Sand Mineralogy Within the Bagnold Dunes, Gale Crater, as Observed In Situ and From Orbit

E. B. Rampe, M. G.A. Lapotre, T. F. Bristow, R. E. Arvidson, R. V. Morris, C. N. Achilles, C. Weitz, D. F. Blake, D. W. Ming, S. M. Morrison, D. T. Vaniman, S. J. Chipera, R. T. Downs, J. P. Grotzinger, R. M. Hazen, T. S. Peretyazhko, B. Sutter, V. Tu, A. S. Yen, B. HorganN. Castle, P. I. Craig, D. J. Des Marais, J. Farmer, R. Gellert, A. C. McAdam, J. M. Morookian, P. C. Sarrazin, A. H. Treiman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Curiosity investigated active eolian sands near linear dunes during Phase 2 of the Bagnold Dunes campaign in Gale crater, Mars. Ogunquit Beach, a sample scooped from a large-ripple trough within the Mount Desert Island ripple field and delivered to the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffraction instrument, is dominated by basaltic igneous minerals and X-ray amorphous materials. CheMin mineralogy of the Gobabeb sample acquired at a large-ripple crest on the Namib barchan dune during Phase 1 is similar to Ogunquit Beach. Ogunquit Beach, however, contains more plagioclase and Gobabeb contains more olivine. Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM)-based estimates of mineralogy at the optical surface of Namib Dune and Mount Desert Island demonstrate that surface sands are enriched in olivine and depleted in plagioclase over Mount Desert Island relative to Namib Dune. Differences between CheMin-derived and CRISM-derived mineralogies suggest sorting by grain size on bedform to dune field scales. Crystal chemistry from CheMin suggests contributions from multiple igneous sources and the local bedrock.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9488-9497
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 28 2018


  • CheMin
  • Mars
  • X-ray diffraction
  • eolian
  • mineralogy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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