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A Model for Generation of Martian Surface Dust, Soil and Rock Coatings: Physical vs. Chemical Interactions, and Palagonitic Plus Hydrothermal AlterationThis model is one of many possible scenarios to explain the generation of the current surface material on Mars using chemical, magnetic and spectroscopic data from Mars and geologic analogs from terrestrial sites. One basic premise is that there are physical and chemical interactions of the atmospheric dust particles and that these two processes create distinctly different results. Physical processes distribute dust particles on rocks, forming physical rock coatings, and on the surface between rocks forming soil units; these are reversible processes. Chemical reactions of the dust/soil particles create alteration rinds on rock surfaces or duricrust surface units, both of which are relatively permanent materials. According to this model the mineral components of the dust/soil particles are derived from a combination of "typical" palagonitic weathering of volcanic ash and hydrothermally altered components, primarily from steam vents or fumeroles. Both of these altered materials are composed of tiny particles, about 1 micron or smaller, that are aggregates of silicates and iron oxide/oxyhydroxide/sulfate phases. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Bishop, J. L. (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Inst. Moffett Field, CA United States)
Murchie, S. (Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD United States)
Pieters, C. (Brown Univ. Providence, RI United States)
Zent, A. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 1999
Publication Information
Publication: The Fifth International Conference on Mars
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.