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Abundance and Isotopic Composition of Gases in the Martian Atmosphere from the Curiosity Rover

Abstract : Volume mixing and isotope ratios secured with repeated atmospheric measurements taken with the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on the Curiosity rover are: carbon dioxide (CO2), 0.960(±0.007); argon-40 (40Ar), 0.0193(±0.0001); nitrogen (N2), 0.0189(±0.0003); oxygen, 1.45(±0.09) × 10−3; carbon monoxide, < 1.0 × 10−3; and 40Ar/36Ar, 1.9(±0.3) × 103. The 40Ar/N2 ratio is 1.7 times greater and the 40Ar/36Ar ratio 1.6 times lower than values reported by the Viking Lander mass spectrometer in 1976, whereas other values are generally consistent with Viking and remote sensing observations. The 40Ar/36Ar ratio is consistent with martian meteoritic values, which provides additional strong support for a martian origin of these rocks. The isotopic signature δ13C from CO2 of ~45 per mil is independently measured with two instruments. This heavy isotope enrichment in carbon supports the hypothesis of substantial atmospheric loss.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01303034
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Submitted on : Friday, April 15, 2016 - 4:46:50 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 7:01:25 PM

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P. R. Mahaffy, C. R. Webster, S. K. Atreya, H. Franz, M. Wong, et al.. Abundance and Isotopic Composition of Gases in the Martian Atmosphere from the Curiosity Rover. Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2013, 341 (6143), pp.263-266. ⟨10.1126/science.1237966⟩. ⟨hal-01303034⟩

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