Sample records for astrogeology

  1. Shoemaker, Eugene [`Gene'] Merle (1928-97) and Shoemaker, Carolyn [née Spellman (United States)

    Murdin, P.


    Astrogeologist Gene Shoemaker was born in Los Angeles, California and became chief scientist at the USGS Center of Astrogeology (Flagstaff) and professor of geology at CalTech. He worked with his wife Carolyn on cratering, both on the Moon and the Earth, by volcanoes and by meteor and cometary impact. He discovered, with Edward Chao, coesite, a type of silica produced in a violent impact and a si...



    K. L. Edmundson; O. Alexandrov; Archinal, B. A.; Becker, K.J.; Becker, T. L.; Kirk, R L; Moratto, Z. M.; Nefian, A. V.; Richie, J. O.; Robinson, M S


    The integrated photogrammetric mapping system flown on the last three Apollo lunar missions (15, 16, and 17) in the early 1970s incorporated a Metric (mapping) Camera, a high-resolution Panoramic Camera, and a star camera and laser altimeter to provide support data. In an ongoing collaboration, the U.S. Geological Survey’s Astrogeology Science Center, the Intelligent Robotics Group of the NASA Ames Research Center, and Arizona State University are working to achieve the most complete...

  3. Photogrammetric Processing of Apollo 15 Metric Camera Oblique Images (United States)

    Edmundson, K. L.; Alexandrov, O.; Archinal, B. A.; Becker, K. J.; Becker, T. L.; Kirk, R. L.; Moratto, Z. M.; Nefian, A. V.; Richie, J. O.; Robinson, M. S.


    The integrated photogrammetric mapping system flown on the last three Apollo lunar missions (15, 16, and 17) in the early 1970s incorporated a Metric (mapping) Camera, a high-resolution Panoramic Camera, and a star camera and laser altimeter to provide support data. In an ongoing collaboration, the U.S. Geological Survey's Astrogeology Science Center, the Intelligent Robotics Group of the NASA Ames Research Center, and Arizona State University are working to achieve the most complete cartographic development of Apollo mapping system data into versatile digital map products. These will enable a variety of scientific/engineering uses of the data including mission planning, geologic mapping, geophysical process modelling, slope dependent correction of spectral data, and change detection. Here we describe efforts to control the oblique images acquired from the Apollo 15 Metric Camera.

  4. Mars Orbiter Laser Altimiter (MOLA) Globe (United States)


    The color shaded relief image used as the base for this globe has a resolution of 32 pixels per degree (approximately 1850 m/pixel), and was produced and supplied by the MOLA Science Team ( The image is shaded as if illuminated everywhere from the west. The elevations represented in color are with respect to a gravitational equipotential surface whose mean equatorial radius is that of the topography. The Astrogeology Team of the U.S. Geological Survey reprojected the image into the format displayed above.The images are presented in a projection that portrays the entire surface of Mars in a manner suitable for the production of a globe; the number, size, and placement of text annotations were chosen for a 12-inch globe. Prominent features are labeled with names approved by the International Astronomical Union. A specialized program was used to create the 'flower petal' appearance of the images; the area of each petal from 0 to 75 degrees latitude is in the Transverse Mercator projection, and the area from 75 to 90 degrees latitude is in the Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area projection. The northern hemisphere of Mars is shown on the left, and the southern hemisphere on the right.

  5. Testing geoscience data visualization systems for geological mapping and training (United States)

    Head, J. W.; Huffman, J. N.; Forsberg, A. S.; Hurwitz, D. M.; Basilevsky, A. T.; Ivanov, M. A.; Dickson, J. L.; Senthil Kumar, P.


    Traditional methods of planetary geological mapping have relied on photographic hard copy and light-table tracing and mapping. In the last several decades this has given way to the availability and analysis of multiple digital data sets, and programs and platforms that permit the viewing and manipulation of multiple annotated layers of relevant information. This has revolutionized the ability to incorporate important new data into the planetary mapping process at all scales. Information on these developments and approaches can be obtained at http://astrogeology.usgs. gov/ Technology/. The processes is aided by Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (see http://astrogeology. and excellent analysis packages (such as ArcGIS) that permit co-registration, rapid viewing, and analysis of multiple data sets on desktop displays (see webgis/). We are currently investigating new technological developments in computer visualization and analysis in order to assess their importance and utility in planetary geological analysis and mapping. Last year we reported on the range of technologies available and on our application of these to various problems in planetary mapping. In this contribution we focus on the application of these techniques and tools to Venus geological mapping at the 1:5M quadrangle scale. In our current Venus mapping projects we have utilized and tested the various platforms to understand their capabilities and assess their usefulness in defining units, establishing stratigraphic relationships, mapping structures, reaching consensus on interpretations and producing map products. We are specifically assessing how computer visualization display qualities (e.g., level of immersion, stereoscopic vs. monoscopic viewing, field of view, large vs. small display size, etc.) influence performance on scientific analysis and geological mapping. We have been exploring four different environments: 1) conventional

  6. Ring of Cenotes (sinkholes), northwest Yucatan, Mexico: Its hydrogeologic characteristics and possible association with the Chicxulub impact crater (United States)

    Perry, Eugene; Marin, Luis; McClain, Jana; Velazquez, Guadalupe


    A 180-km-diameter semicircular band of abundant karst sinkholes (Ring of Cenotes) in northwest Yucatan, Mexico, coincides approximately with a concentric ring of the buried Chicxulub structure, a circular feature manifested in Cretaceous and older rocks, that has been identified as the product of the impact of a bolide. The ring, expressed in Tertiary rocks, marks a zone of high permeability as shown by (1) the sinkholes themselves, (2) breaks in the coastal dune system and high density of springs where the ring intersects the coast, and (3) water-level transects characterized by a decline in water level toward the ring. Any direct relation that exists between the Ring of Cenotes and the Chicxulub structure bears on regional hydrogeology. If the layer or zone responsible for the ring is deeply buried, it may act as a barrier to the movement of ground water across the main flow direction. Shallower zones of horizontal permeability could result in less complete diversion of ground water. Through its influence on Yucatan aquifer characteristics, the ring may provide a link between modern environmental problems and astrogeology. Possible origins for the Ring of Cenotes are (1) faulting, perhaps reactivated by post-Eocene mid-Miocene basin loading, (2) permeability in a buried reef complex developed in the shallow Paleocene sea around the crater rim, or (3) breccia collapse occasioned by consolidation or by solution of evaporite components. If the ring developed on ancient faults, it may outline hydrothermal systems and mineral deposits produced during Paleocene cooling of the Chicxulub melt sheet.

  7. Investigating the role of small vent volcanism during the development of Tharsis Province, Mars (United States)

    Richardson, J. A.; Bleacher, J. E.; Connor, C.; Connor, L.; Glaze, L. S.


    Clusters of tens to hundreds of small volcanic vents have recently been recognized as a major component of Tharsis Province volcanism. These volcanic fields are formed from distributed-style, possibly monogenetic, volcanism and are composed of low sloped edifices with diameters of tens of kilometers and heights of tens to hundreds of meters. We report a new catalog of these small volcanic vents, now available through the USGS Astrogeology Science Center. This catalog was created with the use of gridded topographic data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) and images from the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) and the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC). We are now investigating isolated clusters of distributed volcanism in Tharsis with this dataset. We hypothesize that these clusters are formed from significant magmatic events that played a large role in the development of Tharsis. Currently, the catalog contains 1075 unique volcanic vents in the Tharsis Province. With the catalog, potentially isolated volcano clusters are identified with vent density estimation. Vent intensity for clusters is found to be 1 vent per 1000 sq km or less. Crater retention rates for one such cluster, Syria Planum, indicates that these distributed volcanic systems might continue as long as 700 Ma, or that monogenetic volcanic systems overprint older systems. Using a modified basal outlining algorithm with MOLA gridded data, shield volumes are found to be between 1-20 cubic km. Current results show distributed-style volcanism occuring in Tharsis orders of magnitude more dispersed than analogous volcano clusers on Earth, while individual edifices are found to be an order of magnitude larger than volcanoes in Earth clusters. Proof of concept results are reported for three identified clusters: Arsia Mons Caldera, Syria Planum, and Southern Pavonis Mons.

  8. Evaluation of Surface Slope Effects on Ripple Orientations Observed on Sand Dunes in the Terra Tyrrhena Region of Mars (United States)

    Zimbelman, J. R.; Johnson, M. B.


    The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) has revealed abundant wind ripples on sand dunes across Mars. Ripple orientations have been documented using HiRISE images of sand dunes at 24 widely distributed sites across Mars, in order to identify the last significant wind directions at these locations. Howard (GSAB, 1977) gives a mathematical expression for how surface slopes on a sand dune can affect the orientation of ripples with respect to the formative winds. In order to evaluate this mechanism for measured ripple orientations on Mars, quantitative data for surface slopes on the sand dunes is required. Stereo pairs of HiRISE images are used to generate Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) with postings of one meter. In June 2014 we produced a DTM of sand dunes in the Terra Tyrrhena region of Mars (14.55° S, 97.77° E) using SOCET SET at the Astrogeology Branch, USGS-Flagstaff. Typically it is difficult for feature matching software to work well on sand dunes, but our stereo images (ESP_022609_1655 and ESP_026675_1655) were obtained only six Earth days apart under excellent illumination conditions. The Terra Tyrrhena DTM had remarkably few artifacts on the sand dunes (except at slip faces, where the average slope between slip face crest and base was interpolated) and excellent control from irregular terrain exposed in interdune areas. Slopes on the stoss sides of sand dunes are generally ripple deflection angles should be ripple orientations to account for surface slopes utilizing the DTM data, and so far we do not see major changes to inferred surface wind directions that would be derived directly from the ripple orientations.

  9. Denivation Features of Polar Dunes: An Earth Analogue for Morphological Indicators of Solid Water on Mars (United States)

    McGowan, H. A.; Neil, D.


    , Antarctica. References: Bourke, M.C. 2005: Water on Mars. The Halstead Lecture, British Association for the Advancement of Science, Trinity College, Dublin, September 2005. Morris, E.C., Mutch, T.A. and Holt, H.E. 1972: Atlas of geologic features in the Dry Valleys of South Victoria Land, Antarctica: Possible analogs of Martian surface features. Interagency report: Astrogeology 52. Prepared under NASA contract L-9718 by the Geological Survey.

  10. MRO CTX-based Digital Terrain Models (United States)

    Dumke, Alexander


    ., 2008, LPSC XXXIX, Abstract#2419 [3] Yershov, V. et al., 2015 EPSC 10, EPSC2015-343 [4] Kim, J. R. et al., 2013 EPS 65, 799-809 [5] [6] [7] Gwinner et al., 2010, EPS 294, 543-540 [8] Gwinner et al., 2015, PSS [9] Dumke, A. et al., 2008, ISPRS, 37, Part B4, 1037-1042

  11. Topomapping of Mars with HRSC images, ISIS, and a commercial stereo workstation (United States)

    Kirk, R. L.; Howington-Kraus, E.; Galuszka, D.; Redding, B.; Hare, T. M.

    detail at the limit of image resolution while retaining consistency with the stereo and MOLA data over longer distances. Because photoclinometry serves merely as a form of "smart interpolation" to fill in local details in the stereo DTM, the complications that can arise in the general case [10] do not occur, and this processing can be carried out unsupervised. We note in conclusion that orthorectification of the images, photometric normalization and modeling, and photoclinometry are all performed with the free software system ISIS. At the moment, the commercial software SOCET SET is required for both bundle adjustment and stereo DTM production. The USGS is currently developing its own bundle adjustment software for HRSC and other line scanners, which, when available, will make it possible for ISIS users to control HRSC images to MOLA and therefore to use the altimetric topography in subsequent processing and analysis steps similar to those described here. Acknowledgement: For this study, the HRSC Experiment Team of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Berlin has provided HRSC Preliminary 200m DTM(s). References: [1] Neukum, G., et al. (2004) Nature, 432, 971. [2] Scholten, F., et al. (2005) PE&RS, 71, 1143. [3] Gwinner, K., et al. (2005) PFG, 5, 387. [4] Albertz, J., et al. (2005) PE&RS, 71, 1153. [5] Heipke, C., et al. (2006) IAPRS, submitted. [6] Kirk, R.L., et al. (2003) JGR, 108, 8088. [7] Eliason, E. (1997) LPS XXVIII, 331; Gaddis et al. (1997) LPS XXVIII, 387; Torson, J., and K. Becker, (1997) LPS XXVIII, 1443. [8] Miller, S.B., and A.S. Walker (1993) ACSM/ASPRS Annual Conv., 3, 256; S.B., and A.S. Walker (1995) Z. Phot. Fern. 63, 4. [9] Kirk, R.L. (1987) Ph.D. Thesis, Caltech, Part III. [10] Kirk, R.L., et al. (2003) ISPRS-ET Workshop, Kirk_isprs_mar03.pdf. 4