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Detection of hydrated silicates in crustal outcrops in the northern plains of Mars

Detection of hydrated silicates in crustal outcrops in the northern plains of Mars

Publication date: 25 June 2010

Authors: Carter, J., Poulet, F., Bibring, J.-P., and Murchie, S.

Journal: Science
Volume: 328
Issue: 25 June 2010
Page: 1682-1686
Year: 2010

Copyright: American Association for the Advancement of Science

The 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.

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