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Evidence for the distribution of perchlorates on Mars

  • Benton C. Clark (a1) and Samuel P. Kounaves (a2)

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.

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