Jarosite in Noctis Labyrinthus
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Jarosite in Noctis Labyrinthus
ESP_043719_1725  Science Theme: Sedimentary/Layering Processes


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This image shows the western side of an elongated pit depression in eastern Noctis Labyrinthus. Along the pit’s upper wall is a light-toned layered deposit.

CRISM spectra extracted from the light-toned deposit are consistent with the mineral jarosite, which is a potassium and iron hydrous sulfate. On Earth, jarosite can form in ore deposits or from alteration near volcanic vents, and indicates an oxidizing and acidic environment. The Opportunity rover discovered jarosite at the Meridiani Planum landing site, and jarosite has been found at several other locations on Mars, indicating that it is a common mineral on the Red Planet.

The jarosite-bearing deposit observed here could indicate acidic aqueous conditions within a volcanic system in Noctis Labyrinthus. Above the light-toned jarosite deposit is a mantle of finely layered darker-toned material. CRISM spectra do not indicate this upper darker-toned mantle is hydrated. The deposit appears to drape over the pre-existing topography, suggesting it represents an airfall deposit from either atmospheric dust or volcanic ash.

Written by: Cathy Weitz (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (27 January 2016)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_043363_1725.
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Acquisition date
24 November 2015

Local Mars time:
15:07

Latitude (centered)
-7.643°

Longitude (East)
267.109°

Range to target site
266.8 km (166.8 miles)

Original image scale range
26.7 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~80 cm across are resolved

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25 cm/pixel and North is up

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Equirectangular

Emission angle:
12.6°

Phase angle:
47.0°

Solar incidence angle
56°, with the Sun about 34° above the horizon

Solar longitude
72.5°, Northern Spring

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North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  42.8°
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POSTSCRIPT
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.