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Compositional Variations in Sedimentary Deposits in Gale Crater as Observed by ChemCam Passive and Active Spectra
  • +6
  • Henry Manelski,
  • Rachel Y. Sheppard,
  • Abigail A. Fraeman,
  • Roger C. Wiens,
  • Jeffrey R. Johnson,
  • Elizabeth B. Rampe,
  • Jens Frydenvang,
  • Nina L. Lanza,
  • Olivier Gasnault
Henry Manelski
Purdue University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Rachel Y. Sheppard
Planetary Science Institute
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Abigail A. Fraeman
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
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Roger C. Wiens
Los Alamos National Laboratory (DOE)
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Jeffrey R. Johnson
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
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Elizabeth B. Rampe
NASA Johnson Space Center
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Jens Frydenvang
University of Copenhagen
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Nina L. Lanza
Los Alamos National Laboratory (DOE)
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Olivier Gasnault
Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP)
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During the first 2934 sols of the Curiosity rover’s mission 33,468 passive visible/near-infrared reflectance spectra were taken of the surface by the mast-mounted ChemCam instrument on a range of target types. ChemCam spectra of bedrock targets from the Murray and Carolyn Shoemaker formations on Mt. Sharp were investigated using principal component analysis (PCA) and various spectral parameters including the band depth at 535 nm and the slope between 840 nm and 750 nm. Four endmember spectra were identified. Passive spectra were compared to Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) data to search for correlations between spectral properties and elemental abundances. The correlation coefficient between FeOT reported by LIBS and BD535 from passive spectra was used to search for regions where iron may have been added to the bedrock through oxidation of ferrous-bearing fluids, but no correlations were found. Rocks in the Blunts Point-Sutton Island transition that have unique spectral properties compared to surrounding rocks, that is flat near-infrared (NIR) slopes and weak 535 nm absorptions, are associated with higher Mn and Mg in the LIBS spectra of bedrock. Additionally, calcium-sulfate cements, previously identified by Ca and S enrichments in the LIBS spectra of bedrock, were also shown to be associated with spectral trends seen in Blunts Point. A shift towards steeper near-infrared slope is seen in the Hutton interval, indicative of changing depositional conditions or increased diagenesis.