A Habitable Fluvio-Lacustrine Environment at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars

J. P. Grotzinger 1 D. Y. Sumner 2 L. C. Kah 3 K. Stack 4 S. Gupta 5 L. Edgar 6 D. Rubin 7 K. Lewis 8 J. Schieber 9 N. Mangold 10 R. Milliken 11 P. G. Conrad 12 D. Desmarais 13 J. Farmer 6 K. Siebach 1 F. Calef 14 J. Hurowitz 15 S. M. Mclennan 16 D. Ming 17 D. Vaniman 18 J. Crisp A. Vasavada 14 K. S. Edgett M. Malin D. Blake 13 R. Gellert 19 P. Mahaffy 12 R. C. Wiens 20 S. Maurice 21 J. A. Grant 22 Shelby Wilson R. C. Anderson 23 L. Beegle 14 R. Arvidson B. Hallet 24 R. S. Sletten 24 M. Rice 1 J. Bell 6 J. Griffes 1 B. Ehlmann 1, 14 R. B. Anderson 23 T. F. Bristow 13 W. E. Dietrich 2 G. Dromart 25 J. Eigenbrode 12 A. Fraeman C. Hardgrove K. Herkenhoff 23 L. Jandura 14 G. Kocurek 26 S. Lee 14 L. A. Leshin 27 R. Leveille 28 D. Limonadi 14 J. Maki 14 S. Mccloskey 14 M. Meyer 29 M. Minitti 6 H. Newsom 30 D. Oehler 17 A. Okon 14 M. Palucis 2 T. Parker 14 S. Rowland 31 M. Schmidt 32 S. Squyres 33 A. Steele 34 E. Stolper 1 R. Summons 35 A. Treiman 36 R. Williams 18 A. Yingst 18 C. Fabre 37
20 ISR-2 - Space Remote Sensing Group
LANL - Los Alamos National Laboratory
Abstract : The Curiosity rover discovered fine-grained sedimentary rocks, which are inferred to represent an ancient lake and preserve evidence of an environment that would have been suited to support a martian biosphere founded on chemolithoautotrophy. This aqueous environment was characterized by neutral pH, low salinity, and variable redox states of both iron and sulfur species. Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur, nitrogen, and phosphorus were measured directly as key biogenic elements; by inference, phosphorus is assumed to have been available. The environment probably had a minimum duration of hundreds to tens of thousands of years. These results highlight the biological viability of fluvial-lacustrine environments in the post-Noachian history of Mars.
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J. P. Grotzinger, D. Y. Sumner, L. C. Kah, K. Stack, S. Gupta, et al.. A Habitable Fluvio-Lacustrine Environment at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars. Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2014, 343 (6169), ⟨10.1126/science.1242777⟩. ⟨hal-01293840⟩

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