Detection of hydrated silicates in crustal outcrops in the northern plains of Mars
Publication date: 24 Jun 2010
Authors: Carter, J., Poulet, F., Bibring, J.-P., and Murchie, S.
Copyright: American Association for the Advancement of ScienceThe composition of the ancient martian crust is a key ingredient in deciphering the environment and evolution of early Mars. We present an analysis of the composition of large craters in the martian northern plains based on data from spaceborne imaging spectrometers. Nine of the craters have excavated assemblages of phyllosilicates from ancient, Noachian crust buried beneath the plains' cover. The phyllosilicates are indistinguishable from those exposed in widespread locations in the southern highlands, demonstrating that liquid water once altered both hemispheres of Mars.