Mr. LIU Jia-cheng Department of Earth Sciences, HKU
Could life have formed in ancient hydrothermal environments on Earth, or on Mars? What were hydrothermal environments like on ancient Mars? Phyllosilicates are the direct products of geochemical aqueous processes (hydrothermal alteration, weathering, etc). Characterization of phyllosilicates could constrain physicochemical conditions (T, pH, Eh, etc), therefore provide insight into these fundamental questions. Given that Martian crust is Fe-rich basalt, Fe-rich phyllosilicates may be common on mars. But characterizations of Fe-rich phyllosilicates on Mars are complicated by the fact that Fe-rich clays are mineralogically complicated and spectroscopically challenging to characterize. In my Ph.D project, I will establish complete spectral library for different types of Fe-rich phyllosilicates (TO, TOT, TOT) with different crystal-chemistry, and try to link IR “fingerprints” to detailed crystal-chemistry of Fe-rich phyllosilicates. After that, we will apply the new information to characterize Fe-rich phyllosilicates on Mars (Globally and locally) to constrain ancient Mars geochemical processes and habitability.