Sample records for astrogeology

  1. Contributions to Astrogeology: Geology of the lunar crater volcanic field, Nye County, Nevada (United States)

    Scott, D. H.; Trask, N. J.


    The Lunar Crater volcanic field in east-central Nevada includes cinder cones, maars, and basalt flows of probably Quaternary age that individually and as a group resemble some features on the moon. Three episodes of volcanism are separated by intervals of relative dormancy and erosion. Changes in morphology of cinder cones, degree of weathering, and superposition of associated basalt flows provide a basis for determining the relative ages of the cones. A method has been devised whereby cone heights, base radii, and angles of slope are used to determine semiquantitatively the age relationships of some cinder cones. Structural studies show that cone and crater chains and their associated lava flows developed along fissures and normal faults produced by tensional stress. The petrography of the basalts and pyroclastics suggests magmatic differentiation at depth which produced interbedded subalkaline basalts, alkali-olivine basalts, and basanitoids. The youngest flows in the field are basanitoids.

  2. Deuterium/hydrogen microscopy in astrogeological material using an elastic recoil approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ros, L., E-mail:; Kristiansson, P.; Borysiuk, M.; Abdel, N.; Elfman, M.; Nilsson, E.J.C.; Pallon, J.


    A new experimental setup for quantitative hydrogen isotopic-ratio microscopy in thin samples (up to 12 μm) is under development at the Lund Ion Beam Analysis Facility. This technique is derived from the proton–proton scattering technique and has been proven to have the same beneficial features, namely a detection limit below 1 wt-ppm and a depth resolution better than 1 μm. The method gives absolute quantitative information about H or D content in atoms per cm{sup 2} and does not depend on the structure, chemical environment or other so called “matrix effects”. This work presents an evaluation of the developed technique through measurements on unique material from samples from the Tagish Lake meteorite, which has been suggested to be one of the most primitive solar system materials yet studied. We discuss the capabilities of the technique through the results from measurements on a geological standard.

  3. The NASA/USGS Planetary Geologic Mapping Program (United States)

    Tanaka, K.

    NASA's Planetary Geologic Mapping Program (PGM) publishes geologic maps of the planets based on released, geodetically controlled spacecraft data. The general objectives of PGM include (1) production of geologic maps that will greatly increase our knowledge of the materials and processes that have contributed to the evolution of Solar System bodies, and (2) geologic surveys of areas of special interest that may be investigated by future missions. Although most map authors are from U.S. institutions, some European investigators have also served as authors. PGM is sponsored by NASA's Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program (PGG) and has been supported by personnel of the Astrogeology Team of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for more than 40 years. PGG also supports the Astrogeology Team to prepare and distribute controlled data products necessary for the production of geologic maps. USGS coordination and outreach activities for PGM include developing new planetary geologic map series, managing existing map series, generating geologic mapping databases and packages for individual mapping investigators, providing oversight and expertise in meeting the requirements of USGS map standards, providing editorial support in map reviews and revisions, supporting map pre-press production, and maintaining an informative planetary geologic mapping web page ( The Astrogeology Team also provides a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) web site (Planetary Interactive GIS on the Web Analyzable Database, or PIGWAD) to facilitate distribution and analysis of spatially registered, planetary geologic data primarily in vector form. USGS now publishes planetary geologic map data in GIS format. Geologic maps of planetary bodies published by USGS through 2005 include 80 of the Moon from 1:10K to 1:5M scale, 93 of Mars from 1:500K to 1:15M scale, 18 of Venus at 1:5M and 1:15M scales, 9 of Mercury at 1:5M scale, and 16 of the Galilean

  4. 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.

  5. New Hydrologic Insights to Advance Geophysical Investigation of the Unsaturated Zone (United States)

    Nimmo, J. R.; Perkins, K. S.


    Advances in hydrology require information from the unsaturated zone, especially for problems related to groundwater contamination, water-supply sustainability, and ecohydrology. Unsaturated-zone processes are notoriously difficult to quantify; soils and rocks are visually opaque, spatially variable in the extreme, and easily disturbed by instrument installation. Thus there is great value in noninvasive techniques that produce water-related data of high density in space and time. Methods based on resistivity and electromagnetic waves have already produced significant new understanding of percolation processes, root-zone water retention, influences of evapotranspiration on soil-water, and effects of preferential flow. Further developments are underway for such purposes as noninvasive application to greater depths, increased resolution, adaptation for lab-scale experiments, and calibration in heterogeneous media. Beyond these, however, there is need for a stronger marriage of hydrologic and geophysical knowledge and perspective. Possible means to greater and faster progress include: Apply the latest hydrologic understanding, both pore-scale and macroscopic, to the detection of preferential flow paths and their degree of activation. In the continuing advancement of hardware and techniques, draw creatively from developments in such fields as high-energy physics, medical imaging, astrogeology, high-tech semiconductors, and bioinstrumentation. Sidestep the imaging process where possible to measure essential properties and fluxes more directly. Pose questions that have a strong end-use character, like "how does storm intensity relate to aquifer recharge rate" rather than "what is the shape of the wetting front". The greatest advances in geophysical investigation of the unsaturated zone will come from methods informed by the latest understanding of unsaturated systems and processes, and aimed as directly as possible at the answers to important hydrologic questions.

  6. Summary and abstracts of the Planetary Data Workshop, June 2012 (United States)

    Gaddis, Lisa R.; Hare, Trent; Beyer, Ross


    and missions were represented. Presentations (some in video format) and tutorials are posted on the meeting site (

  7. 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

  8. Life on Europa? (United States)

    Shylaja, B. S.


    The notion of life has always fascinated curious minds. From prehistoric days, fancy voyages to other colonies and visits from non-earthly beings have been creatively imagined. Apart from science fictions, the last few centuries saw many observational investigations of "cities of Moon", "colonies of Mars" and so on. However, the sophisticated tools of the modern era quickly put a full stop to these developments revealing that the other planets are not hospitable, and infact hostile for a life form like ours to exist there. That explains why in the last few decades the efforts shifted to observing the satellites of large planets. The anxiety grew with the knowledge of their atmospheric structure, chemical composition and volcanic activity. Detection of water, albeit frozen, was a welcome surprise. The flyby of Voyager and Pioneer provided ample evidence for the presence of water, one of the most important ingredients for the germination of the seed of life. The detection of the fossil of a microorganism on a stone believed to have fallen from Mars, boosted the scientists zeal to pursue the research, although the date for life on Mars (more than 3 billion years ago) is not very convincing. Last year, many scientists, from different branches like astrophysics, geology, oceanography, biology and astrogeology discussed the possibilities of life elsewhere in the universe. The focal point was not Mars, but Europa, one of the Galilean satellites of Jupiter. Their studies based on Voyager images supported the possibility of liquid water beneath the frozen sheets of ice. However, heat is also an essential parameter. Europa, being at a distance five times the sun-earth separation can have only 1/25th the warmth of the earth. Then, where does it get the necessary warmth from? There are other important sources of heat in many of these satellites that lie concealed from our view. They are the volcanoes. If present, can these keep the water warm below the ice sheets? The unmanned