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In situ radiometric and exposure age dating of the Martian surface

Farley, K. A.; Malespin, C.; Mahaffy, P.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Vasconcelos, P. M.; Milliken, R. E.; Malin, M.; Edgett, K. S.; Pavlov, A. A.; Hurowitz, J. A.; Grant, J. A.; Miller, H. B.; Arvidson, R.; Beegle, L.; Calef, F.; Conrad, P.; Dietrich, W. E.; Eigenbrode, J.; Gellert, R.; Gupta, S.; Hamilton, V.; Hassler, D. M.; Lewis, K. W.; McLennan, S. M.; Ming, D.; Navarro-González, R.; Schwenzer, S. P.; Steele, A.; Stolper, D. M.; Sumner, D. Y.; Vaniman, D.; Vasavada, A.; Williford, K.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R. F. and Science Team, MSL (2014). In situ radiometric and exposure age dating of the Martian surface. Science, 343(6169), article no. 1247166.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1247166
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Abstract

We determined radiogenic and cosmogenic noble gases in a mudstone on the floor of Gale Crater. A K-Ar age of 4.21 T 0.35 billion years represents a mixture of detrital and authigenic components and confirms the expected antiquity of rocks comprising the crater rim. Cosmic-ray–produced 3He, 21Ne, and 36Ar yield concordant surface exposure ages of 78 T 30 million years. Surface exposure occurred mainly in the present geomorphic setting rather than during primary erosion and transport. Our observations are consistent with mudstone deposition shortly after the Gale impact or possibly in a later event of rapid erosion and deposition. The mudstone remained buried until recent exposure by wind-driven scarp retreat. Sedimentary rocks exposed by this mechanism may thus offer the best potential for organic biomarker preservation against destruction by cosmic radiation.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2014 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science
ISSN: 1095-9203
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetSP-11-134-SKUK Space Agency
Extra Information: Special Issue: Exploring Martian Habitability
Keywords: Mars Science Laboratory; surface age; K-Ar age
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Research Group: Space
Related URLs:
Item ID: 39318
Depositing User: Susanne Schwenzer
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2014 09:28
Last Modified: 31 May 2019 11:56
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/39318
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