Assessing spectral evidence of aqueous activity in two putative martian paleolakes

Ted L. Roush, Giuseppe A. Marzo, Sergio Fonti, Vincenzo Orofino, Armando Blanco, Christoph Gross, Lorenz Wendt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


We evaluate the evidence for the presence of mineral spectral signatures indicative of the past presence of water at two putative paleolakes on Mars using observations by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Compact Reconnaissance Image Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM). CRISM spectra of both sites are consistent with laboratory spectra of Mg-rich phyllosilicates. Our analysis represents the first detailed evaluation of these locations. The spatial occurrence and association with topographic features within the craters is distinctly different for the two sites. The occurrence of these minerals supports the conclusion that water was once active in the areas sampled by these craters. The distribution of the phyllosilicates in Luqa does not provide distinctive evidence for the presence of a previous standing body of water and is consistent with either impact emplacement or post-impact alteration. For Cankuzo, the phyllosilicate distribution provides evidence of a layer in the crater wall indicative of aqueous activity, but does not require a paleolake. © 2011.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240 - 245
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Roush, T. L., Marzo, G. A., Fonti, S., Orofino, V., Blanco, A., Gross, C., & Wendt, L. (2011). Assessing spectral evidence of aqueous activity in two putative martian paleolakes. Icarus, 214(1), 240 - 245.