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The Todilto Formation as an analog of short-lived Martian flood evaporites

David Vaniman, Steve Chipera, Kari Brownholland and David L. Bish
The Todilto Formation as an analog of short-lived Martian flood evaporites (in Analogs for planetary exploration, W. Brent Garry (editor) and Jacob E. Bleacher (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (2011) 483: 219-230


The Jurassic Todilto Formation of NW New Mexico and SW Colorado, USA, has utility as an analog of Martian flood evaporites. The Todilto Formation is a concentrically and vertically zoned carbonate (calcite with minor late dolomite) to sulfate (gypsum) evaporite deposit that developed over a short time span (10 (super 4) -10 (super 5) yr) after rapid flooding of the vast dune field of the Entrada Formation. Within the limits of the very different hydrogeologic environments of Mars and Earth, the Todilto setting of short-lived brine evolution in a largely eolian environment, with terminal formation of a salt hydrate common to both planets (gypsum), provides a useful field area for descriptive and petrogenetic studies of evaporite evolution and interaction with a porous, sandy substrate. The Todilto Formation has an added feature of interest in its association with bituminous materials that have likely microbial precursors, providing a brine-microorganism association that may represent a potential setting for primitive life as might be found on Mars.

ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 483
Title: The Todilto Formation as an analog of short-lived Martian flood evaporites
Title: Analogs for planetary exploration
Author(s): Vaniman, DavidChipera, SteveBrownholland, KariBish, David L.
Author(s): Garry, W. Brenteditor
Author(s): Bleacher, Jacob E.editor
Affiliation: Los Alamos National Laboratory, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Los Alamos, NM, United States
Affiliation: Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ, United States
Pages: 219-230
Published: 2011
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 52
Accession Number: 2012-041763
Categories: Sedimentary petrologyExtraterrestrial geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables, geol. sketch maps
N36°00'00" - N36°30'00", W107°00'00" - W105°45'00"
Secondary Affiliation: NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, USA, United StatesChesapeake Energy Corporation, USA, United StatesCentenary College of Louisiana, USA, United StatesIndiana University, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201222
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