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

  • Forum CNRS - A la poursuite de la vie dans le système solaire - video (French)
  • 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

2019 (so far...)

Schröder et al., Contribution of a martian atmosphere to laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) data and testing its emission characteristics for normalization applications, Icarus,   10.1016/j.icarus.2019.02.017

Mangold et al., Chemical alteration of fine-grained sedimentary rocks at Gale crater, Icarus,  10.1016/j.icarus.2018.11.004

Fau et al., Pulsed laser-induced heating of mineral phases: Implications for laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy combined with Raman spectroscopy, Spectrochimica Acta Part B,  10.1016/j.sab.2019.105687


Most cited: McConnochie et al., Retrieval of water vapor column abundance and aerosol properties from ChemCam passive sky spectroscopy, Icarus,  10.1016/j.icarus.2017.10.043

In the first seven: Johnson et al., Bagnold Dunes campaign Phase 2: Visible/near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy of longitudinal ripple sands, Geophys. Res. Let., 10.1029/2018GL079025

Other favorite: L'Haridon et al., Chemical variability in mineralized veins observed by ChemCam on the lower slopes of Mount Sharp in Gale crater, Mars, Icarus,  10.1016/j.icarus.2018.01.028


Most cited: Nachon et al., 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

Other 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: Rapin et al., Hydration state of calcium sulfates in Gale crater, Mars: Identification of bassanite veins, Earth and Plant.  Sci. Let., 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.07.045

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

Other 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

Other 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

Other 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

Other 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

Other 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

Other 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


Most cited: Karunatillake et al., Chemically striking regions on Mars and Stealth revisited, J. Geophys. Res. 10.1029/2008JE003303

In the first two: El Maarry, Gasnault et al., Gamma-ray constraints on the chemical composition of the Martian surface in the Tharsis region: A signature of partial melting of the mantle?, J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res. 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2008.11.027

Other favorite: Diez et al., Contribution of Mars Odyssey GRS at the Central Elysium Planitia, Icarus 0.1016/j.icarus.2008.11.011


Most cited: Hasebe et al., Gamma-ray spectrometer (GRS) for lunar polar orbiter Selene, Earth, Planets and Space 10.1186/BF03352795

In the first two: Banerjee, Gasnault et al., Hard-X rays and low-energy gamma-rays from the Moon: Dependence of the continuum on the regolith composition and the solar activity, J. Geophys. Res., 10.1029/2007JE003046

Other favorite: Diez et al., H layering in the top meter of Mars, Icarus 10.1016/j.icarus.2008.02.006


Most cited: Boynton et al., Concentration of H, Si, Cl, K, Fe, and Th in the low- and mid-latitude regions of Mars, J. Gesophys. Res., 10.1029/2007JE002887

In the first three: Feldman, Mellon, Gasnault et al., Vertical distribution of hydrogen at high northern latitudes on Mars: The Mars Odyssey Neutron Spectrometer, Geophys. Res. Lett., 10.1029/2006GL028936

Other favorite: Pirard et al., Solar Proton Damage in High-Purity Germanium Detectors, Nucl. Instr. Meth. 10.1016/j.nima.2006.11.051


Most cited: Taylor et al., Bulk Composition and Early Differentiation of Mars, J. Gesophys. Res., 10.1029/2005JE002645

In the first five: Karunatillake, Squyres, Taylor, Keller, Gasnault et al., Composition of northern low albedo regions of Mars: Insights from the Mars Odyssey Gamma Ray Spectrometer, J. Gesophys. Res., 10.1029/2006JE002675

Other favorite: Taylor et al., Variations in K/Th on Mars, J. Geophys. Res., 10.1029/2006JE002676


Most cited: Feldman et al., Topographic control of hydrogen deposits at low to mid latitudes of Mars, J. Geophys. Res., 10.1029/2005JE002452


Most cited: Maurice et al., Reduction of neutron data from Lunar Prospector, J. Geophys. Res., 10.1029/2003JE002208


Most cited: Lawrence et al., Small-area thorium features on the lunar surface, J. Geophys. Res., 10.1029/2003JE002050

In the first four: Genetay, Maurice, Feldman, Gasnault, Elemental content from 0 to 500keV neutrons: Lunar Prospector results, Planet. Space Sci. 10.1016/S0032-0633(02)00152-6

Other favorite: Little et al., Latitude variation of the subsurface lunar temperature: Lunar Prospector thermal neutrons, J. Geophys. Res., 10.1029/2001JE001497


Most cited: Boynton et al., Distribution of hydrogen in the near surface of Mars: Evidence for subsurface ice deposits, Science 10.1126/science.1073722

First author: Gasnault et al., Statistical analysis of thorium and fast neutron data at the lunar surface, J. Gesophys. Res., 10.1029/2000JE001461

Other favorite: Feldman et al., Global distribution of lunar composition: New results from Lunar Prospector, J. Geophys. Res., 10.1029/2001JE001506


Most cited: Feldman et al., Evidence for water ice near the lunar poles, J. Geophys. Res., 10.1029/2000JE001444

First author: Gasnault et al., Composition from fast neutrons : application to the Moon, Geophys. Res. Let. 10.1029/2001GL013072


Most cited: Maurice et al., High-energy neutrons from the Moon, J. Geophys. Res. 10.1029/1999JE001151

First author: Gasnault et al., Lunar fast neutron leakage flux calculation and its elemental abundance dependence, J. Geophys. Res. 10.1029/1999JE001124

Relevant Work Experience:


  • Executive Deputy PI on  ChemCam: A laser-induced spectrometer aboard the rover Curiosity - I am also the science operations lead in France
  • Co-I on SuperCam: ChemCam + Raman + IR + color + microphone 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 Science and Technical Council at IRAP, since 2016
  2. Member of Solar System Working Group at CNES (2014-2019)

Other network information:

  • ResearcherID: F-4327-2010
  • OrcID: 0000-0002-6979-9012
Afficher le pied de page