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Martian subsurface fluid pathways revealed by 3D mineralogy of the Nakhla meteorite

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  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Geography


Fluids in a near-surface environment on Mars were responsible for the formation and alteration of many minerals in the nakhlite meteorites. These secondary minerals include complex mixtures of clays, carbonates, sulphates, oxides and iron oxy-hydroxides [1-3] which may have formed at different times, under different fluid flow regimes (groundwater, hydrothermal, crater lake), experiencing a range of water-rock ratios, evaporative histories, and varying degrees of interaction with the atmosphere and bedrock [2,3]. As part of a continuing investigation of this aqueous activity we have performed a comprehensive suite of 2D and 3D chemical, physical and structural analyses of these secondary minerals within Nakhla.

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