loading page

Contemporary Formation of Layered Sedimentary Rocks on Mars
  • Robert Huguenin
Robert Huguenin
RLH Scientific, LLC

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile


Martian dust, which likely formed by non-aqueous chemical weathering [Huguenin, 1976] following broad-based support from recent Mars mission data, is susceptible to rapid diagenesis when exposed to macro-seepage from the sub-permafrost aqueous aquifer system on Mars . The modeled silicate components of the dust, derived from the non-aqueous weathering of primarily olivine and pyroxene, are Mg2HSiO4(OH) and Mg(HSiO3)(OH). These are M-S-H compounds, counterparts to the C-H-S compounds that form the commercial binder in concrete, forming an Mg3Si2O5(OH)4 counterpart binder on Mars upon exposure to liquid H2O macro-seepage from the aquifer below. Macro-seepage, triggered largely by geothermally heated water near impact sites, magmatic intrusions and volcanoes, is proposed to rapidly cement layers of regolith dust and fines into layers of M-S-H counterpart “concrete.” The matrix binder on Mars is predicted to be a member of the serpentine family (Mg/Si = 5), possibly having disordered Antigorite T structure. Layered sedimentary rock formations could have formed throughout geologic history up to the present time. Materials from the aquifer, transported by and introduced from the macro-seepage, including organic matter, may be contemporary rather than ancient. This contradicts the prevailing assumption that the sedimentary rocks were formed early in the planet’s history.