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      Encounters with an unearthly mudstone: Understanding the first mudstone found on Mars

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          Global mineralogical and aqueous mars history derived from OMEGA/Mars Express data.

          Global mineralogical mapping of Mars by the Observatoire pour la Mineralogie, l'Eau, les Glaces et l'Activité (OMEGA) instrument on the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft provides new information on Mars' geological and climatic history. Phyllosilicates formed by aqueous alteration very early in the planet's history (the "phyllocian" era) are found in the oldest terrains; sulfates were formed in a second era (the "theiikian" era) in an acidic environment. Beginning about 3.5 billion years ago, the last era (the "siderikian") is dominated by the formation of anhydrous ferric oxides in a slow superficial weathering, without liquid water playing a major role across the planet.
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            Early Proterozoic climates and plate motions inferred from major element chemistry of lutites

             H. Nesbitt,  G. Young (1982)
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              A habitable fluvio-lacustrine environment at Yellowknife Bay, Gale crater, Mars.

              The Curiosity rover discovered fine-grained sedimentary rocks, which are inferred to represent an ancient lake and preserve evidence of an environment that would have been suited to support a martian biosphere founded on chemolithoautotrophy. This aqueous environment was characterized by neutral pH, low salinity, and variable redox states of both iron and sulfur species. Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur, nitrogen, and phosphorus were measured directly as key biogenic elements; by inference, phosphorus is assumed to have been available. The environment probably had a minimum duration of hundreds to tens of thousands of years. These results highlight the biological viability of fluvial-lacustrine environments in the post-Noachian history of Mars.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Sedimentology
                Sedimentology
                Wiley
                00370746
                February 2017
                February 30 2017
                : 64
                : 2
                : 311-358
                10.1111/sed.12318
                © 2017

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1

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