Aqueous Processes from Diverse Hydrous Minerals in the Vicinity of Amazonian‐Aged Lyot Crater

1,2Lu Pan, 1,3Bethany L. Ehlmann
Journal of Geophysical Research, Planets (in Press) Link to Article []
1Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of TechnologyPasadena, CA, USA
2Laboratoire de Geologie de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1Villeurbanne, France
3Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of TechnologyPasadena, CA, USA
Published by Arrangement with John Wiley & Sons

Amazonian‐aged Lyot crater is the best‐preserved and deepest peak‐ring impact crater (diameter, D=220km) in the northern lowlands of Mars. Morphological features including scouring channels emanating from its ejecta and small channels within the crater have been examined previously to understand hydrological activity associated with the crater. In this study, we analyze images acquired by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) to investigate the mineralogical record in Lyot and its surroundings, which are presently enriched in ground ice, to understand the associated aqueous processes, their relative timing, and a possible role for ground ice in hydrous mineral formation. We find diverse hydrous minerals, including Fe/Mg phyllosilicates, chlorite, illite/muscovite and prehnite in Lyot crater walls, central peak, and ejecta, as well as in two craters to the west of Lyot. The exposure and distribution of the hydrous minerals suggests they are related to the impact process, either exposed by the excavation of hydrothermally altered rocks or formed through syn‐depositional hydrothermal alteration immediately after impacts. The Lyot impact induced channel formation to the north, but no mineralogical evidence of aqueous alteration associated with the channels is observed. The sinuous channels within Lyot, diverted by bedrock units with hydrous mineral detections, did not cause mineralization but likely represent the last stage of water activity in Lyot crater. The separate episodes of water activity indicate flow of liquid water on Mars’ surface during the Amazonian but limited to no aqueous alteration to generate hydrous minerals.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s