Carbonate Detection with SuperCam in Igneous Rocks on the floor of Jezero Crater, Mars

1E. Clavé et al. (>10)
Journal of Geophysical research (Planets) Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1029/2022JE007463]
1CELIA, Université de Bordeaux, CNRS, CEA, Bordeaux, France
Published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons

Perseverance explored two geological units on the floor of Jezero Crater over the first 420 Martian days of the Mars2020 mission. These units, the Máaz and Séítah formations, are interpreted to be igneous in origin, with traces of alteration. We report the detection of carbonate phases along the rover traverse based on laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), infrared reflectance spectroscopy (IRS), and time-resolved Raman (TRR) spectroscopy by the SuperCam instrument. Carbonates are identified through direct detection of vibrational modes of CO3 functional groups (IRS and TRR), major oxides content, and ratios of C and O signal intensities (LIBS). In Séítah, the carbonates are consistent with magnesite-siderite solid solutions (Mg# of 0.42-0.70) with low calcium contents (<5 wt.% CaO). They are detected together with olivine in IRS and TRR spectra. LIBS and IRS also indicate a spatial association of the carbonates with clays. Carbonates in Máaz are detected in fewer points, as: (i) siderite (Mg# as low as 0.03); (ii) carbonate-containing coatings, enriched in Mg (Mg# ∼0.82) and spatially associated with different salts. Overall, using conservative criteria, carbonate detections are rare in LIBS (∼30/2000 points), IRS (∼15/2000 points), and TRR (1 /150 points) data. This is best explained by (i) a low carbonate content overall, (ii) small carbonate grains mixed with other phases, (iii) intrinsic complexity of in situ measurements. This is consistent with orbital observations of Jezero crater, and similar to compositions of carbonates previously reported in Martian meteorites. This suggests a limited carbonation of Jezero rocks by locally equilibrated fluids.

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