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Journal Articles Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets Year : 2023

An Examination of Soil Crusts on the Floor of Jezero Crater, Mars

1 Department of Geoscience [Las Vegas]
2 Department of Lithospheric Research [Wien]
3 IPAG - Institut de Planétologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble
4 Department of Geology and Geography [Morgantown]
5 Plancius Research LLC
6 JPL - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
7 LANL - Los Alamos National Laboratory
8 Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences [St Louis]
9 SSI - Space Science Institute [Boulder]
10 University of Winnipeg
11 IRAP - Institut de recherche en astrophysique et planétologie
12 USGS - United States Geological Survey
13 CALTECH - California Institute of Technology
14 CAB - Centro de Astrobiologia [Madrid]
15 MIT Haystack Observatory
16 Department of Earth Sciences, Brock University
17 UPV / EHU - University of the Basque Country = Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea
18 JHU - Johns Hopkins University
19 Central Analytical Research Facility, Institute of Future Environment, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
20 Columbia University [New York]
21 LPG - Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique [UMR 6112]
22 Department of Analytical Chemistry [Leioa]
23 LESIA - Laboratoire d'études spatiales et d'instrumentation en astrophysique = Laboratory of Space Studies and Instrumentation in Astrophysics
24 LPI - Lunar and Planetary Institute [Houston]
25 IGEO - Instituto de Geociencias [Madrid]
26 The University of New Mexico [Albuquerque]
27 JOANNEUM RESEARCH - Institute for Robotics and Mechatronics
28 UBC EOAS - Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences [Vancouver]
29 RISE Research Institutes of Sweden
30 DLR Institute of Optical Sensor Systems
31 UiB - Department of Earth Science [Bergen]
32 CCAPS - Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science
33 Department of Geography [Winnipeg]
34 EPS - Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences [Albuquerque]
35 Apogee Engineering, LLC
36 Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University
E. Hausrath
C. Adcock
A. Bechtold
A. Brown
N. Carman
B. Chide
B. Clark
E. Cloutis
T. Gabriel
M. Golombek
F. Gómez
J. Johnson
P. Kelemen
J. Maki
G. Martinez
J. Martínez-Frías
M.‐p. Zorzano
H. Newsom
S. Schröder
M. Sephton
A. Udry
A. Vaughan
N. Williams


Martian soils are critically important for understanding the history of Mars, past potentially habitable environments, returned samples, and future human exploration. This study examines soil crusts on the floor of Jezero crater encountered during initial phases of the Mars 2020 mission. Soil surface crusts have been observed on Mars at other locations, starting with the two Viking Lander missions. Rover observations show that soil crusts are also common across the floor of Jezero crater, revealed in 45 of 101 locations where rover wheels disturbed the soil surface, two out of seven helicopter flights that crossed the wheel tracks, and four of eight abrasion/drilling sites. Most soils measured by the SuperCam laser‐induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument show high hydrogen content at the surface, and fine‐grained soils also show a visible/near infrared (VISIR) 1.9 μm H 2 O absorption feature. The Planetary Instrument for X‐ray Lithochemistry (PIXL) and SuperCam observations suggest the presence of salts at the surface of rocks and soils. The correlation of S and Cl contents with H contents in SuperCam LIBS measurements suggests that the salts present are likely hydrated. On the “Naltsos” target, magnesium and sulfur are correlated in PIXL measurements, and Mg is tightly correlated with H at the SuperCam points, suggesting hydrated Mg‐sulfates. Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) observations indicate possible frost events and potential changes in the hydration of Mg‐sulfate salts. Jezero crater soil crusts may therefore form by salts that are hydrated by changes in relative humidity and frost events, cementing the soil surface together.
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Dates and versions

hal-04267049 , version 1 (12-02-2024)





E. Hausrath, C. Adcock, A. Bechtold, P. Beck, K. Benison, et al.. An Examination of Soil Crusts on the Floor of Jezero Crater, Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets, 2023, 128 (10), ⟨10.1029/2022JE007433⟩. ⟨hal-04267049⟩
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