Brief Communications Arising

Nature 443, E1-E2 (7 September 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature05212; Published online 6 September 2006

Planetary science: Bedrock formation at Meridiani Planum

S. W. Squyres1, O. Aharonson2, R. E. Arvidson3, J. F. Bell, III1, P. R. Christensen4, B. C. Clark5, J. A. Crisp6, W. Farrand7, T. Glotch2, M. P. Golombek6, J. Grant8, J. Grotzinger2, K. E. Herkenhoff9, J. R. Johnson9, B. L. Jolliff2, A. H. Knoll10, S. M. McLennan11, H. Y. McSween12, J. M. Moore13, J. W. Rice, Jr4 and N. Tosca11

Arising from: T. M. McCollom & B. M. Hynek Nature 438, 1129–1131 (2005); McCollom & Hynek reply

The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity discovered sulphate-rich sedimentary rocks at Meridiani Planum on Mars, which are interpreted by McCollom and Hynek1 as altered volcanic rocks. However, their conclusions are derived from an incorrect representation of our depositional model2, 3, which is upheld by more recent Rover data4, 5, 6, 7. We contend that all the available data still support an aeolian and aqueous sedimentary origin for Meridiani bedrock.

  1. Department of Astronomy, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA
  2. Division of Geological and Planetary Science, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA
  3. Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri 63130, USA
  4. Department of Geological Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287, USA
  5. Lockheed Martin Corporation, Littleton, Colorado 80127, USA
  6. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91109, USA
  7. Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colorado 80301, USA
  8. Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC 20560, USA
  9. US Geological Survey, Flagstaff, Arizona 86001, USA
  10. Botanical Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA
  11. Department of Geosciences, State University of New York, Stony Brook, New York 11794, USA
  12. Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996, USA
  13. NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California 94035, USA

Correspondence to: S. W. Squyres1 Email:


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