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Water-driven Basalt Alteration: Kilauea, Hawai’i as an Analog for Mars
Department: Geology
Specimen Elements
Unknown to Unknown
Stacy Henderson
Idaho State University
City: Pocatello
This project examines water-altered basalts from Kilauea as an analog to Mars to understand alteration products and degrees of change associated with various styles ofwater-rock interaction; the value of this work is to better understand potential microbial habitability of past systems on Mars. We compare altered basalts from Mauna Ulu, Kilauea Iki, and the Kilauea Caldera floor to unaltered rocks from within the same flows using XRF, petrography, and SEM/EDS. In the magmatic fumaroles, rocks were strongly enriched in TiO2, SiO2, and S. The meteoric fumarole systems exhibited minor enrichment in SiO2, MgO and Fe2O3. Rocks from magmatic systems are more thoroughly altered than those in meteoric systems due to the increased temperature and acidity of the associated water. Preliminary comparisons with microbial and organic geochemistry results indicate that true analog comparisons may only be possible through the most extreme fumarolic conditions, as microbial colonies at the lower-alteration Mauna Ulu sites are dominated by non-endolithic extremophiles. Keywords: Mars, fumarole, basalt, Kilauea, Hawaii, alteration, analog, microbial

Water-driven Basalt Alteration: Kilauea, Hawai’i as an Analog for Mars

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