Hematite Concretions from Modern Acid Saline Lake Sediments as Geochemical and Astrobiological Tombs
Ubiquitous hematite spherules interpreted as being concretions  within reworked evaporite dune and interdune lake sediments  in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars have revealed a wealth of information about the role of acid saline waters in the planet's past. The variety of processes and conditions that could generate such deposits raises many questions about the formation of mixed iron oxide and evaporite sediments, the potential role of organisms in presumably hostile acid saline systems, and the preservation potential of organisms within this sedimentary record. Sediments from the shallow acid saline lakes in southern Western Australia (Figure 1) provide an important modern analog environment that illustrates potential early and rapid formation of hematite concretion-bearing evaporites, and the excellent astrobiological preservation potential of such deposits.
B. B. Bowen et al., "Hematite Concretions from Modern Acid Saline Lake Sediments as Geochemical and Astrobiological Tombs," Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Mars (2007, Pasadena, CA), Lunar and Planetary Institute, Jul 2007.
7th International Conference on Mars (2007: Jul. 9-13, Pasadena, CA)
Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering
Keywords and Phrases
Australasia; Australia; Lake Brown; Mars; Meridiani Planum; Western Australia; Acid Saline Lakes; Acidic Composition; Astrobiology; Chemically Precipitated Rocks; Clay Minerals; Concretions; Diagenesis; Ephemeral Lakes; Evaporites; Geochemistry; Hematite; Iron Oxides; Lacustrine Environment; Lake Sediments; Lakes; Microorganisms; Modern Analogs; Oxides; Petrography; Precipitation; Preservation; Reworking; Saline Composition; Secondary Structures; Sedimentary Rocks; Sedimentary Structures; Sediments; Sheet Silicates; Silicates; Spherules; Sulfates
Article - Conference proceedings
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01 Jul 2007