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Mineralogical, chemical, organic and microbial properties of subsurface soil cores from Mars Desert Research Station (Utah,

USA): Phyllosilicate and sulfate analogues to Mars mission landing sites Source : fromPage=online&aid=8 8!8"#&fullte$t%ype=&A&file'd=S"(#)**+(""+++" "* arol R! Sto"era# c#, $onathan lar"ea%, Susana &!'! Direitoa(, Da)id *la"ea#, +e)in R! Martina,, $hony -a)aletaa# and *ernard .oinga(a/
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,ASA Ames &esearch -enter. Space Science /i0ision. 1offett 2ield. -A 3(+)*. 4SA 1ars Society Australia. c/o () 1ichell St 1onash. A-% 3+(. Australia/Australian -entre for Astrobiology. 5round 2loor. 6iological Sciences 6uilding. Sydney. ,S7. Australia a) 2aculty of 8arth and 9ife Sciences. :4 4ni0ersity Amsterdam. /e 6oelelaan "+8*. "+8" ;: Amsterdam. %he ,etherlands a( ,ASA Ames &esearch -enter. Program Analysis and 6usiness 'ntegration /i0ision. 1offett 2ield. -A 3(+)*. 4SA a* 8uropean Space Agency <8SA=. 8S%8- S&8>S. Postbus 33. ++ A5 ,oord?ij@. %he ,etherlands Abstract 7e collected and analysed soil cores from four geologic units surrounding 1ars /esert &esearch Station <1/&S= 4tah. 4SA. including 1ancos Shale. /a@ota Sandstone. 1orrison formation <6rushy 6asin member= and Summer0ille formation. %he area is an important geochemical and morphological analogue to terrains on 1ars. Soils ?ere analysed for mineralogy by a %erra A> ray diffractometer <A&/=. a field 0ersion of the -he1in instrument on the 1ars Science 9aboratory <1S9= mission < +" landing=. Soluble ion chemistry. total organic content and identity and distribution of microbial populations ?ere also determined. %he %erra data re0eal that 1ancos and 1orrison soils are rich in phyllosilicates similar to those obser0ed on 1ars from orbital measurements <montmorillonite. nontronite and illite=. 80aporite minerals obser0ed include gypsum. thenardite. polyhalite and calcite. Soil chemical analysis sho?s sulfate the dominant anion in all soils and SB(CC-B). as on 1ars. %he cation pattern ,aC-aC1g is seen in all soils e$cept for the Summer0ille ?here -aC,a. 'n all soils. SB( correlates ?ith ,a. suggesting sodium sulfates are the dominant phase. B$idiDable organics are lo? in all soils and range from a high of +.#E in the 1ancos samples to undetectable at a detection limit of +."E in the 1orrison soils. 1inerals rich in chromium and 0anadium ?ere identified in 1orrison soils that result from diagenetic replacement of organic compounds. /epositional en0ironment. geologic history and mineralogy all affect the ability to preser0e and detect organic compounds. Subsurface biosphere populations ?ere re0ealed to contain organisms from all three domains <Archaea. 6acteria and 8u@arya= ?ith cell density bet?een ).+F"+! and ".8F"+# cells mlG" at the deepest depth. %hese measurements are analogous to data that could be obtained on future robotic or human 1ars missions and results are rele0ant to the 1S9 mission that ?ill in0estigate phyllosilicates on 1ars. <Bnline publication April +8 +""=