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Macro Mars to Micro Mars: Mapping Minerals and Magnetization


Buz, Jennifer (2018) Macro Mars to Micro Mars: Mapping Minerals and Magnetization. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Z6EH-M526.


Combination of remote sensing data with in-situ measurements provides a fuller understanding of Mars phenomena. This dissertation focuses on integrating macroscopic and microscopic scales of measurement with regard to spectroscopy and magnetization. In the first chapter high resolution orbital spectroscopy (~18 m/px) and imagery (~30 cm/px) are used to identify potential sources for some of the sedimentary rocks investigated by the Curiosity rover and expand the accessible stratigraphy. While we find mineralogies in common outside and inside the crater as well as transport mechanisms, we conclude that additional sedimentary sources and/or modification after transport are required to explain chemical differences and that strata point to multiple episodes of a lake in Gale crater. In the third chapter we conducted a laboratory photometric study on candidate calibration target materials for the Mars-2020 rover. We characterized these target materials for proper calibration and monitoring of the Mastcam-Z instrument to enable mineral identification through reflectance spectroscopy. The fourth and fifth chapters focus on the microscopic magnetizations found within Martian meteorite ALH84001. Chapter four reports on paleomagnetic experiments conducted on isolated carbonate crystals which contain magnetite previously reported to be biogenic. We compare paleomagnetic test results which distinguish between biogenic and abiogenic origin hypotheses and find that the magnetization within the carbonates is most consistent with a shock processes. In chapter five we analyzed the distribution of dipoles within slices of ALH84001 and determined that they lie in a girdle distribution which could be interpreted as resulting from a true polar wander event on Mars. Looking at kilometer scale observations outside of Gale enlightened observations made along the rover transverse path. A high resolution laboratory analysis of calibration materials will enable future multispectral mineralogical explorations. Microscopic analyses of magnetization inform ancient surface processes on Mars and hint at large-scale global change. In each of these chapters our results were only made possible or greatly enhanced by the combination of data sources and scales.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Mars, mineralogy, magnetization, spectroscopy, remote sensing, paleomagnetism, meteorites, planetary geology,
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Geological and Planetary Sciences
Major Option:Geology
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Ehlmann, Bethany L. (co-advisor)
  • Kirschvink, Joseph L. (co-advisor)
Group:Astronomy Department
Thesis Committee:
  • Lamb, Michael P. (chair)
  • Ehlmann, Bethany L.
  • Kirschvink, Joseph L.
  • Fischer, Woodward W.
Defense Date:20 April 2018
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Earth and Space Science FellowshipNNX15AQ95H
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05242018-144308725
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription for Chapter 2. for Chapter 3. Data Set
Buz, Jennifer0000-0002-0491-2686
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:10932
Deposited By: Jennifer Buz
Deposited On:30 May 2018 18:33
Last Modified:10 Mar 2020 23:49

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