Evidence from Opportunity's microscopic imager for water on Meridiani Planum

TitleEvidence from Opportunity's microscopic imager for water on Meridiani Planum
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsHerkenhoff KE, Squyres SW, Arvidson RE, Bass DS, Bell, III JF, Bertelsen P, Ehlmann BL, Farrand W, Gaddis L, Greeley R, Grotzinger J, Hayes AG, Hviid SF, Johnson JR, Jolliff BL, Kinch KM, Knoll AH, Madsen MB, Maki JN, McLennan SM, McSween HY, Ming DW, Rice JR, Richter L, Sims M, Smith PH, Soderblom LA, Spanovich N, Sullivan RJ, Thompson S, Wdowiak T, Weitz C, Whelley PL
JournalScienceScience
Volume306
Pagination1727-1730
Date PublishedDec
ISBN Number0036-8075
Accession NumberWOS:000225630800039
Abstract

The Microscopic Imager on the Opportunity rover analyzed textures of soils and rocks at Meridiani Planum at a scale of 31 micrometers per pixel. The uppermost millimeter of some soils is weakly cemented, whereas other soils show little evidence of cohesion. Rock outcrops are laminated on a millimeter scale; image mosaics of cross-stratification suggest that some sediments were deposited by flowing water. Vugs in some outcrop faces are probably molds formed by dissolution of relatively soluble minerals during diagenesis. Microscopic images support the hypothesis that hematite-rich spherules observed in outcrops and soils also formed diagenetically as concretions.