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Field reconnaissance geologic mapping of the Columbia Hills, Mars, based on Mars Exploration Rover Spirit and MRO HiRISE observations

Crumpler, L. S. and Lewis, Kevin W. (2011) Field reconnaissance geologic mapping of the Columbia Hills, Mars, based on Mars Exploration Rover Spirit and MRO HiRISE observations. Journal of Geophysical Research E, 116 . Art. No. E00F24. ISSN 0148-0227. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20110803-120712723

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Abstract

Chemical, mineralogic, and lithologic ground truth was acquired for the first time on Mars in terrain units mapped using orbital Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (MRO HiRISE) image data. Examination of several dozen outcrops shows that Mars is geologically complex at meter length scales, the record of its geologic history is well exposed, stratigraphic units may be identified and correlated across significant areas on the ground, and outcrops and geologic relationships between materials may be analyzed with techniques commonly employed in terrestrial field geology. Despite their burial during the course of Martian geologic time by widespread epiclastic materials, mobile fines, and fall deposits, the selective exhumation of deep and well-preserved geologic units has exposed undisturbed outcrops, stratigraphic sections, and structural information much as they are preserved and exposed on Earth. A rich geologic record awaits skilled future field investigators on Mars. The correlation of ground observations and orbital images enables construction of a corresponding geologic reconnaissance map. Most of the outcrops visited are interpreted to be pyroclastic, impactite, and epiclastic deposits overlying an unexposed substrate, probably related to a modified Gusev crater central peak. Fluids have altered chemistry and mineralogy of these protoliths in degrees that vary substantially within the same map unit. Examination of the rocks exposed above and below the major unconformity between the plains lavas and the Columbia Hills directly confirms the general conclusion from remote sensing in previous studies over past years that the early history of Mars was a time of more intense deposition and modification of the surface. Although the availability of fluids and the chemical and mineral activity declined from this early period, significant later volcanism and fluid convection enabled additional, if localized, chemical activity.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2010JE003749DOIArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Lewis, Kevin W.0000-0003-3412-803X
Additional Information:© 2011 American Geophysical Union. Received 30 September 2010; revised 24 January 2011; accepted 11 March 2011; published 6 July 2011. This work was supported by the Mars Exploration Rover mission project through contracts with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, sponsored by NASA. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) is supported by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter project through the NASA contract to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.
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Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110803-120712723
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20110803-120712723
Official Citation:Crumpler, L. S., et al. (2011), Field reconnaissance geologic mapping of the Columbia Hills, Mars, based on Mars Exploration Rover Spirit and MRO HiRISE observations, J. Geophys. Res., 116, E00F24, doi:10.1029/2010JE003749.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:24657
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:03 Aug 2011 21:33
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 02:58

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