Structural analysis of sulfate vein networks in Gale crater (Mars)

Research areas:
Year:
2020
Keywords:
Mars; Veins; Fluid circulation; Curiosity rover; Hydrofracturing
Authors:
Journal:
Journal of Structural Geology
Volume:
137
Pages:
104083
Month:
August
ISSN:
0191-8141
Abstract:
The Curiosity rover's campaign in the Gale crater on Mars provides a large set of close-up images of sedimentary formations outcrops displaying a variety of diagenetic features such as light-toned veins, nodules and raised ridges. Through 2D and 3D analyses of Mastcam images we herein reconstruct the vein network of a sample area and estimated the stress field. Assessment of the spatial distribution of light-toned veins shows that the basin infillings, after burial and consolidation, experienced a sub-vertical compression and lateral extension coupled with fluid overpressure and cracking. Overall, rock failure and light-toned veins formations could have been generated by an overload produced by infilling material within the basin.