The yellow triangles on this graph indicate concentrations of the elements titanium and silicon in selected rock targets with high silica content analyzed by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) instrument on NASA's Curiosity rover in Mars' Gale Crater.

The yellow triangles on this graph indicate concentrations of the elements titanium and silicon in selected rock targets with high silica content analyzed by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) instrument on NASA's Curiosity rover in Mars' Gale Crater.

The pattern shows a correlation between enriched silicon content and enriched titanium content. Titanium is difficult to mobilize in weathering environments, and this correlation suggests that both titanium and silicon remain as the residue of acidic weathering. Ongoing research aims to distinguish between that possible explanation for silicon enrichment and an alternative of mobilized silicon being added to the site (see http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20275).

As a general comparison with these selected high-silica targets in Gale Crater, the gray dots in the graph show the range of titanium and silicon concentrations in all Martian targets analyzed by APXS instruments on three Mars rovers at three different areas of Mars.

Credit

NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Guelph

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