North Gale Landform and the Volcanic Sources of Sediment in Gale Crater Mars
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An investigation into the origins of a previously unidentified landform north of Gale Crater, Mars (North Gale Landform, NGL) using remotely sensed datasets and morphological mapping has determined that it is a volcanic construct that collapsed and produced a hummocky terrain deposit to the south. Volcaniclastic sediments have been detected in the sedimentary rocks of Gale Crater by APXS. They can be grouped into distinct classes: Jake_M and Bathurst_Inlet. Jake_M are float rocks and cobbles made of igneous sediments with evolved, alkaline compositions and pitted, dusty surfaces. Bathurst_Inlet are least altered potassic basaltic sediments in siltstone sandstone to matrix-supported conglomerates. Simple petrologic models demonstrate there is a need for more than one distinct crystalline source. Bathurst_Inlet class targets are not mantle melts and Jake_M class targets are not differentiated from Bathurst_Inlet or Adirondack. NGL may be one source for the volcaniclastic sediments in Gale Crater.