RELATIVE CARBONATE ABUNDANCES THROUGHOUT NILI FOSSAE, MARS
Small exposures of Mg-carbonate outcrop over an extensive area in eastern Nili Fossae. The carbonate-bearing rocks are exposed as a result of differential erosion. Significant relief occurs at small scales in the Nili Fossae region (e.g., mesas and troughs) and the regional slope is to the SE toward Isidis basin. The carbonate-bearing exposures are associated with Noachian-aged Fe/Mg smectite-bearing basement. Olivine-rich sand occurs in topographic lows and presumably obscures underlying carbonates resulting in discontinuous exposures in some flat-lying areas.
We use Hapke mixture modeling [Hapke, 1993] of CRISM [Muchie et al., 2007] visible/near-infrared spectra to map relative abundances of carbonates across Nili Fossae. In order to better constrain carbonate formation environment, we combine relative carbonate abundance maps with geologic context and mineral assemblages derived from CRISM images.