CE49 - Planétologie, structure et histoire de la Terre

Feldspathic rocks on Mars: VNIR spectral properties and formation mechanisms from terrestrial analogues and Mars remote sensing data analyses – MARS-Spec

Submission summary

Recent signatures of feldspar minerals in Mars VNIR spectroscopic data raise questions about the origin of the host rocks and about the true nature of Mars earliest crust. These detections could indicate the presence of anorthositic rocks from a floatation crust, or felsic remnants of a continental crust. The nature of the feldspar-bearing rocks remains enigmatic due to numerous uncertainties regarding the effect of feldspar composition and grain size/ textures/mineral assemblages on the final rock spectrum. The present project aims at investigating Mars crust composition by improving the analysis of Mars remote sensing data and combining it with laboratory investigations of the VNIR properties of a range of fully characterized, potential analog, terrestrial feldspathic rocks. Additional fieldwork at key analog sites and spectral modeling will allow us to further discuss the influence of the scale of observations and relate the spectral signature of a rock to its composition and texture. A unique reference library, acquired on whole rocks, will be generated through the MARS-Spec project, and publicly shared with the science community via the CRPG “Mirabelle” database. In turn, the project should shed light on the nature of the feldspar detections, their implication for Mars magmatic history, but will also impact future exploration of Mars by orbiters and rovers.

Project coordination

Jessica Flahaut (Centre de recherches pétrographiques et géochimiques)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


CRPG Centre de recherches pétrographiques et géochimiques

Help of the ANR 275,782 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2021 - 36 Months

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