According to CRISM multispectral data, the exposures of light-toned materials ( on small hills and between darker dunes ) shows a strong iron-magnesium phyllosilicate signatures in this area. Phyllosilicates, or sheet silicates, are an important group of minerals that includes the micas, chlorite, serpentine, talc, and the clay minerals.
The existence of clay minerals is especially interesting on Mars since we want to know under what conditions these minerals formed. Could it have been the presence of water?
This image is a new one for HiRISE, since we have no previous observations of this area. With our camera’s resolution and data from CRISM, we might be able to determine if these particular phyllosilicates are actually present here.
Written by: HiRISE Science Team (audio by Tre Gibbs) (14 November 2012)
More info and image formats at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ESP_028288_1720
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona