Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - MARSCOMPOSITIONOMEGA (A search for habitable environments on Mars: a study of the Martian surface composition through the analysis of the OMEGA/Mars Express dataset)

The OMEGA/Mars Express instrument, onboard the first European spacecraft orbiting Mars, revealed a new face of the planet to the scientific community. Because of its unprecedented high spatial and spectral resolution it allowed for the identification of a wealth of minerals with strong implications on the Martian history.

Different types of sulphates and clays were identified, which forced researchers to adjust their understanding of the water history through time. Based on this new data, it was decided that two phases took place in Martian history, the first with non acidic and the second with acidic water on or near the surface, followed by a dry period.

An increased knowledge of Mars volcanic history was also made possible via the identification of spatially defined mineral deposits, such as olivines, calcium rich and poor pyroxenes, as well as through their global mapping. The conditions of formation of these minerals also led to hypotheses constraining the age of formation of the large scale structures.

This project contributed to these achievements through allowing the identification of most sulphate types, the global mapping of the deposits, as well as the mapping of some volcanic materials, such as calcium rich and poor pyroxenes. An effort of integration with existing imaging data at different resolution was also made, which allowed for a better understanding of the geological history associated to the minerals.

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