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Evidence for the distribution of perchlorates on Mars

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 October 2015

Benton C. Clark*
Space Science Institute, 4750 Walnut, Boulder, CO 80301, USA
Samuel P. Kounaves
Department of Chemistry, Tufts University, 62 Talbot Avenue, Medford, MA 02155, USA


Various Mars missions have detected Cl atoms, chlorides and perchlorates in martian surface materials. The global soils, in particular, always contain significant levels of observable Cl. Direct evidence points to this Cl being in the form of both chlorides and perchlorates, and possibly also chlorates and other oxychlorines. The most widespread measurements have been of Cl atoms, and cannot discern the chemical form. However, from separate evidence of perchlorate obtained at high latitudes (Phoenix lander) and low latitudes (Curiosity rover), it is likely that perchlorates are widespread, albeit in varying proportions relative to the total amount of ubiquitous Cl.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

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