The chemical variability at the surface of Mars: implications for exogenic processes

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The chemical composition of sediments and rocks, as well as their distribution at the Martian surface, represent a long term archive of processes, which have formed the planetary surface. A survey of chemical compositions by means of Compositional Data Analysis represents a valuable tool to extract direct evidence for weathering processes and allows to quantify weathering and sedimentation rates. clr-biplot techniques are applied for visualization of chemical relationships across the surface (“chemical maps”). The variability among individual suites of data is further analyzed by means of clr-PCA, in order to extract chemical alteration vectors between fresh rocks and their crusts and for an assessment of different source reservoirs accessible to soil formation. Both techniques are applied to elucidate the influence of remote weathering by combined analysis of several soil forming branches. Vector analysis in the Simplex provides the opportunity to study atmosphere surface interactions, including the role and composition of volcanic gases ​
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