IRAP > Pages profils > Gasnault Olivier

Profil de Olivier Gasnault

Gasnault Olivier

Email :

Téléphone / phone: +33 5 61 55 75 53

Bureau / office : J043-2 (site Roche)

Institution : CNRS

Statut / status: Chercheur

Adresse professionnelle / address:

9 avenue du Colonel Roche
B.P. 44346
31028 Toulouse cedex 4

Site perso / personal website :

Professional Highlights and Educational Background:

Since 2002,CNRS Research Fellow in planetary sciences at IRAP (Toulouse, France)

1999 – 2002,Research Associate at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (NM, USA)

1999, Ph.D thesis on planetary high-energy spectroscopy, from Univ. of Toulouse, France

Education and Public Outreach

  • CNRS-Images - Le Monde 2017: Les Martiens de Toulouse - video (French)
  • TEDx Toulouse 2014: Pourquoi tant de Curiosity? - video (French)
  • Université Paul Sabatier: ChemCam Story by J. Mitsch (2013) - video (French)
  • CNES: Les coulisses de MSL (2012) - video (French)

Research Interests:Chemical composition of the surface of Mars and the Moon

Global approach:Characterization of provinces, distribution of hydrogen and ice;

In situ approach:Relations between rocks and soils, hydration, and definition of chemical units;

Chronological approach:Evolution of basaltic compositions with time;

Statistical approach:Multivariate data analysis, comparison of the chemical data at diverse scales.

Main/Recent publications

2017 (so far...)

Most cited: Nachon, Chemistry of diagenetic features analyzed by ChemCam at Pahrump Hills, Gale crater, Mars, Icarus, 10.1016/j.icarus.2016.08.026

In the first five: Rubin, Fairén, Martínez-Frías, Frydenvang, Gasnault et al., Fluidized-sediment pipes in Gale crater, Mars, and possible analogs in the Middle Jurassic of Utah, Geology, 10.1130/G38339.1

Favorite: Mangold et al., Classification scheme for sedimentary and igneous rocks in Gale crater, Mars, Icarus, 10.1016/j.icarus.2016.11.005


Most cited: Le Deit et al., The potassic sedimentary rocks in Gale Crater, Mars, as seen by ChemCam onboard Curiosity, J. Geophys. Res., 10.1002/2015JE004987

In the first three: Karunatillake, Wray, Gasnault O. et al., The association of hydrogen with sulfur on Mars across latitudes, longitudes, and compositional extremes, J. Geophys. Res., 10.1002/2016JE005016

Favorite: Sautter et al., Magmatic complexity on early Mars as seen through a combination of orbital, in-situ and meteorite data, Lithos, 10.1016/j.lithos.2016.02.023


Most cited: Sautter et al., In situ evidence for continental crust on early Mars, Nature Geoscience, 10.1038/NGE02474

In the first two: Le Mouélic, Gasnault et al., The ChemCam Remote Micro-Imager at Gale crater: Review of the first year of operations on Mars, Icarus, 10.1016/j.icarus.2014.05.030

Favorite: Forni et al., First detection of fluorine on Mars: Implications for Gale crater’s geochemistry, Geophys. Res. Let. 10.1002/2014GL062742


Most cited: Nachon et al., Calcium sulfate veins characterized by ChemCam/Curiosity at Gale Crater, Mars, J. Geophys. Res., 10.1002/2013JE004588

In the first three: Karunatillake, Wray, Gasnault et al., Sulfates hydrating bulk soil in the martian low and mid-latitudes, Geophys. Res. Let. 10.1002/2014GL061136

Favorite: Ollila et al., Trace element geochemistry (Li, Ba, 1 Sr, and Rb) using Curiosity’s ChemCam: Early results for Gale crater from Bradbury Landing Site to Rocknest, J. Geophys. Res., 10.1002/2013JE004517


Most cited: Williams et al., Martian fluvial conglomerates at Gale crater, Science 10.1126/science.1237317

In the first two: Meslin , Gasnault et al., MSL Science Team, Soil diversity and hydration as observed by ChemCam at Gale Crater, Mars, Science 10.1126/science.1238670

Favorite: Grott et al., Long-term Evolution of the Martian Crust-Mantle System, Space Sci. Rev., 10.1007/s11214-012-9948-3


Most cited: Wiens et al., The ChemCam instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover: Body Unit and Combined System Tests, Space Sci. Rev., 10.1007/s11214-012-9902-4

In the first two: Yamashita, Gasnault et al., The global distribution of calcium on the Moon: Implications for high-Ca pyroxene in the eastern mare region, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 10.1016/j.epsl.2012.08.010

Favorite: Maurice et al., The ChemCam instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover: Science objectives and Mast Unit Description, Space Sci. Rev., 10.1007/s11214-012-9902-4


Most cited: Baratoux, Thermal history of Mars inferred from orbital geochemistry of volcanic provinces, Nature, 10.1038/nature09903

In the first three: Karunatillake, Squyres, Gasnault et al., Recipes for spatial statistics with global datasets: A Martian case study, J. Sci. Computing, 10.1007/s10915-010-9412-z

Favorite: Cousin et al., Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy library for the martian environment, Spectrochim. Acta, Part B, 10.1016/j.sab.2011.10.004


Most cited: Yamashita et al., Uranium on the Moon: Global distribution and U/Th ratio, Geophys. Res. Let, 10.1029/2010GL043061

First author: Gasnault et al., Quantitative geochemical mapping of martian elemental provinces, Icarus, 10.1016/j.icarus.2009.11.010

Other favorite: Taylor et al., Mapping Mars Geochemically, Geology, 10.1130/G30470.1











Relevant Work Experience:


  • Co-I on  ChemCam: A laser-induced spectrometer aboard the rover Curiosity - I am the science operations lead in France
  • Co-I on SuperCam: ChemCam + Raman + IR + color +mike for Mars2020 rover - I am the science lead for ops and imaging

Previous duties,Co-I on Kaguya’s gamma-ray spectrometer and on both Chandrayaan’s X-ray spectrometers; Collaborator on Mars Odyssey and Lunar Prospector science teams.

Academic roles:

  1. Member of Solar System Working Group at CNES
  2. Member of Science and Technical Council at IRAP
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