CaltechAUTHORS
  A Caltech Library Service

Ancient Martian aeolian processes and palaeomorphology reconstructed from the Stimson formation on the lower slope of Aeolis Mons, Gale crater, Mars

Banham, Steven G. and Gupta, Sanjeev and Rubin, David M. and Watkins, Jessica A. and Sumner, Dawn Y. and Edgett, Kenneth S. and Grotzinger, John P. and Lewis, Kevin W. and Edgar, Lauren A. and Stack-Morgan, Kathryn M. and Barnes, Robert and Bell, James F., III and Day, Mackenzie D. and Ewing, Ryan C. and Lapotre, Mathieu G. A. and Stein, Nathan T. and Rivera-Hernandez, Frances and Vasavada, Ashwin R. (2018) Ancient Martian aeolian processes and palaeomorphology reconstructed from the Stimson formation on the lower slope of Aeolis Mons, Gale crater, Mars. Sedimentology, 65 (4). pp. 993-1042. ISSN 0037-0746. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20180226-131357832

[img] PDF - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution.

32Mb
[img] PDF - Accepted Version
See Usage Policy.

5Mb
[img] MS PowerPoint (Data S0. Slide pack of figures from this paper) - Supplemental Material
Creative Commons Attribution.

117Mb
[img] PDF (Data S1. Images and Mosaics used) - Supplemental Material
Creative Commons Attribution.

154Kb
[img] PDF (Data S2A. GIS data provided) - Supplemental Material
Creative Commons Attribution.

61Kb
[img] Archive (ZIP) (Data S2B. File containing GIS data) - Supplemental Material
Creative Commons Attribution.

24Mb
[img] MS Word (Data S3. Digital Outcrop Model (DOM) analytical tool and methods ) - Supplemental Material
Creative Commons Attribution.

23Kb
[img] PDF (Data S4A. Raw Grain‐size measurements) - Supplemental Material
Creative Commons Attribution.

149Kb
[img] Postscript (Data S4B. Histogram of all grain‐size measurements) - Supplemental Material
Creative Commons Attribution.

42Kb
[img] Postscript (Data S4C. Histogram of individual grain‐size measurements) - Supplemental Material
Creative Commons Attribution.

90Kb
[img] MS Word (Data S5. Lamination thickness measurements) - Supplemental Material
Creative Commons Attribution.

17Kb
[img] PDF (Data S6. Stimson formation Mosaic footprints map) - Supplemental Material
Creative Commons Attribution.

10Mb
[img] MS Word (Data S7. Additional supporting images and URLs) - Supplemental Material
Creative Commons Attribution.

16Kb
[img] PDF (Data S8. DOM dip azimuth measurements made) - Supplemental Material
Creative Commons Attribution.

95Kb
[img] Image (TIFF) (Data S9. Map of palaeocurrent measurements) - Supplemental Material
Creative Commons Attribution.

30Mb

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item: https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20180226-131357832

Abstract

Reconstruction of the palaeoenvironmental context of Martian sedimentary rocks is central to studies of ancient Martian habitability and regional palaeoclimate history. This paper reports the analysis of a distinct aeolian deposit preserved in Gale crater, Mars, and evaluates its palaeomorphology, the processes responsible for its deposition, and its implications for Gale crater geological history and regional palaeoclimate. Whilst exploring the sedimentary succession cropping out on the northern flank of Aeolis Mons, Gale crater, the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity encountered a decametre‐thick sandstone succession, named the Stimson formation, unconformably overlying lacustrine deposits of the Murray formation. The sandstone contains sand grains characterized by high roundness and sphericity, and cross‐bedding on the order of 1 m in thickness, separated by sub‐horizontal bounding surfaces traceable for tens of metres across outcrops. The cross‐beds are composed of uniform thickness cross‐laminations interpreted as wind‐ripple strata. Cross‐sets are separated by sub‐horizontal bounding surfaces traceable for tens of metres across outcrops that are interpreted as dune migration surfaces. Grain characteristics and presence of wind‐ripple strata indicate deposition of the Stimson formation by aeolian processes. The absence of features characteristic of damp or wet aeolian sediment accumulation indicate deposition in a dry aeolian system. Reconstruction of the palaeogeomorphology suggests that the Stimson dune field was composed largely of simple sinuous crescentic dunes with a height of ca 10 m, and wavelengths of ca 150 m, with local development of complex dunes. Analysis of cross‐strata dip azimuths indicates that the general dune migration direction and hence net sediment transport was towards the north‐east. The juxtaposition of a dry aeolian system unconformably above the lacustrine Murray formation represents starkly contrasting palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic conditions. Stratigraphic relationships indicate that this transition records a significant break in time, with the Stimson formation being deposited after the Murray formation and stratigraphically higher Mount Sharp group rocks had been buried, lithified and subsequently eroded.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/sed.12469DOIArticle
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/sed.12469/abstractPublisherArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Banham, Steven G.0000-0003-1206-1639
Sumner, Dawn Y.0000-0002-7343-2061
Edgett, Kenneth S.0000-0001-7197-5751
Grotzinger, John P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Lewis, Kevin W.0000-0003-3412-803X
Edgar, Lauren A.0000-0001-7512-7813
Bell, James F., III0000-0002-2006-4074
Day, Mackenzie D.0000-0003-3998-7749
Ewing, Ryan C.0000-0001-6337-610X
Lapotre, Mathieu G. A.0000-0001-9941-1552
Rivera-Hernandez, Frances0000-0003-1401-2259
Vasavada, Ashwin R.0000-0003-2665-286X
Alternate Title:Sedimentology of the Stimson formation, Mars
Additional Information:© 2018 The Authors. Sedimentology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of International Association of Sedimentologists. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Issue Online 18 May 2018; Version of Record online: 12 April 2018; Accepted manuscript online: 26 February 2018; Manuscript accepted: 19 February 2018; Manuscript received: 28 July 2017. The authors wish to acknowledge the enormous efforts made by the NASA MSL Mission project's engineering, science and management teams in making this work possible. They are also grateful to the many MSL team members who participated in tactical and strategic operations during the Stimson campaign. Special thanks go to the Malin Space Science Systems operations team for their hard work in acquiring the extensive image data that made this research possible. Sanjeev Gupta, Steven Banham and Robert Barnes acknowledge funding from the UK Space Agency (UKSA) (Grants: ST/J005169/1, ST/P002064/1 and ST/N000579/1). Data presented in this paper are archived in the Planetary Data System (pds.nasa.gov). Joanneum Research are thanked for use of PRoViP software for processing of 3D Mastcam data, and to VRVis for use of the PRo3D visualization software tool for analysis of the 3D Mastcam data. Finally, the authors wish to thank Gary Kocurek and Juan Pedro Rodriguez‐Lopez for their constructive reviews.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA)ST/J005169/1
United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA)ST/P002064/1
United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA)ST/N000579/1
Subject Keywords:Aeolian, Curiosity rover, dune field, Gale crater, Mars, Mars Science Laboratory, remote sensing, Stimson
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180226-131357832
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20180226-131357832
Official Citation:Banham, S. G., Gupta, S. , Rubin, D. M., Watkins, J. A., Sumner, D. Y., Edgett, K. S., Grotzinger, J. P., Lewis, K. W., Edgar, L. A., Stack‐Morgan, K. M., Barnes, R. , Bell, J. F., Day, M. D., Ewing, R. C., Lapotre, M. G., Stein, N. T., Rivera‐Hernandez, F. and Vasavada, A. R. (2018), Ancient Martian aeolian processes and palaeomorphology reconstructed from the Stimson formation on the lower slope of Aeolis Mons, Gale crater, Mars. Sedimentology, 65: 993-1042. doi:10.1111/sed.12469
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:84955
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:26 Feb 2018 22:04
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

Repository Staff Only: item control page