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Olivine and Pyroxene Diversity in the Crust of Mars

Olivine and Pyroxene Diversity in the Crust of Mars

Publication date: 11 March 2005

Authors: Mustard, J-F., et al.

Journal: Science
Volume: 575
Issue: 5715
Page: 1594
Year: 2005

Copyright: Science Magazine

Data from the Observatoire pour la Mineralogie, l'Eau, les Glaces, et l'Activite (OMEGA) on the Mars Express spacecraft identify the distinct mafic, rock-forming minerals olivine, low-calcium pyroxene (LCP), and high-calcium pyroxene (HCP) on the surface of Mars. Olivine- and HCP-rich regions are found in deposits that span the age range of geologic units. However, LCP-rich regions are found only in the ancient Noachian-aged units, which suggests that melts for these deposits were derived from a mantle depleted in aluminum and calcium. Extended dark regions in the northern plains exhibit no evidence of strong mafic absorptions or absorptions due to hydrated materials.

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