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Clays in Meridiani.

Subject: Clays in Meridiani.
From: "Robert Clark"
Date: 6 Sep 2006 16:15:37 -0700
Newsgroups: sci.astro, alt.sci.planetary, sci.geo.geology, sci.physics
 Just saw this on

Mineralogy of the light-toned outcrop at Meridiani Planum as seen by
the Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer and implications for its
doi:10.1029/2005JE002672, 2006
Analysis of Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) data has
led to the recovery of a pure end-member spectral shape related to the
light-toned outcrop observed at Meridiani Planum. Data from the MER
Mössbauer spectrometer, APXS, and previous Mini-TES measurements were
used to constrain a spectral library used to determine the mineralogy
of the outcrop from this spectral shape. Linear deconvolution of the
outcrop spectral shape suggests that it is composed primarily of
Al-rich opaline silica, Mg-, Ca-, and Fe-bearing sulfates, plagioclase
feldspar, nontronite, and hematite. Conversion of modeled mineralogy to
chemistry shows good agreement with the chemical composition of the
outcrops determined by APXS. Details of the analysis procedure and
implications for the formation of the outcrop are discussed along with
terrestrial analogs of the ancient environment at Meridiani."

 According to the authors the spectra of the Meridiani bedrock is best
matched by a composition that includes 10% nontronite clay.

    Bob Clark

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