Étude des minéraux hydratés à la surface de Mars par les imageurs hyperspectraux OMEGA/MEx et CRISM/MRO

Abstract : The planet Mars has experienced an era during which water was stable in its liquid state. In addition to morphological evidence for aqueous activity, the chemical interaction of water with the basaltic crust has led to the formation of hydrated clays and salts both on the surface and at depth. These hydrated minerals were first detected on the surface of Mars in 2004 with the OMEGA near infrared imaging spectrometer, onboard European probe Mars Express. Their study allows us to piece together the aqueous activity on Mars and to better understand an early era when the environment may have been conducive to prebiotic chemistry. This work focuses on the aqueous environments on Mars by coupling mineralogy data from the spaceborne imaging spectrometers OMEGA/Mars Express and CRISM/Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to the surface morphology. The development of new data processing and analysis tools have led to the detection and spectral inquiry of over a thousand hydrated mineral exposures on Mars, thus providing a broad view of the aqueous alteration. The latter mostly took place during the Noachian era and formed primarily iron-magnesium bearing phyllosilicates of the vermiculite and smectite groups. In addition, great mineral diversity is found, implying varied geo-chemical formation conditions. Placed in their geological context, these detections show the likely existence of a past hydrological cycle on Mars which sustained a clay cycle similar to Earth's. It was also found that impact craters are the most common morphological context for these minerals, although the link between them remains unclear. The discovery of a clay cycle on Mars bodes well for the past habitability potential on Mars, but will need to be verified through in-situ exploration.
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John Carter. Étude des minéraux hydratés à la surface de Mars par les imageurs hyperspectraux OMEGA/MEx et CRISM/MRO. Autre. Université Paris Sud - Paris XI, 2011. Français. ⟨NNT : 2011PA112216⟩. ⟨tel-00657804⟩

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