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Water on Ancient Mars: Mineralogical Constraints on Timing, Duration and Chemistry

Friday, May 29, 2009
Nicholas
Tosca (Harvard University)

Chemical sediments and the aqueous alteration products of volcanic rocks clearly indicate the presence of water at the martian surface. Mineralogically, water's influence is expressed by a variety of assemblages, including clays, saline minerals and carbonates. But aside from the mere presence or absence of water and even beyond its pH, more complete assessments of habitability require knowledge of the temporal persistence of water, its timing and its context relative to planetary events. This talk will consider mineralogical constraints on the chemistry of martian water and how these data chronicle water's regional and episodic presence throughout time.

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