Space Science Reviews

, Volume 96, Issue 1, pp 317-330

First online:

Chemical Composition of Rocks and Soils at the Pathfinder Site

  • H. WänkeAffiliated withMax-Planck-Institut für Chemie
  • , J. BrücknerAffiliated withMax-Planck-Institut für Chemie
  • , G. DreibusAffiliated withMax-Planck-Institut für Chemie
  • , R. RiederAffiliated withMax-Planck-Institut für Chemie
  • , I. RyabchikovAffiliated withIGEM, Russian Academy of Sciences

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As Viking Landers did not measure rock compositions, Pathfinder (PF) data are the first in this respect. This review gives no proof yet whether the PF rocks are igneous or sedimentary, but for petrogenetic reasons they could be igneous. We suggest a model in which Mars is covered by about 50% basaltic and 50% andesitic igneous rocks. The soils are a mixture of the two with addition of Mg-sulfate and -chloride plus iron compounds possibly derived from the hematite deposits.