Chemical variations in Yellowknife Bay formation sedimentary rocks analyzed by ChemCam on board the Curiosity rover on Mars - Université de Lorraine Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets Year : 2015

Chemical variations in Yellowknife Bay formation sedimentary rocks analyzed by ChemCam on board the Curiosity rover on Mars

1 LPG - Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique [UMR 6112]
2 IRAP - Institut de recherche en astrophysique et planétologie
3 LGL-TPE - Laboratoire de Géologie de Lyon - Terre, Planètes, Environnement
4 CALTECH - California Institute of Technology
5 ISR-2 - Space Remote Sensing Group
6 EPS - Department of Earth and Planetary Science [UC Berkeley]
7 USGS - United States Geological Survey [Reston]
8 PSI - Planetary Science Institute [Tucson]
9 SESE - ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration
10 Space Research Centre [Leicester]
11 JPL - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
12 SSI - Space Science Institute [Boulder]
13 LANL - Los Alamos National Laboratory
14 GeoRessources
15 CEOAS - College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences [Corvallis]
16 Department of Earth Science and Technology [Imperial College London]
17 Department of Geosciences [Stony Brook]
18 College of Marine and Environmental Sciences [Cairns]
19 C2O Consulting
20 Department of Natural Resource Sciences
21 ISTerre - Institut des Sciences de la Terre
22 SBU - Stony Brook University [SUNY]
23 OSCAR - Optical Science Center for Applied Research
24 CEEES - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Science [Notre Dame]
25 EPS - Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences [Albuquerque]
26 IOM - Institute of Meteoritics [Albuquerque]
27 MNHN - Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle
28 Institut für Umweltphysik [Heidelberg]
29 ICG-2
30 CESR - Centre d'étude spatiale des rayonnements
31 CUDOS - Centre for Ultrahigh Bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems
O. Forni
R. C. Wiens
P. -Y. Meslin
  • Function : Author
D. L. Blaney
  • Function : Author
B. Clark
S. M. Clegg
  • Function : Author
A. Cousin
K. Edgett
  • Function : Author
Cécile Fabre
L. C. Kah
  • Function : Author
N. Lanza
S. Le Mouelic
M. Malin
  • Function : Author
S. Mclennan
S. K. Rowland
  • Function : Author
V. Sautter
S. Schroeder
  • Function : Author


The Yellowknife Bay formation represents a similar to 5m thick stratigraphic section of lithified fluvial and lacustrine sediments analyzed by the Curiosity rover in Gale crater, Mars. Previous works have mainly focused on the mudstones that were drilled by the rover at two locations. The present study focuses on the sedimentary rocks stratigraphically above the mudstones by studying their chemical variations in parallel with rock textures. Results show that differences in composition correlate with textures and both manifest subtle but significant variations through the stratigraphic column. Though the chemistry of the sediments does not vary much in the lower part of the stratigraphy, the variations in alkali elements indicate variations in the source material and/or physical sorting, as shown by the identification of alkali feldspars. The sandstones contain similar relative proportions of hydrogen to the mudstones below, suggesting the presence of hydrous minerals that may have contributed to their cementation. Slight variations in magnesium correlate with changes in textures suggesting that diagenesis through cementation and dissolution modified the initial rock composition and texture simultaneously. The upper part of the stratigraphy (similar to 1m thick) displays rocks with different compositions suggesting a strong change in the depositional system. The presence of float rocks with similar compositions found along the rover traverse suggests that some of these outcrops extend further away in the nearby hummocky plains.


Earth Sciences
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hal-01281801 , version 1 (12-04-2021)



N. Mangold, O. Forni, G. Dromart, K. Stack, R. C. Wiens, et al.. Chemical variations in Yellowknife Bay formation sedimentary rocks analyzed by ChemCam on board the Curiosity rover on Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets, 2015, 120 (3), pp.452-482. ⟨10.1002/2014JE004681⟩. ⟨hal-01281801⟩
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