Science Report – March 23rd

Crew 176 Science Report 23 March 2017
Natalia Zalewska
Science Report
23 March 2017 – Sol 12

Dear Mission Support,

I have done comparison of sedymentations between different sandstones as
well as in relation to blueberries found on Mars by Opportunity rover in
the Endurance crater. Inside sandstones developed at the turn of Jurassic
and Cretaceous I have found near the habitat (Fig.1), there are
concretions in a side up to 1 cm, while in the layers originated from
Cretaceous in Member of Mancos Shale (Ferron Sandstone)(Fig.2) these
concretions have size of a few milimeters only. However, for example in
the Miocene layers dating from 6 million years ago in Romania in Costesti,
in Museum Trovanţilor(Fig.3) the concretions have diameters up to 5 m. The
characteristic feature is that such concretions are produced in very
fine-grained sandstones. In all these cases, scientists refer to river
deltas in which these concretions have formed. They are the result of
cementation, or the process of transformation of loose rock sediments into
a compact rock. This is the result of the fill by the cementation of the
free space between the sediment grains. Because the grains of a sand are
the result of rolling by water currents they have a spherical form,
combining them with merging solutions, for example due to calcium
carbonate or sulphate and clay minerals in the case of Mars, and then take
the form of a ball. It is said that on Mars were flowing rivers, which
could have also deposited large amounts of sediment. It is unknown exactly
whether these rivers carried sand similar to terrestrial or just altered
volcanic material. In any case, it is assumed that the concretions on Mars
were generated under the conditions of water which flow carrying the
solutions primarily of sulfates and clay minerals in addition the iron
oxides deposited on them (Fig.4)like in the case of spherules from Navajo
Sandstone from Jurassic formations .


Natalia Zalewska
Commander and Crew geologist, MDRS Crew 176