Matching Items (25)

132747-Thumbnail Image.png

Characterizing Diurnal Density and Temperature Variations in the Martian Atmosphere Using Data/Model Comparisons

Description

This project focuses on using Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS) density data for carbon dioxide, oxygen, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen during deep dip campaigns 5, 6, and 8. Density profiles obtained from NGIMS were plotted against simulated density

This project focuses on using Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS) density data for carbon dioxide, oxygen, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen during deep dip campaigns 5, 6, and 8. Density profiles obtained from NGIMS were plotted against simulated density profiles from the Mars Global Ionosphere-Thermosphere Model (MGITM). Averaged temperature profiles were also plotted for the three deep dip campaigns, using NGIMS data and MGITM output. MGITM was also used as a tool to uncover potential heat balance terms needed to reproduce the mean density and temperature profiles measured by NGIMS.

This method of using NGIMS data as a validation tool for MGITM simulations has been tested previously using dayside data from deep dip campaigns 2 and 8. In those cases, MGITM was able to accurately reproduce the measured density and temperature profiles; however, in the deep dip 5 and 6 campaigns, the results are not quite the same, due to the highly variable nature of the nightside thermosphere. MGITM was able to fairly accurately reproduce the density and temperature profiles for deep dip 5, but the deep dip 6 model output showed unexpected significant variation. The deep dip 6 results reveal possible changes to be made to MGITM to more accurately reflect the observed structure of the nighttime thermosphere. In particular, upgrading the model to incorporate a suitable gravity wave parameterization should better capture the role of global winds in maintaining the nighttime thermospheric structure.

This project reveals that there still exist many unknowns about the structure and dynamics of the night side of the Martian atmosphere, as well as significant diurnal variations in density. Further study is needed to uncover these unknowns and their role in atmospheric mass loss.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2019-05

135290-Thumbnail Image.png

Solubility of Nitrogen in Stishovite: A Possible Storage Mechanism for Nitrogen in Earth's Deep Interior

Description

Though large amounts of nitrogen are allocated to the Earth's mantle, not much is known concerning how it is stored and transported. In this study, stishovite is proposed as a host for nitrogen within the Earth's deep interior. Stishovite was

Though large amounts of nitrogen are allocated to the Earth's mantle, not much is known concerning how it is stored and transported. In this study, stishovite is proposed as a host for nitrogen within the Earth's deep interior. Stishovite was synthesized and heated under nitrogen rich conditions using diamond-anvil cell equipment and double-sided laser heating. Synthesis pressures ranged from 16 to 44 GPa and temperatures centered at ~1800 K. Experimental products were removed from diamond anvil cells and analyzed for nitrogen content via SIMS and SEM/EDX analysis. Unit cell parameters were obtained through XRD analysis. N solubility in stishovite was calculated to be up to 1.54 wt % from SIMS data through the use of an ion implant and a relative sensitivity factor. XRD data indicated a decrease in unit cell volume at higher pressures, with the c-axis length showing larger compressibility than the a-axis length. Through SEM and EDX analysis, a uniformly low level of N was observed throughout the sample indicating that N was uniformly incorporated into the crystal structure of stishovite. The data suggests that, rather than existing separately from stishovite as a silicon or carbon nitride, N has substituted into the crystal structure of stishovite. Both O and N have largely similar atomic radii, with N being slightly smaller, indicating that N can substitute for O. With the levels of N observed in the experiment, it is implicated that the mantle has an extremely large storage capacity for N. Further experimentation, with the addition of TEM analysis, should be conducted in order to determine the effects of pressure and temperature on the solubility of N in stishovite. Additionally, substitution of N as HN into stishovite should be investigated as HN accounts for the charge imbalance seen when substituting N for O.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016-05

136390-Thumbnail Image.png

Modeling the mantle genesis of basalts from the Lassen Volcanic Center

Description

There are many outstanding questions regarding the petrologic processes that give rise to andesitic and basaltic magmas in subduction zones, including the specifics that govern their geographical distribution in a given arc segment. Here I investigate the genesis of calc-alkaline

There are many outstanding questions regarding the petrologic processes that give rise to andesitic and basaltic magmas in subduction zones, including the specifics that govern their geographical distribution in a given arc segment. Here I investigate the genesis of calc-alkaline and tholeiitic basalts from the Lassen Volcanic Center in order to determine the pressure, temperature, source composition, and method of melting that lead to the production of melt in the mantle below Lassen. To this aim, a suite of primitive basalts (i.e. SiO2<52 and Mg#>65) are corrected for fractional crystallization by adding minerals back to the bulk rock composition with the goal of returning them to a primary composition in equilibrium with the mantle. Thermobarometry of the primary melt compositions is conducted to determine temperature and pressure of melting, in addition to a forward mantle modeling technique to simulate mantle melting at varying pressures to constrain source composition and method of melting (batch vs. fractional). The results from the two techniques agree on an average depth of melt extraction of 36 km and a source composition similar to that of depleted mantle melted by batch melting. Although attempted for both calc-alkaline and tholeiitic basalts, the fractional crystallization correction and thus the pressure-temperature calculations were only successful for tholeiitic basalts due to the hydrous nature of the calc-alkaline samples. This leaves an opportunity to repeat this study with parameters appropriate for hydrous basalts, allowing for the comparison of calc-alkaline and tholeiitic melting conditions.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015-05

150024-Thumbnail Image.png

The effects of chemical weathering on thermal-infrared spectral data and models: implications for aqueous processes on the Martian surface

Description

Chemical and mineralogical data from Mars shows that the surface has been chemically weathered on local to regional scales. Chemical trends and the types of chemical weathering products present on the surface and their abundances can elucidate information about past

Chemical and mineralogical data from Mars shows that the surface has been chemically weathered on local to regional scales. Chemical trends and the types of chemical weathering products present on the surface and their abundances can elucidate information about past aqueous processes. Thermal-infrared (TIR) data and their respective models are essential for interpreting Martian mineralogy and geologic history. However, previous studies have shown that chemical weathering and the precipitation of fine-grained secondary silicates can adversely affect the accuracy of TIR spectral models. Furthermore, spectral libraries used to identify minerals on the Martian surface lack some important weathering products, including poorly-crystalline aluminosilicates like allophane, thus eliminating their identification in TIR spectral models. It is essential to accurately interpret TIR spectral data from chemically weathered surfaces to understand the evolution of aqueous processes on Mars. Laboratory experiments were performed to improve interpretations of TIR data from weathered surfaces. To test the accuracy of deriving chemistry of weathered rocks from TIR spectroscopy, chemistry was derived from TIR models of weathered basalts from Baynton, Australia and compared to actual weathering rind chemistry. To determine how specific secondary silicates affect the TIR spectroscopy of weathered basalts, mixtures of basaltic minerals and small amounts of secondary silicates were modeled. Poorly-crystalline aluminosilicates were synthesized and their TIR spectra were added to spectral libraries. Regional Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) data were modeled using libraries containing these poorly-crystalline aluminosilicates to test for their presence on the Mars. Chemistry derived from models of weathered Baynton basalts is not accurate, but broad chemical weathering trends can be interpreted from the data. TIR models of mineral mixtures show that small amounts of crystalline and amorphous silicate weathering products (2.5-5 wt.%) can be detected in TIR models and can adversely affect modeled plagioclase abundances. Poorly-crystalline aluminosilicates are identified in Northern Acidalia, Solis Planum, and Meridiani. Previous studies have suggested that acid sulfate weathering was the dominant surface alteration process for the past 3.5 billion years; however, the identification of allophane indicates that alteration at near-neutral pH occurred on regional scales and that acid sulfate weathering is not the only weathering process on Mars.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

150209-Thumbnail Image.png

Uranium isotope variations in nature: mechanisms, applications, and implications

Description

Historically, uranium has received intense study of its chemical and isotopic properties for use in the nuclear industry, but has been largely ignored by geoscientists despite properties that make it an intriguing target for geochemists and cosmochemists alike. Uranium was

Historically, uranium has received intense study of its chemical and isotopic properties for use in the nuclear industry, but has been largely ignored by geoscientists despite properties that make it an intriguing target for geochemists and cosmochemists alike. Uranium was long thought to have an invariant 238U/235U ratio in natural samples, making it uninteresting for isotopic work. However, recent advances in mass spectrometry have made it possible to detect slight differences in the 238U/235U ratio, creating many exciting new opportunities for U isotopic research. Using uranium ore samples from diverse depositional settings from around the world, it is shown that the low-temperature redox transition of uranium (U6+ to U4+) causes measurable fractionation of the 238U/235U ratio. Moreover, it is shown experimentally that a coordination change of U can also cause measurable fractionation in the 238U/235U ratio. This improved understanding of the fractionation mechanisms of U allows for the use of the 238U/235U ratio as a paleoredox proxy. The 238U/235U ratios of carbonates deposited spanning the end-Permian extinction horizon provide evidence of pronounced and persistent widespread ocean anoxia at, or immediately preceding, the extinction boundary. Variable 238U/235U ratios correlated with proxies for initial Cm/U in the Solar System's earliest objects demonstrates the existence of 247Cm in the early Solar System. Proof of variable 238U/235U ratios in meteoritic material forces a substantive change in the previously established procedures of Pb-Pb dating, which assumed an invariant 238U/235U ratio. This advancement improves the accuracy of not only the Pb-Pb chronometer that directly utilizes the 238U/235U ratio, but also for short-lived radiometric dating techniques that indirectly use the 238U/235U ratio to calculate ages of Solar System material.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

150543-Thumbnail Image.png

Stratigraphy, structure, and mineralization of Kinsley Mountain, Elko County, Nevada

Description

The Kinsley Mountain gold deposit of northeastern Nevada, located ~70 km south of Wendover, Nevada, contains seven sediment-hosted, disseminated-gold deposits, in Cambrian limestones and shales. Mining ceased in 1999, with 138,000 ounces of gold mined at an average grade between

The Kinsley Mountain gold deposit of northeastern Nevada, located ~70 km south of Wendover, Nevada, contains seven sediment-hosted, disseminated-gold deposits, in Cambrian limestones and shales. Mining ceased in 1999, with 138,000 ounces of gold mined at an average grade between 1.5-2.0 g/t. Resource estimates vary between 15,000 and 150,000 ounces of gold remaining in several mineralized pods. Although exploration programs have been completed within the study area, the structural history and timing of precious-metal mineralization are still poorly understood. This study aims to better understand the relation between stratigraphy, structural setting, and style of gold mineralization. In order to accomplish these goals, geological mapping at a scale of 1:5,000 was conducted over the property as well as analysis of soil and rock chip samples for multi-element geochemistry. Using cross-cutting relationships, the structural history of Kinsley Mountain has been determined. The deformation can broadly be categorized as an early stage of compressional tectonics including folding, attenuation of the stratigraphy, and thrust faulting. This early stage was followed by a series of extensional deformation events, the youngest of which is an ongoing process. The structural history determined from this study fits well into a regional context and when viewed in conjunction with the mineralization event, can be used to bracket the timing of gold mineralization. The northwest oriented structure responsible for concentrating decalcification, silicification, and mineralization has two generations of cave fill breccias that both pre- and post-date the gold event. The statistical analysis of multi-element geochemistry for rock chip and soil samples has determined that Au is most strongly associated with Te, while weaker correlations exist between Au and Ag, As, Hg, Mo, Sb, Tl, and W. This suite of elements is associated with an intrusion driven system and is atypical of Carlin-type gold systems. From these elemental associations the gold mineralization event is thought to be controlled by the emplacement of a felsic intrusion. The responsible intrusion may be an exposed quartz monzonite to the south of the study area, as suggested by possible zonation of Cu, Pb, and Zn, which decrease in concentration with increasing distance from the outcropping stock. Alternatively, an unexposed intrusion at depth cannot be ruled out as the driver of the mineralizing system.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2012

153685-Thumbnail Image.png

Hydrogen isotopic systematics of nominally anhydrous phases in martian meteorites

Description

Hydrogen isotope compositions of the martian atmosphere and crustal materials can provide unique insights into the hydrological and geological evolution of Mars. While the present-day deuterium-to-hydrogen ratio (D/H) of the Mars atmosphere is well constrained (~6 times that of terrestrial

Hydrogen isotope compositions of the martian atmosphere and crustal materials can provide unique insights into the hydrological and geological evolution of Mars. While the present-day deuterium-to-hydrogen ratio (D/H) of the Mars atmosphere is well constrained (~6 times that of terrestrial ocean water), that of its deep silicate interior (specifically, the mantle) is less so. In fact, the hydrogen isotope composition of the primordial martian mantle is of great interest since it has implications for the origin and abundance of water on that planet. Martian meteorites could provide key constraints in this regard, since they crystallized from melts originating from the martian mantle and contain phases that potentially record the evolution of the H2O content and isotopic composition of the interior of the planet over time. Examined here are the hydrogen isotopic compositions of Nominally Anhydrous Phases (NAPs) in eight martian meteorites (five shergottites and three nakhlites) using Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS).

This study presents a total of 113 individual analyses of H2O contents and hydrogen isotopic compositions of NAPs in the shergottites Zagami, Los Angeles, QUE 94201, SaU 005, and Tissint, and the nakhlites Nakhla, Lafayette, and Yamato 000593. The hydrogen isotopic variation between and within meteorites may be due to one or more processes including: interaction with the martian atmosphere, magmatic degassing, subsolidus alteration (including shock), and/or terrestrial contamination. Taking into consideration the effects of these processes, the hydrogen isotope composition of the martian mantle may be similar to that of the Earth. Additionally, this study calculated upper limits on the H2O contents of the shergottite and nakhlite parent melts based on the measured minimum H2O abundances in their maskelynites and pyroxenes, respectively. These calculations, along with some petrogenetic assumptions based on previous studies, were subsequently used to infer the H2O contents of the mantle source reservoirs of the depleted shergottites (200-700 ppm) and the nakhlites (10-100 ppm). This suggests that mantle source of the nakhlites is systematically drier than that of the depleted shergottites, and the upper mantle of Mars may have preserved significant heterogeneity in its H2O content. Additionally, this range of H2O contents is not dissimilar to the range observed for the Earth’s upper mantle.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015

151696-Thumbnail Image.png

High-resolution Martian soil thickness derived from yearly surface temperatures

Description

The temperature of a planet's surface depends on numerous physical factors, including thermal inertia, albedo and the degree of insolation. Mars is a good target for thermal measurements because the low atmospheric pressure combined with the extreme dryness results in

The temperature of a planet's surface depends on numerous physical factors, including thermal inertia, albedo and the degree of insolation. Mars is a good target for thermal measurements because the low atmospheric pressure combined with the extreme dryness results in a surface dominated by large differences in thermal inertia, minimizing the effect of other physical properties. Since heat is propagated into the surface during the day and re-radiated at night, surface temperatures are affected by sub-surface properties down to several thermal skin depths. Because of this, orbital surface temperature measurements combined with a computational thermal model can be used to determine sub-surface structure. This technique has previously been applied to estimate the thickness and thermal inertia of soil layers on Mars on a regional scale, but the Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System "THEMIS" instrument allows much higher-resolution thermal imagery to be obtained. Using archived THEMIS data and the KRC thermal model, a process has been developed for creating high-resolution maps of Martian soil layer thickness and thermal inertia, allowing investigation of the distribution of dust and sand at a scale of 100 m/pixel.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

151279-Thumbnail Image.png

The petrogenesis of angrites and martian meteorites inferred from isotope and trace element systematics

Description

The present understanding of the formation and evolution of the earliest bodies in the Solar System is based in large part on geochemical and isotopic evidences contained within meteorites. The differentiated meteorites (meteorites originating from bodies that have experienced partial

The present understanding of the formation and evolution of the earliest bodies in the Solar System is based in large part on geochemical and isotopic evidences contained within meteorites. The differentiated meteorites (meteorites originating from bodies that have experienced partial to complete melting) are particularly useful for deciphering magmatic processes occurring in the early Solar System. A rare group of differentiated meteorites, the angrites, are uniquely suited for such work. The angrites have ancient crystallization ages, lack secondary processing, and have been minimally affected by shock metamorphism, thus allowing them to retain their initial geochemical and isotopic characteristics at the time of formation. The scarcity of angrite samples made it difficult to conduct comprehensive investigations into the formation history of this unique meteorite group. However, a dramatic increase in the number of angrites recovered in recent years presents the opportunity to expand our understanding of their petrogenesis, as well as further refine our knowledge of the initial isotopic abundances in the early Solar System as recorded by their isotopic systematics. Using a combination of geochemical tools (radiogenic isotope chronometers and trace element chemistry), I have investigated the petrogenetic history of a group of four angrites that sample a range of formation conditions (cooling histories) and crystallization ages. Through isotope ratio measurements, I have examined a comprehensive set of long- and short-lived radiogenic isotope systems (26Al-26Mg, 87Rb-87Sr, 146Sm-142Nd, 147Sm-143Nd, and 176Lu-176Hf) within these four angrites. The results of these measurements provide information regarding crystallization ages, as well as revised estimates for the initial isotopic abundances of several key elements in the early Solar System. The determination of trace element concentrations in individual mineral phases, as well as bulk rock samples, provides important constraints on magmatic processes occurring on the angrite parent body. The measured trace element abundances are used to estimate the composition of the parent melts of individual angrites, examine crystallization conditions, and investigate possible geochemical affinities between various angrites. The new geochemical and isotopic measurements presented here significantly expand our understanding of the geochemical conditions found on the angrite parent body and the environment in which these meteorites formed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2012