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Mars, Hydrated Minerals

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Encyclopedia of Astrobiology
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Aqueous minerals


Hydrated minerals are minerals that contain water or hydroxyl (OH) in their structures. They are the result of alteration and weathering processes due to surface liquid water and/or hydrothermal activities.


Hydrated minerals provide key information on Mars’ past climate, climate change phase(s), and potential for habitability. Their widespread presence on the surface of Mars is an indicator of water-bedrock interaction in a geologically long period of time. Some hydrated minerals contain bound H2O in their structure, and others require OH. Some others can absorb water molecules and keep it in their structure. Therefore, hydrated minerals on Mars offer a wealth of information on the surface water inventory at the time of their formation and on the chemical and physical conditions of their surrounding area. The main group of hydrated minerals detected so far on Mars include phyllosilicates (e.g., kaolinite, smectite), sulfates (e.g.,...

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References and Further Reading

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Correspondence to Solmaz Adeli .

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Adeli, S. (2022). Mars, Hydrated Minerals. In: Gargaud, M., et al. Encyclopedia of Astrobiology. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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