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Zeolites on Mars: Prospects for Remote SensingThe Martian surface composition measured by Viking can be represented by several combinations of minerals incorporating major fractions of zeolites known to occur in altered mafic rocks and polar soils on Earth. The abundant occurrence of zeolites on Mars is consistent with what is known about both the physical and chemical environment of that planet. The laboratory reflectance spectra (0.65 to 2.55 microns) of a number of relatively pure zeolite minerals and some naturally occurring zeolite-clay soils were measured. All of the spectra measured are dominated by strong absorption near 1.4 and 1.9 microns and a steep reflectance drop longward of about 2.2 microns, all of which are due to abundant H2O. Weaker water overtone bands are also apparent, and in most cases there is spectral evidence for minor Fe(3+). In these features the zeolite spectra are similar to spectra of smectite clays which have abundant interlayer water. The most diagnostic difference between clay and zeolite spectra is the total absence in the zeolites of the weak structural OH absorption.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Gaffney, E. S.
(Los Alamos Scientific Lab. NM, United States)
Singer, R. B.
(Hawaii Univ. Honolulu, United States)
Kunkle, T. D.
(Los Alamos Scientific Lab. NM, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1985
Publication Information
Publication: NASA, Washington Repts. of Planetary Geol. and Geophys. Program, 1984
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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