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Title: Detection of Reduced Sulfur on Vera Rubin Ridge by Quadratic Discriminant Analysis of Volatiles Observed During Evolved Gas Analysis.
Authors: Wong, K. H.
Lewis, J.
Knudson, C. A.
Millan, M.
McAdam, A. C.
Eigenbrode, J. L.
Andrejkovičová, S.
Gómez, F.
Navarro González, R.
House, C. H.
Keywords: Vera Rubin Ridge;uadratic Discriminant Analysis;Gas;Analysis;Reduced Sulfur
Issue Date: 10-Jun-2020
Publisher: American Geophysical Union: Advancing Earth and Space Science
DOI: 10.1029/2019JE006304
Published version:
Citation: Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets 125(8): e2019JE006304(2020)
Abstract: The Mars Science Laboratory mission investigated Vera Rubin ridge, which bears spectral indications of elevated amounts of hematite and has been hypothesized as having a complex diagenetic history. Martian samples, including three drilled samples from the ridge, were analyzed by the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite via evolved gas analysis‐mass spectrometry (EGA‐MS). Here, we report new EGA‐MS data from Martian samples and describe laboratory analogue experiments. Analyses of laboratory analogues help determine the presence of reduced sulfur in Martian solid samples, which could have supported potential microbial life. We used evolved carbonyl sulfide (COS) and carbon disulfide (CS2) to identify Martian samples likely to contain reduced sulfur by applying a quadratic discriminant analysis. While we report results for 24 Martian samples, we focus on Vera Rubin ridge samples and select others for comparison. Our results suggest the presence of reduced sulfur in the Jura member of Vera Rubin ridge, which can support various diagenetic history models, including, as discussed in this work, diagenetic alteration initiated by a mildly reducing, sulfite‐containing groundwater.
Description: The Mars Science Laboratory studied the chemical composition of Vera Rubin ridge in Gale crater, Mars. The Sample Analysis at Mars, a set of scientific instruments designed to study rock chemistry, observed a number of gases released during the heating of Martian drilled samples. The same gases were observed when Mars‐relevant minerals were analyzed with similar instruments on Earth. From these two sets of data, we applied statistical analyses to determine which Mars samples on Vera Rubin ridge contained important sulfur compounds. Two samples on the ridge showed evidence for these compounds, which could have supported the energetic requirements for life. The results presented here improve both the understanding of the history of Gale crater and the potential for ancient life to have existed.
ISSN: 2169-9100
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