition of an oxychloride compound. Elevated δD values are consistent with recent atmospheric exchange. Carbon isotopes indicate multiple carbon sources in the fines. Several simple organic compounds were detected, but they are not definitively martian in origin.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1238937
    Pages (from-to)1238937-11238937-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalScience
    Volume341
    Issue number6153
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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