David Vaniman

David Vaniman
Planetary Science Institute

About

448
Publications
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15,706
Citations
Citations since 2017
27 Research Items
8323 Citations
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201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,500
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,500
Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (448)
Article
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Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, landed on Mars in August 2012 to investigate the ~3.5-billion-year-old (Ga) fluvio-lacustrine sedimentary deposits of Aeolis Mons (informally known as Mount Sharp) and the surrounding plains (Aeolis Palus) in Gale crater. After nearly nine years, Curiosity has traversed over 25 km, and the Chemist...
Article
Full-text available
Modified clay minerals on Mars Sedimentary rocks exposed in Gale crater on Mars contain extensive clay minerals. Bristow et al. analyzed drill samples collected by the Curiosity rover as it climbed up sedimentary layers in the crater. They found evidence of past reactions with liquid water and sulfate brines, which could have percolated through the...
Article
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In August 2015, the Curiosity Mars rover discovered tridymite, a high‐temperature silica polymorph, in Gale crater. The existing model for its occurrence suggests erosion and detrital sedimentation from silicic volcanic rocks in the crater rim or central peak. The chemistry and mineralogy of the tridymite‐bearing rocks, however, are not consistent...
Article
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Hydrothermal high sanidine and specular hematite are found within ferric‐rich and grey‐colored cemented basaltic breccia occurring within horizontal, weathering‐resistant strata exposed in an erosional gully of the Pu’u Poliahu cinder cone in the summit region of Maunakea volcano (Hawai’i). The cone was extensively altered by hydrothermal, acid‐sul...
Article
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Vera Rubin ridge (VRR) is an erosion‐resistant feature on the northwestern slope of Mount Sharp in Gale crater, Mars, and orbital visible/short‐wave infrared measurements indicate it contains red‐colored hematite. The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover performed an extensive campaign on VRR to study its mineralogy, geochemistry, and sedimentol...
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The Curiosity rover's exploration of rocks and soils in Gale crater has provided diverse geochemical and mineralogical data sets, underscoring the complex geological history of the region. We report the crystalline, clay mineral, and amorphous phase distributions of four Gale crater rocks from an 80‐m stratigraphic interval. The mineralogy of the f...
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The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover arrived at Mars in August 2012 with a primary goal of characterizing the habitability of ancient and modern environments. Curiosity was sent to Gale crater to study a sequence of ∼3.5 Ga old sedimentary rocks that, based on orbital visible and near- to short-wave infrared reflectance spectra, contain seco...
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Curiosity investigated active eolian sands near linear dunes during Phase 2 of the Bagnold Dunes campaign in Gale crater, Mars. Ogunquit Beach, a sample scooped from a large-ripple trough within the Mount Desert Island ripple field and delivered to the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffraction instrument, is dominated by basaltic igneous...
Conference Paper
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First in situ sulfur (S) isotope measurements of the Martian bedrock by the Curiosity rover resulted in a wide range of δ 34 S values (-47 to +28‰) exceeding those previously measured for Martian meteorites (~02‰), suggesting complex hydrothermal-atmosphere interaction on regional scales (Franz et al. 2017). It is unclear whether aqueous S cycling...
Article
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Analyses by the CheMin X-ray diffraction instrument on Mars Science Laboratory show that gypsum, bassanite, and anhydrite are common minerals at Gale crater. Warm conditions (∼6 to 30 °C) within CheMin drive gypsum dehydration to bassanite; measured surface temperatures and modeled temperature depth profiles indicate that near-equatorial warm-seaso...
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Mathematical relationships between unit-cell parameters and chemical composition were developed for selected mineral phases observed with the CheMin X-ray diffractometer onboard the Curiosity rover in Gale crater. This study presents algorithms for estimating the chemical composition of phases based solely on X-ray diffraction data. The mineral sys...
Article
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Crystal chemical algorithms were used to estimate the chemical composition of selected mineral phases observed with the CheMin X-ray diffractometer onboard the NASA Curiosity rover in Gale crater, Mars. The sampled materials include two wind-blown soils, Rocknest and Gobabeb, six mudstones in the Yellowknife Bay formation (John Klein and Cumberland...
Article
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Clay minerals provide indicators of the evolution of aqueous conditions and possible habitats for life on ancient Mars. Analyses by the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity show that ~3.5–billion year (Ga) fluvio-lacustrine mudstones in Gale crater contain up to ~28 weight % (wt %) clay minerals. We demonstrate that the species of clay minerals...
Article
Variability in the sulfur isotopic composition in sediments can reflect atmospheric, geologic and biological processes. Evidence for ancient fluvio-lacustrine environments at Gale crater on Mars and a lack of efficient crustal recycling mechanisms on the planet suggests a surface environment that was once warm enough to allow the presence of liquid...
Article
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The Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, is using a comprehensive scientific payload to explore rocks and soils in Gale crater, Mars. Recent investigations of the Bagnold Dune Field provided the first in situ assessment of an active dune on Mars. The CheMin X-ray diffraction instrument on Curiosity performed quantitative mineralogical analyses...
Article
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The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover performed coordinated measurements to examine the textures and compositions of aeolian sands in the active Bagnold dune field. The Bagnold sands are rounded to subrounded, very fine- to medium- sized (~45-500 µm) with ≥6 distinct grain colors. In contrast to sands examined by Curiosity in a dust-covered,...
Article
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The Mars rover Curiosity in Gale crater conducted the first-ever direct chemical and mineralogical comparisons of samples that have clear parent (unaltered) and daughter (altered) relationships. The mineralogy and chemistry of samples within and adjacent to alteration halos in a sandstone formation were established by the Chemistry and Mineralogy (...
Article
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Significance Approximately 3.5-Ga sedimentary rocks surveyed by the Mars Science Laboratory rover in Gale Crater, Mars, contain secondary mineral phases indicating aqueous alteration and release of cations from mafic minerals during sediment deposition in lakes. However, carbonate phases are not detected, and our model calculations indicate atmosph...
Article
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Article
In-situ analyses reveal the presence of hydrogen within calcium sulfate veins crosscutting the sediments found in Gale crater. Laboratory experiments were performed to calibrate the hydrogen signal measured by laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) in a range applicable to martian data. The analyses indicate that all veins targeted so far at G...
Article
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The Curiosity rover observed high Mn abundances (>25 wt % MnO) in fracture-filling materials that crosscut sandstones in the Kimberley region of Gale crater, Mars. The correlation between Mn and trace metal abundances plus the lack of correlation between Mn and elements such as S, Cl, and C, reveals that these deposits are Mn oxides rather than eva...
Article
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Significance Tridymite, a SiO 2 mineral that crystallizes at low pressures and high temperatures (>870 °C) from high-SiO 2 materials, was detected at high concentrations in a sedimentary mudstone in Gale crater, Mars. Mineralogy and abundance were determined by X-ray diffraction using the Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument on the Mars Science Labo...
Article
The ChemCam instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory rover analyzed the rock surface, drill hole walls, tailings, and unprocessed and sieved dump piles to investigate chemical variations with depth in the first two Martian drill holes and possible fractionation or segregation effects of the drilling and sample processing. The drill sites are both...
Conference Paper
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The MSL Curiosity rover is pres- ently conducting (since sol ~1170) its in situ investigations of the Bagnold Dune Field, the first active dune field on another planet to be visited by a rover. The campaign seeks to answer a number of fundamental questions about the physics and geomorphology of aeolian transport and the nature of compositional het-...
Article
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At Gale crater, ChemCam acquired its first laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) target on Sol 13 of the landed portion of the mission. Up to Sol 800, more than 188,000 LIBS spectra were acquired on more than 5,800 points distributed over 650 individual targets. We present a comprehensive review of ChemCam scientific accomplishments during th...
Article
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The Windjana drill sample, a sandstone of the Dillinger member (Kimberley formation, Gale Crater, Mars), was analyzed by CheMin X-ray diffraction (XRD) in the MSL Curiosity rover. From Rietveld refinements of its XRD pattern, Windjana contains: sanidine (21% weight, ~Or95); augite (20%); magnetite (12%); pigeonite; olivine; plagioclase; amorphous a...
Conference Paper
The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity has been exploring sedimentary deposits in Gale crater since August 2012. The rover has traversed up section through ~100 m of sedimentary rocks deposited in fluvial, deltaic, lacustrine, and eolian environments (Bradbury group and overlying Mount Sharp group). The Stimson formation lies unconformable ove...
Article
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The landforms of northern Gale crater on Mars expose thick sequences of sedimentary rocks. Based on images obtained by the Curiosity rover, we interpret these outcrops as evidence for past fluvial, deltaic, and lacustrine environments. Degradation of the crater wall and rim probably supplied these sediments, which advanced inward from the wall, inf...
Article
Understanding of the geologic evolution of Mars has been greatly improved by recent orbital 1–3 , in situ 4,5 and meteorite 6–8 data, but insights into the earliest period of Martian magma-tism (4.1 to 3.7 billion years ago) remain scarce 9. The landing site of NASA's Curiosity rover, Gale crater, which formed 3.61 billion years ago 10 within older...
Article
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Understanding of the geologic evolution of Mars has been greatly improved by recent orbital, in situ and meteorite data, but insights into the earliest period of Martian magmatism (4.1 to 3.7 billion years ago) remain scarce. The landing site of NASA's Curiosity rover, Gale crater, which formed 3.61 billion years ago within older terrain, provides...
Article
Water is a requirement for life as we know it1. Indirect evidence of transient liquid water has been observed from orbiter on equatorial Mars2, in contrast with expectations from large-scale climate models. The presence of perchlorate salts, which have been detected at Gale crater on equatorial Mars by the Curiosity rover3,4 , lowers the freezing t...
Article
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The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity has documented a section of fluvio-lacustrine strata at Yellowknife Bay (YKB), an embayment on the floor of Gale crater, approximately 500 m east of the Bradbury landing site. X-ray diffraction (XRD) data and evolved gas analysis (EGA) data from the CheMin and SAM instruments show that two powdered...
Conference Paper
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Introduction: The sulfur (S) cycle is important in many geological processes on Mars [1]. Volcanic degassing, hydrothermal circulation, groundwater recharge, ephemeral surface flows, evaporation and polar weathering are all believed to play significant and unique roles in depositing the sulfate-rich minerals present on the surface of Mars [2,3,4,5]...
Article
Impact processes at all scales have been involved in the formation and subsequent evolution of Gale crater. Small impact craters in the vicinity of the Curiosity MSL landing site and rover traverse during the 364 Sols after landing have been studied both from orbit and the surface. Evidence for the effect of impacts on basement outcrops may include...
Conference Paper
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The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity recently completed its fourth drill sampling of sediments on Mars. The Confidence Hills (CH) sample was drilled from a rock located in the Pahrump Hills region at the base of Mt. Sharp in Gale Crater. The CheMin X-ray diffractometer com- pleted five nights of analysis on the sample, more than previo...
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This study examines mineral assemblages produced by impact-induced hydrothermal systems at three giant impacts to gain an understanding of the fluid chemistry.
Conference Paper
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Introduction: Fifty three igneous float rocks were identified along the Curiosity's traverse at Gale crater , between sol 13 and 800 [1, 2, 3]. Textural and compo-sitional analyses using MastCam, ChemCam Remote Micro Imager (RMI) and Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) with a ∼300-500µm laser spot allow recognition of mafic and felsic igneo...
Article
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Ferrian saponite from the eastern Santa Monica Mountain, near Griffith Park (Los Angeles, California), was investigated as a mineralogical analog to smectites discovered on Mars by the CheMin X-ray diffraction instrument onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover. The martian clay minerals occur in sediment of basaltic composition and have 02l...
Article
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The Mars Science Laboratory landed in Gale crater on Mars in August 2012, and the Curiosity rover then began field studies on its drive toward Mount Sharp, a central peak made of ancient sediments. CheMin is one of ten instruments on or inside the rover, all designed to provide detailed information on the rocks, soils and atmosphere in this region....
Article
The Curiosity rover has analyzed abundant light-toned fracture-fill material within the Yellowknife Bay sedimentary deposits. The ChemCam instrument, coupled with Mastcam and ChemCam/Remote Micro Imager images, was able to demonstrate that these fracture fills consist of calcium sulfate veins, many of which appear to be hydrated at a level expected...
Conference Paper
We present ChemCam results from the Shaler outcrop, including average composition of the different facies and inferences about sediment source and alteration.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The sulfur (S) cycle is important in many geological processes on Mars [1]. Volcanic degassing, hydrothermal circulation, groundwater recharge, ephemeral surface flows, evaporation and polar weathering are all believed to play significant and unique roles in depositing the sulfate-rich minerals present on the surface of Mars [2,3,4,5]. Despit...
Article
Full-text available
Reduction of toxic Cr(VI) to less toxic Cr(III) is an important process for attenuating Cr(VI) transport in groundwater. This process results in immobilization of chromium as Cr(III) and effectively decreases the overall mobility of the chromium inventory. During both abiotic and biotic reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III), a kinetic isotope effect occur...
Article
Exposure ages and a paucity of craters <2 m in diameter constrain resurfacing rates at Gale Crater to ~30 mm/m.y., consistent with observed crater degradation.
Article
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We report the first detection of fluorine at the surface of Mars with ChemCam. Chlorine is also detected. We present an interpretion for their presence.
Article
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The Curiosity rover discovered fine-grained sedimentary rocks, which are inferred to represent an ancient lake and preserve evidence of an environment that would have been suited to support a martian biosphere founded on chemolithoautotrophy. This aqueous environment was characterized by neutral pH, low salinity, and variable redox states of both i...
Article
Sedimentary rocks examined by the Curiosity rover at Yellowknife Bay, Mars, were derived from sources that evolved from approximately average Martian crustal composition to one influenced by alkaline basalts. No evidence of chemical weathering is preserved indicating arid, possibly cold, paleoclimates and rapid erosion/deposition. Absence of predic...
Article
H₂O, CO₂, SO₂, O₂, H₂, H₂S, HCl, chlorinated hydrocarbons, NO and other trace gases were evolved during pyrolysis of two mudstone samples acquired b