Shock Vaporization/Devolatilization of Evaporitic Minerals, Halite and Gypsum, in an Open System Investigated by a Two‐Stage Light Gas Gun
GeophyResLett_46_7258.pdf 1.62 MB
Dry lakebeds might constitute large volatile reservoirs on Mars. Hypervelocity impacts onto ancient dry lakebeds would have affected the volatile distribution on Mars. We developed a new experimental method to investigate the response of evaporitic minerals (halite and gypsum) to impact shocks in an open system. This technique does not result in chemical contamination from the operation of the gas gun. The technique is termed the “two‐valve method,” and the gun system is located in the Planetary Exploration Research Center, Chiba Institute of Technology, Japan. We detected the vaporization of halite at 31 GPa and devolatilization from gypsum at 11 GPa, suggesting that impact‐induced volatile release from dry lakebeds has periodically occurred throughout Martian history. The vaporization of halite deposits might have enhanced the production of perchlorates, which are found globally on Mars. The water loss from gypsum possibly explains the coexisting types of Ca‐sulfates found in Gale Crater.
This work was supported by ISAS/JAXA as a collaborative program with its Hypervelocity Impact Facility.
Geophysical Research Letters
American Geophysical Union
An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright 2019 American Geophysical Union.
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