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Structure and stratigraphy of Home Plate from the Spirit Mars Exploration Rover

Lewis, Kevin W. and Aharonson, Oded and Grotzinger, John P. and Squyres, Steven W. and Bell, James F., III and Crumpler, Larry S. and Schmidt, Mariek E. (2008) Structure and stratigraphy of Home Plate from the Spirit Mars Exploration Rover. Journal of Geophysical Research E, 113 . E12S36. ISSN 0148-0227. doi:10.1029/2007JE003025.

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Home Plate is a layered plateau observed by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit in the Columbia Hills of Gusev Crater. The structure is roughly 80 m in diameter, and the raised margin exposes a stratigraphic section roughly 1.5 m in thickness. Previous work has proposed a pyroclastic surge, possibly followed by aeolian reworking of the ash, for the depositional origin for these beds. We have performed a quantitative analysis of the structure, stratigraphy, and sedimentology at this location. Our results are consistent with an explosive volcaniclastic origin for the layered sediments. Analysis of bedding orientations over half of the circumference of Home Plate reveals a radially inward dipping structure, consistent with deposition in the volcanic vent, or topographic draping of a preexisting depression. Detailed observations of the sedimentology show that grain sorting varies significantly between outcrops on the east and west sides. Observations on the western side show a well-sorted population of sand sized grains which comprise the bedrock, while the eastern margin shows a wider range of grain sizes, including some coarse granules. These observations are consistent with primary deposition by a pyroclastic surge. However, aeolian reworking of the upper stratigraphic unit is not ruled out. Identification of explosive volcanic products on Mars may implicate magma interaction with subsurface hydrologic reservoirs in the past.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Lewis, Kevin W.0000-0003-3412-803X
Aharonson, Oded0000-0001-9930-2495
Grotzinger, John P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Bell, James F., III0000-0002-2006-4074
Additional Information:© 2008. American Geophysical Union. Received 19 October 2007; accepted 14 August 2008; published 13 November 2008. We thank Dave Rubin, Gary Kocurek, and John Southard for illuminating discussions and suggestions, as well as Douglas Jerolmack and David Lescinsky for insightful reviews. We are especially indebted to the MER Athena Science and Engineering Teams without whom these observations would not have been possible. Funding for Athena science team members was provided by NASA contracts through Cornell and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
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Subject Keywords:stratigraphy, Mars, Spirit Rover
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:LEWjgre08
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Official Citation:Lewis, K. W., O. Aharonson, J. P. Grotzinger, S. W. Squyres, J. F. Bell III, L. S. Crumpler, and M. E. Schmidt (2008), Structure and stratigraphy of Home Plate from the Spirit Mars Exploration Rover, J. Geophys. Res., 113, E12S36, doi:10.1029/2007JE003025.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:12543
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:16 Dec 2008 07:28
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:29

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