Earth and Planetary Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-14-2021


The ChemCam instrument collected a wealth of data during the first 15 drill campaigns and on the distribution of trace elements at Yellowknife Bay, Mars. The drill sites investigation showed that most sites were geochemically homogenous down the depth of the drill hole. Two sites in the Stimson formation contained a vertical gradient of decreasing silica down > 3 cm. This gradient may be the result of groundwater flow and is likely recent, within 2.3 Ma. The trace element research was grounded with an analog study at the Valle Grande paleolake in New Mexico. We observed progressive alteration in the minerology and trace elements as the surrounding rhyolites were eroded into lake sediments. This was applied to Yellowknife Bay; where minimal geochemical changes were observed between the sedimentary rocks and float rocks assumed to represent the source material. However, retention of Li does suggest some in-situ clay formation.

Degree Name

Earth and Planetary Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Horton Newsom

Second Committee Member

Dr. Roger Wiens

Third Committee Member

Dr. Laura Crossey

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Adrian Brearley



Document Type


Included in

Geology Commons