Organic molecules in the Sheepbed Mudstone, Gale Crater, Mars
MetadataShow full item record
The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on board the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover is designed to conduct inorganic and organic chemical analyses of the atmosphere and the surface regolith and rocks to help evaluate the past and present habitability potential of Mars at Gale Crater. Central to this task is the development of an inventory of any organic molecules present to elucidate processes associated with their origin, diagenesis, concentration, and long-term preservation. This will guide the future search for biosignatures. Here we report the definitive identification of chlorobenzene (150–300 parts per billion by weight (ppbw)) and C2 to C4 dichloroalkanes (up to 70 ppbw) with the SAM gas chromatograph mass spectrometer (GCMS) and detection of chlorobenzene in the direct evolved gas analysis (EGA) mode, in multiple portions of the fines from the Cumberland drill hole in the Sheepbed mudstone at Yellowknife Bay. When combined with GCMS and EGA data from multiple scooped and drilled samples, blank runs, and supporting laboratory analog studies, the elevated levels of chlorobenzene and the dichloroalkanes cannot be solely explained by instrument background sources known to be present in SAM. We conclude that these chlorinated hydrocarbons are the reaction products of Martian chlorine and organic carbon derived from Martian sources (e.g., igneous, hydrothermal, atmospheric, or biological) or exogenous sources such as meteorites, comets, or interplanetary dust particles.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Organic geochemistry and mineralogy. I. Characterisation of organic matter associated with metal depositsGreenwood, Paul; Brocks, J.; Grice, Kliti; Schwark, Lorenz; Jaraula, Caroline; Dick, Jeffrey; Evans, K (2013)As geochemical appraisals of mineral regions of commercial prospectivity evolve, the organic matter associated with metal rich ores has attracted greater attention. Petroleum basin and modern seafloor hydrothermal vent ...
Size exclusion chromatography as a tool for natural organic matter characterisation in drinking water treatmentAllpike, Bradley (2008)Natural organic matter (NOM), ubiquitous in natural water sources, is generated by biogeochemical processes in both the water body and in the surrounding watershed, as well as from the contribution of organic compounds ...
Hiding behind a mask : a grounded theory study of perioperative nurses’ experiences of participating in multi-organ procurement surgerySmith, Zaneta (2012)Multi-organ procurement surgical procedures are undertaken on donors who have consented at the time of their death to donate multiple organs, body parts or tissues. These donors fulfil the criteria for donation by either ...