Minerals on a planetary surface can be used to provide information about the history of processes that have shaped that body. The type and duration of alteration are important because they can provide information about ancient environments.
Decades of observation have shown that the early history of Mars was rich in geologic activity, including volcanic, aqueous, and aeolian processes. Remote observations have revealed much information about the compositional diversity of surface materials at a variety of spatial scales.
Although the surface of Mars consists mainly of volcanic material, spectroscopic observations have indicated that volcanic processes were likely variable. Furthermore, identification of a variety of minerals indicative of aqueous processes suggests that water had played a role in shaping the volcanic surface.
This presentation will provide an overview of the current state of knowledge regarding the mineralogy and composition of the Martian surface through remote spectroscopic observations and what these observations infer about the past environments on Mars.
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