The first detection of gypsum (CaSO4
O) by the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity in the Gale Crater, Mars created a profound impact on planetary science and exploration. The unique capability of plasma spectroscopy, which involves in situ elemental analysis in extraterrestrial environments, suggests the presence of water in the red planet based on phase characterization and provides a clue to Martian paleoclimate. The key to gypsum as an ideal paleoclimate proxy lies in its textural variants and terrestrial gypsum samples from varied locations and textural types have been analyzed with laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) in this study. Petrographic, sub-microscopic, and powder X-ray diffraction characterizations confirm the presence of gypsum (hydrated calcium sulphate; CaSO4
O), bassanite (semi-hydrated calcium sulphate; CaSO4
O), and anhydrite (anhydrous calcium sulphate; CaSO4), along with accessory phases (quartz and jarosite). The principal component analysis of LIBS spectra from texturally varied gypsums can be differentiated from one another due to the chemical variability in their elemental concentrations. The concentration of gypsum is determined from the partial least-square regressions model. The rapid characterization of gypsum samples with LIBS is expected to work well in extraterrestrial environments.
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