Global surficial water content stored in hydrated silicates at Mars from OMEGA/MEx

1,2Lucie Riu,2,3John Carter,2François Poulet,1Alejandro Cardesín-Moinelo,1Patrick Martin
Icarus (in Press) Link to Article []
1European Space Agency (ESA), European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC), Camino Bajo del Castillo s/n, 28692 Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain
2Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale (IAS), Université Paris-Saclay, Orsay, France
3Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, CNES, LAM, Marseille, France
Copyright Elsevier

Assessing the water content at the surface of Mars is key to understand the history of water and past climate of the planet but it also is very important for future exploration and potential In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). Numerous locations on the surface, known to harbor hydrated minerals, have been detected and their mineralogical assemblages quantified. Based on previous analyses resulting from the modelling of OMEGA near-infrared spectra, we evaluated in this paper the amount of water that could still be stored in those hydrated minerals that were previously characterized. Overall, we find that on average at the surface the hydrated silicates are composed of ~5 wt% of water with specific regions with >20 wt% localized in 100 m2 areas, that could present a higher ISRU potential. We find that the global amount of water estimated in hydrated silicates corresponds to ~10−4 Global Equivalent Layer (m) for deposits of 1 m in depth, which represents a lower bound but could still indicate that on the surface the hydrated silicates – as detected by OMEGA (< 1% of the surface) – may not globally be an important sink of water.


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