Session – Martian Mineralogy: Observations, Experiments, Analogues and Models

Mineralogical studies of Mars are key to understanding the processes on Mars and how they shape the geomorphology and geochemistry of our nearest planetary neighbour. We welcome contributions to mineralogy from ground-based observations (such as data from the ChemMin instrument on the Curiosity rover), the study of Martian meteorites, analogue experiments and sample collections from field sites on Earth; or from modelling of mineral formation. This session is designed to bring together researchers from across disciplines to share perspectives and approaches and to foster collaboration.

We invite contributions from anyone with an interest in the mineralogy of the red planet!


Session convenor

Dr Helen Brand (Australia)

Australian Synchrotron


About the session convenor

My research interests focus on determining the thermoelastic properties and crystal chemistry of a range of minerals which are of interest in a variety of environmental, planetary geology and industrial settings. I am a beamline scientist on the powder diffraction beamline at the synchrotron. Most recently, I have been investigating the formation of Jarosite minerals and the thermoelastic properties of salt hydrates on Mars and the icy satellites of Jupiter.

To explore the properties of these materials I use a suite of both experimental (in situ diffraction and small-angle scattering), and theoretical (ab initio density-functional theory) techniques to cover a range of temperatures and pressures. These crystal chemistry and thermoelastic properties can then be used as the inputs for geological models; both small scale within-crust and large-scale, whole planetary evolution models.



  • Dr Penny King