Sulfate minerals and organic compounds on Mars

Citation:
Aubrey, A, Cleaves HJ, Chalmers JH, Skelley AM, Mathies RA, Grunthaner FJ, Ehrenfreund P, Bada JL.  2006.  Sulfate minerals and organic compounds on Mars. Geology. 34:357-360.

Date Published:

May

Keywords:

amino acids, amino-acids, anhydrite, california, enantiomers, evaporites, gypsum, jarosite, kerogen, life, Mars, meridiani-planum, natural samples, omega/mars express, preservation, region, sublimation, sulfates

Abstract:

Strong evidence for evaporitic sulfate minerals such as gypsum and jarosite has recently been found on Mars. Although organic molecules are often codeposited with terrestrial evaporitic minerals, there have been no systematic investigations of organic components in sulfate minerals. We report here the detection of organic material, including amino acids and their amine degradation products, in ancient terrestrial sulfate minerals. Amino acids and amines appear to be preserved for geologically long periods in sulfate mineral matrices. This suggests that sulfate minerals should be prime targets in the search for organic compounds, including those of biological origin, on Mars.

Notes:

n/a

Website

DOI:

10.1130/g22316.1