Science Seminars

11/12/2015 – Glasses and Poorly Crystalline Materials on Mars

Speaker: Bill Farrand (SSI)
Date: Thursday, Nov 12, 2020
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: SPSC W120

Seminar Abstract:

Recent results from the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity and its CheMin X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) instrument have consistently shown an X-ray amorphous component in Gale crater soils and clastic rocks ranging from 27 to 49% of the measured samples. Earlier linear deconvolution analysis of thermal infrared emissivity spectra of a number of rock classes observed by the Spirit rover’s Mini-TES instrument at Gale crater indicated a substantial glass component. Several other studies using orbital data have indicated the presence of glass in the martian surface layer. This presentation will review this evidence and present case examples from the northern plains of Mars of possible glass-rich terrains. The presentation will also examine compositional and spectroscopic studies of possible terrestrial analogs of some of these glasses in the form of basaltic glass-rich tephras from hydro- and glaciovolcanic eruptions and glassy impact melts from Lonar Crater in India