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Global Mineralogical and Aqueous Mars History Derived from OMEGA/Mars Express Data

Global Mineralogical and Aqueous Mars History Derived from OMEGA/Mars Express Data

Publication date: 22 April 2006

Authors: Bibring, J.-P. et al.

Journal: Science
Volume: 312
Issue: 5772
Page: 400-404
Year: 2006

Copyright: American Association for the Advancement of Science

Global mineralogical mapping of Mars by the Observatoire pour la Mineralogie, l'Eau, les Glaces et l'Activité (OMEGA) instrument on the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft provides new information on Mars' geological and climatic history. Phyllosilicates formed by aqueous alteration very early in the planet's history (the "phyllocian" era) are found in the oldest terrains; sulfates were formed in a second era (the "theiikian" era) in an acidic environment. Beginning about 3.5 billion years ago, the last era (the "siderikian") is dominated by the formation of anhydrous ferric oxides in a slow superficial weathering, without liquid water playing a major role across the planet.

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