Transmission X-ray Diffraction (XRD) Patterns Relevant to the MSL Chemin Amorphous Component : Sulfates And Silicates
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- The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) CheMin instrument on the Curiosity rover is a transmission X-ray diffractometer (Co-Kalpha radiation source and a approx.5deg to approx.52deg 2theta range) where the analyzed powder samples are constrained to have discrete particle diameters <150 microns by a sieve. To date, diffraction patterns have been obtained for one basaltic soil (Rocknest (RN)) and four drill fines of coherent rock (John Klein (JK), Cumberland (CB), Windjana (WJ), and Confidence Hills (CH)). The CheMin instrument has detected and quantified the abundance of both primary igneous (e.g., feldspar, olivine, and pyroxene) and secondary (e.g., Ca-sulfates, hematite, akaganeite, and Fe-saponite) minerals. The diffraction patterns of all CheMin samples are also characterized by a broad diffraction band centered near 30deg 2theta and by increasing diffraction intensity (scattering continuum) from approx.15deg to approx.5deg, the 2theta minimum. Both the broad band and the scattering continuum are attributed to the presence of an XRD amorphous component. Estimates of amorphous component abundance, based on the XRD data itself and on mass-balance calculations using APXS data crystalline component chemistry derived from XRD data, martian meteorites, and/or stoichiometry [e.g., 6-9], range from approx.20 wt.% to approx.50 wt.% of bulk sample. The APXSbased calculations show that the amorphous component is rich in volatile elements (esp. SO3) and is not simply primary basaltic glass, which was used as a surrogate to model the broad band in the RN CheMin pattern. For RN, the entire volatile inventory (except minor anhydrite) is assigned to the amorphous component because no volatile-bearing crystalline phases were reported within detection limits . For JK and CB, Fesaponite, basanite, and akaganeite are volatile-bearing crystalline components. Here we report transmission XRD patterns for sulfate and silicate phases relevant to interpretation of MSL-CheMin XRD amorphous components.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20150001946.
Lunar and Planetary Science Conference; 16-20 Mar. 2015; The Woodlands, TX ; United States.
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