WorldWideScience

Sample records for mars geologic observations

  1. Geology of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soderblom, L.A.

    1988-01-01

    The geology of Mars and the results of the Mariner 4, 6/7, and 9 missions and the Viking mission are reviewed. The Mars chronology and geologic modification are examined, including chronological models for the inactive planet, the active planet, and crater flux. The importance of surface materials is discussed and a multispectral map of Mars is presented. Suggestions are given for further studies of the geology of Mars using the Viking data. 5 references

  2. Field Reconnaissance Geologic Mapping of the Columbia Hills, Mars: Results from MER Spirit and MRO HiRISE Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crumpler, L.S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Squyres, S. W.; McCoy, T.; Yingst, A.; Ruff, S.; Farrand, W.; McSween, Y.; Powell, M.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R.V.; Bell, J.F.; Grant, J.; Greeley, R.; DesMarais, D.; Schmidt, M.; Cabrol, N.A.; Haldemann, A.; Lewis, Kevin W.; Wang, A.E.; Schroder, C.; Blaney, D.; Cohen, B.; Yen, A.; Farmer, J.; Gellert, Ralf; Guinness, E.A.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Johnson, J. R.; Klingelhofer, G.; McEwen, A.; Rice, J. W.; Rice, M.; deSouza, P.; Hurowitz, J.

    2011-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crumpler, L.S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Squyres, S. W.; McCoy, T.; Yingst, A.; Ruff, S.; Farrand, W.; McSween, Y.; Powell, M.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R.V.; Bell, J.F.; Grant, J.; Greeley, R.; DesMarais, D.; Schmidt, M.; Cabrol, N.A.; Haldemann, A.; Lewis, K.W.; Wang, A.E.; Schroder, C.; Blaney, D.; Cohen, B.; Yen, A.; Farmer, J.; Gellert, Ralf; Guinness, E.A.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Johnson, J. R.; Klingelhfer, G.; McEwen, A.; Rice, J.W.; Rice, M.; deSouza, P.; Hurowitz, J.

    2011-01-01

    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

  4. The geologic evolution of the planet Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Masson, P.

    1982-01-01

    A brief summary of our knowledge on the Martian geology is presented here based on the results published by the members of Mariner 9 and Viking Orbiter Imaging Teams, the NASA Planetary Geology Principal Investigators and the scientists involved in the Mars Data Analysis Program. A special emphasis is given to the geologic evolution (volcanism and tectonism) related to our knowledge on the internal structure of the planet

  5. Muon radiography for exploration of Mars geology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Kedar

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Muon radiography is a technique that uses naturally occurring showers of muons (penetrating particles generated by cosmic rays to image the interior of large-scale geological structures in much the same way as standard X-ray radiography is used to image the interior of smaller objects. Recent developments and application of the technique to terrestrial volcanoes have demonstrated that a low-power, passive muon detector can peer deep into geological structures up to several kilometers in size, and provide crisp density profile images of their interior at ten meter scale resolution. Preliminary estimates of muon production on Mars indicate that the near horizontal Martian muon flux, which could be used for muon radiography, is as strong or stronger than that on Earth, making the technique suitable for exploration of numerous high priority geological targets on Mars. The high spatial resolution of muon radiography also makes the technique particularly suited for the discovery and delineation of Martian caverns, the most likely planetary environment for biological activity. As a passive imaging technique, muon radiography uses the perpetually present background cosmic ray radiation as the energy source for probing the interior of structures from the surface of the planet. The passive nature of the measurements provides an opportunity for a low power and low data rate instrument for planetary exploration that could operate as a scientifically valuable primary or secondary instrument in a variety of settings, with minimal impact on the mission's other instruments and operation.

  6. Geologic Map of the Thaumasia Region, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dohm, Janes M.; Tanaka, Kenneth L.; Hare, Trent M.

    2001-01-01

    The geology of the Thaumasia region (fig. 1, sheet 3) includes a wide array of rock materials, depositional and erosional landforms, and tectonic structures. The region is dominated by the Thaumasia plateau, which includes central high lava plains ringed by highly deformed highlands; the plateau may comprise the ancestral center of Tharsis tectonism (Frey, 1979; Plescia and Saunders, 1982). The extensive structural deformation of the map region, which is without parallel on Mars in both complexity and diversity, occurred largely throughout the Noachian and Hesperian periods (Tanaka and Davis, 1988; Scott and Dohm, 1990a). The deformation produced small and large extensional and contractional structures (fig. 2, sheet 3) that resulted from stresses related to the formation of Tharsis (Frey, 1979; Wise and others, 1979; Plescia and Saunders, 1982; Banerdt and others, 1982, 1992; Watters and Maxwell, 1986; Tanaka and Davis, 1988; Francis, 1988; Watters, 1993; Schultz and Tanaka, 1994), from magmatic-driven uplifts, such as at Syria Planum (Tanaka and Davis, 1988; Dohm and others, 1998; Dohm and Tanaka, 1999) and central Valles Marineris (Dohm and others, 1998, Dohm and Tanaka, 1999), and from the Argyre impact (Wilhelms, 1973; Scott and Tanaka, 1986). In addition, volcanic, eolian, and fluvial processes have highly modified older surfaces in the map region. Local volcanic and tectonic activity often accompanied episodes of valley formation. Our mapping depicts and describes the diverse terrains and complex geologic history of this unique ancient tectonic region of Mars. The geologic (sheet 1), paleotectonic (sheet 2), and paleoerosional (sheet 3) maps of the Thaumasia region were compiled on a Viking 1:5,000,000-scale digital photomosaic base. The base is a combination of four quadrangles: the southeast part of Phoenicis Lacus (MC–17), most of the southern half of Coprates (MC–18), a large part of Thaumasia (MC–25), and the northwest margin of Argyre (MC–26

  7. The geologic history of Margaritifer basin, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salvatore, M. R.; Kraft, M. D.; Edwards, Christopher; Christensen, P.R.

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we investigate the fluvial, sedimentary, and volcanic history of Margaritifer basin and the Uzboi-Ladon-Morava (ULM) outflow channel system. This network of valleys and basins spans more than 8000 km in length, linking the fluvially dissected southern highlands and Argyre Basin with the northern lowlands via Ares Vallis. Compositionally, thermophysically, and morphologically distinct geologic units are identified and are used to place critical relative stratigraphic constraints on the timing of geologic processes in Margaritifer basin. Our analyses show that fluvial activity was separated in time by significant episodes of geologic activity, including the widespread volcanic resurfacing of Margaritifer basin and the formation of chaos terrain. The most recent fluvial activity within Margaritifer basin appears to terminate at a region of chaos terrain, suggesting possible communication between surface and subsurface water reservoirs. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of these observations on our current knowledge of Martian hydrologic evolution in this important region.

  8. Geologic Map of the Hellas Region of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard, Gregory J.; Tanaka, Kenneth L.

    2001-01-01

    INTRODUCTION This geologic map of the Hellas region focuses on the stratigraphic, structural, and erosional histories associated with the largest well-preserved impact basin on Mars. Along with the uplifted rim and huge, partly infilled inner basin (Hellas Planitia) of the Hellas basin impact structure, the map region includes areas of ancient highland terrain, broad volcanic edifices and deposits, and extensive channels. Geologic activity recorded in the region spans all major epochs of martian chronology, from the early formation of the impact basin to ongoing resurfacing caused by eolian activity. The Hellas region, whose name refers to the classical term for Greece, has been known from telescopic observations as a prominent bright feature on the surface of Mars for more than a century (see Blunck, 1982). More recently, spacecraft imaging has greatly improved our visual perception of Mars and made possible its geologic interpretation. Here, our mapping at 1:5,000,000 scale is based on images obtained by the Viking Orbiters, which produced higher quality images than their predecessor, Mariner 9. Previous geologic maps of the region include those of the 1:5,000,000-scale global series based on Mariner 9 images (Potter, 1976; Peterson, 1977; King, 1978); the 1:15,000,000-scale global series based on Viking images (Greeley and Guest, 1987; Tanaka and Scott, 1987); and detailed 1:500,000-scale maps of Tyrrhena Patera (Gregg and others, 1998), Dao, Harmakhis, and Reull Valles (Price, 1998; Mest and Crown, in press), Hadriaca Patera (D.A. Crown and R. Greeley, map in preparation), and western Hellas Planitia (J.M. Moore and D.E. Wilhelms, map in preparation). We incorporated some of the previous work, but our map differs markedly in the identification and organization of map units. For example, we divide the Hellas assemblage of Greeley and Guest (1987) into the Hellas Planitia and Hellas rim assemblages and change the way units within these groupings are identified

  9. Geology of Mars after the first 40 years of exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rossi, Angelo Pio; Van Gasselt, Stephan

    2010-01-01

    The knowledge of Martian geology has increased enormously in the last 40 yr. Several missions orbiting or roving Mars have revolutionized our understanding of its evolution and geological features, which in several ways are similar to Earth, but are extremely different in many respects. The impressive dichotomy between the two Martian hemispheres is most likely linked to its impact cratering history, rather than internal dynamics such as on Earth. Mars' volcanism has been extensive, very long-lived and rather constant in its setting. Water was available in large quantities in the distant past of Mars, when a magnetic field and more vigorous tectonics were active. Exogenic forces have been shaping Martian landscapes and have led to a plethora of landscapes shaped by wind, water and ice. Mars' dynamical behavior continues, with its climatic variation affecting climate and geology until very recent times. This paper tries to summarize major highlights in Mars' Geology, and points to deeper and more extensive sources of important scientific contributions and future exploration. (invited reviews)

  10. Geologic Mapping Investigations of Alba Mons, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crown, D. A.; Berman, D. C.; Scheidt, S. P.; Hauber, E.

    2018-06-01

    Geologic mapping of the summit region and western flank of Alba Mons at 1:1M-scale is revealing sequences of volcanic, tectonic, impact, and degradation processes that have formed and modified the northernmost of the Tharsis volcanoes.

  11. Geologic processes and sedimentary system on Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lewis, A S

    1988-01-01

    The subject is covered under following headings: (1) morphology and processes at the martian surface (impact craters, water and ice, landslide, aeolian processes, volcanism, chemical weathering); (2) the sedimentary system (martian geologic documentation, sedimentary balance, regolith, pyroclastics, erosion phenomena, deposit and loss of sediments) as well as (3) summary and final remarks. 72 refs.

  12. Quantifying geological processes on Mars - Results of the high resolution stereo camera (HRSC) on Mars express

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jaumann, R.; Tirsch, D.; Hauber, E.; Ansan, V.; Di Achille, G.; Erkeling, G.; Fueten, F.; Head, J.; Kleinhans, M. G.; Mangold, N.; Michael, G. G.; Neukum, G.; Pacifici, A.; Platz, T.; Pondrelli, M.; Raack, J.; Reiss, D.; Williams, D. A.; Adeli, S.; Baratoux, D.; De Villiers, G.; Foing, B.; Gupta, S.; Gwinner, K.; Hiesinger, H.; Hoffmann, H.; Deit, L. Le; Marinangeli, L.; Matz, K. D.; Mertens, V.; Muller, J. P.; Pasckert, J. H.; Roatsch, T.; Rossi, A. P.; Scholten, F.; Sowe, M.; Voigt, J.; Warner, N.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract This review summarizes the use of High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) data as an instrumental tool and its application in the analysis of geological processes and landforms on Mars during the last 10 years of operation. High-resolution digital elevations models on a local to regional scale

  13. Geologic Mapping in the Hesperia Planum Region of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregg, Tracy K. P.; Crown, David A.

    2010-01-01

    Hesperia Planum, characterized by a high concentration of mare-type wrinkle ridges and ridge rings, encompasses > 2 million square km in the southern highlands of Mars. The most common interpretation is that the plains were emplaced as "flood" lavas with total thicknesses of geologic mapping reveal that the whole of Hesperia Planum is unlikely to be composed of the same materials, emplaced at the same geologic time. To unravel these complexities, we are generating a 1:1.5M-scale geologic map of Hesperia Planum and its surroundings. To date, we have identified 4 distinct plains units within Hesperia Planum and are attempting to determine the nature and relative ages of these materials.

  14. Geologic map of the Nepenthes Planum Region, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, James A.; Tanaka, Kenneth L.

    2018-03-26

    This map product contains a map sheet at 1:1,506,000 scale that shows the geology of the Nepenthes Planum region of Mars, which is located between the cratered highlands that dominate the southern hemisphere and the less-cratered sedimentary plains that dominate the northern hemisphere.  The map region contains cone- and mound-shaped landforms as well as lobate materials that are morphologically similar to terrestrial igneous or mud vents and flows. This map is part of an informal series of small-scale (large-area) maps aimed at refining current understanding of the geologic units and structures that make up the highland-to-lowland transition zone. The map base consists of a controlled Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) daytime infrared image mosaic (100 meters per pixel resolution) supplemented by a Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) digital elevation model (463 meters per pixel resolution). The map includes a Description of Map Units and a Correlation of Map Units that describes and correlates units identified across the entire map region. The geologic map was assembled using ArcGIS software by Environmental Systems Research Institute (http://www.esri.com). The ArcGIS project, geodatabase, base map, and all map components are included online as supplemental data.

  15. MAVEN Observations of Atmospheric Loss at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curry, Shannon; Luhmann, Janet; Jakosky, Bruce M.; Brain, David; LeBlanc, Francis; Modolo, Ronan; Halekas, Jasper S.; Schneider, Nicholas M.; Deighan, Justin; McFadden, James; Espley, Jared R.; Mitchell, David L.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Dong, Yaxue; Dong, Chuanfei; Ma, Yingjuan; Cohen, Ofer; Fränz, Markus; Holmström, Mats; Ramstad, Robin; Hara, Takuya; Lillis, Robert J.

    2016-06-01

    The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission has been making observations of the Martian upper atmosphere and its escape to space since November 2014. The subject of atmospheric loss at terrestrial planets is a subject of intense interest not only because of the implications for past and present water reservoirs, but also for its impacts on the habitability of a planet. Atmospheric escape may have been especially effective at Mars, relative to Earth or Venus, due to its smaller size as well as the lack of a global dynamo magnetic field. Not only is the atmosphere less gravitationally bound, but also the lack of global magnetic field allows the impinging solar wind to interact directly with the Martian atmosphere. When the upper atmosphere is exposed to the solar wind, planetary neutrals can be ionized and 'picked up' by the solar wind and swept away.Both neutral and ion escape have played significant roles the long term climate change of Mars, and the MAVEN mission was designed to directly measure both escaping planetary neutrals and ions with high energy, mass, and time resolution. We will present 1.5 years of observations of atmospheric loss at Mars over a variety of solar and solar wind conditions, including extreme space weather events. We will report the average ion escape rate and the spatial distribution of escaping ions as measured by MAVEN and place them in context both with previous measurements of ion loss by other spacecraft (e.g. Phobos 2 and Mars Express) and with estimates of neutral escape rates by MAVEN. We will then report on the measured variability in ion escape rates with different drivers (e.g. solar EUV, solar wind pressure, etc.) and the implications for the total ion escape from Mars over time. Additionally, we will also discuss the implications for atmospheric escape at exoplanets, particularly weakly magnetized planetary bodies orbiting M-dwarfs, and the dominant escape mechanisms that may drive atmospheric erosion in other

  16. Geologic Mapping of the Olympus Mons Volcano, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bleacher, J. E.; Williams, D. A.; Shean, D.; Greeley, R.

    2012-01-01

    We are in the third year of a three-year Mars Data Analysis Program project to map the morphology of the Olympus Mons volcano, Mars, using ArcGIS by ESRI. The final product of this project is to be a 1:1,000,000-scale geologic map. The scientific questions upon which this mapping project is based include understanding the volcanic development and modification by structural, aeolian, and possibly glacial processes. The project s scientific objectives are based upon preliminary mapping by Bleacher et al. [1] along a approx.80-km-wide north-south swath of the volcano corresponding to High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) image h0037. The preliminary project, which covered approx.20% of the volcano s surface, resulted in several significant findings, including: 1) channel-fed lava flow surfaces are areally more abundant than tube-fed surfaces by a ratio of 5:1, 2) channel-fed flows consistently embay tube-fed flows, 3) lava fans appear to be linked to tube-fed flows, 4) no volcanic vents were identified within the map region, and 5) a Hummocky unit surrounds the summit and is likely a combination of non-channelized flows, dust, ash, and/or frozen volatiles. These results led to the suggestion that the volcano had experienced a transition from long-lived tube-forming eruptions to more sporadic and shorter-lived, channel-forming eruptions, as seen at Hawaiian volcanoes between the tholeiitic shield building phase (Kilauea to Mauna Loa) and alkalic capping phase (Hualalai and Mauna Kea).

  17. One Mars year: viking lander imaging observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, K L; Arvidson, R E; Guinness, E A; Bragg, S L; Wall, S D; Carlston, C E; Pidek, D G

    1979-05-25

    Throughout the complete Mars year during which they have been on the planet, the imaging systems aboard the two Viking landers have documented a variety of surface changes. Surface condensates, consisting of both solid H(2)O and CO(2), formed at the Viking 2 lander site during the winter. Additional observations suggest that surface erosion rates due to dust redistribution may be substantially less than those predicted on the basis of pre-Viking observations. The Viking 1 lander will continue to acquire and transmit a predetermined sequence of imaging and meteorology data as long as it is operative.

  18. Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Day, Trevor

    2006-01-01

    Discusses the fundamental facts concerning this mysterious planet, including its mass, size, and atmosphere, as well as the various missions that helped planetary scientists document the geological history of Mars. This volume also describes Mars'' seasons with their surface effects on the planet and how they have changed over time.

  19. The Importance of Mars Samples in Constraining the Geological and Geophysical Processes on Mars and the Nature of its Crust, Mantle, and Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    iMOST Team; Herd, C. D. K.; Ammannito, E.; Anand, M.; Debaille, V.; Hallis, L. J.; McCubbin, F. M.; Schmitz, N.; Usui, T.; Weiss, B. P.; Altieri, F.; Amelin, Y.; Beaty, D. W.; Benning, L. G.; Bishop, J. L.; Borg, L. E.; Boucher, D.; Brucato, J. R.; Busemann, H.; Campbell, K. A.; Carrier, B. L.; Czaja, A. D.; Des Marais, D. J.; Dixon, M.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Farmer, J. D.; Fernandez-Remolar, D. C.; Fogarty, J.; Glavin, D. P.; Goreva, Y. S.; Grady, M. M.; Harrington, A. D.; Hausrath, E. M.; Horgan, B.; Humayun, M.; Kleine, T.; Kleinhenz, J.; Mangold, N.; Mackelprang, R.; Mayhew, L. E.; McCoy, J. T.; McLennan, S. M.; McSween, H. Y.; Moser, D. E.; Moynier, F.; Mustard, J. F.; Niles, P. B.; Ori, G. G.; Raulin, F.; Rettberg, P.; Rucker, M. A.; Sefton-Nash, E.; Sephton, M. A.; Shaheen, R.; Shuster, D. L.; Siljestrom, S.; Smith, C. L.; Spry, J. A.; Steele, A.; Swindle, T. D.; ten Kate, I. L.; Tosca, N. J.; Van Kranendonk, M. J.; Wadhwa, M.; Werner, S. C.; Westall, F.; Wheeler, R. M.; Zipfel, J.; Zorzano, M. P.

    2018-04-01

    We present the main sample types from any potential Mars Sample Return landing site that would be required to constrain the geological and geophysical processes on Mars, including the origin and nature of its crust, mantle, and core.

  20. Geology of the Tyrrhenus Mons Lava Flow Field, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crown, David A.; Mest, Scott C.

    2014-11-01

    The ancient, eroded Martian volcano Tyrrhenus Mons exhibits a central caldera complex, layered flank deposits dissected by radial valleys, and a 1000+ km-long flow field extending to the southwest toward Hellas Planitia. Past studies suggested an early phase of volcanism dominated by large explosive eruptions followed by subsequent effusive activity at the summit and to the southwest. As part of a new geologic mapping study of northeast Hellas, we are examining the volcanic landforms and geologic evolution of the Tyrrhenus Mons flow field, including the timing and nature of fluvial activity and effects on volcanic units. New digital geologic mapping incorporates THEMIS IR (100 m/pixel) and CTX (5 m/pixel) images as well as constraints from MOLA topography.Mapping results to-date include delineation of the boundaries of the flow field, identification and mapping of volcanic and erosional channels within the flow field, and mapping and analysis of lava flow lobes. THEMIS IR and CTX images allow improved discrimination of the numerous flow lobes that are observed in the flow field, including refinement of the margins of previously known flows and identification of additional and smaller lobes. A prominent sinuous rille extending from Tyrrhenus Mons’ summit caldera is a major feature that supplied lava to the flow field. Smaller volcanic channels are common throughout the flow field; some occur in segments along crests of local topographic highs and may delineate lava tubes. In addition to volcanic channels, the flow field surface is characterized by several types of erosional channels, including wide troughs with scour marks, elongate sinuous channels, and discontinuous chains of elongate pits and troughs. High-resolution images reveal the widespread and significant effects of fluvial activity in the region, and further mapping studies will examine spatial and temporal interactions between volcanism and fluvial processes.

  1. Viking 2 electron observations at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Francis S.; Hanson, William B.

    1992-01-01

    An analysis of the electron mode sweeps made in Viking 2 above the ionosphere is presented. An observation of the electron energy spectrum over the range 0 to 78 eV was recorded in 1 s and observations were made at intervals of 4 or 8 s. The concentrations and temperatures were highly variable in the altitude range 14,000 to 9000 km. Evidence for two Maxwellian components were present in most of the records. The general trend of concentration and temperature for the predominant component was from 2/cu cm and 100,000 K at 15,600 km to 5/cu cm at 220,000 K and 900 km, in good agreement with the Mars 3 observations of Gringauz et al. (1974). The higher-temperature component was generally characterized by a temperature near 400,000 K and concentrations near 0.1/cu cm. The electron plasma pressures near 800 km were about a factor of 20 lower than those obtained from Viking 1, the difference being much greater than expected from the normal distribution around the stagnation point in the shocked solar wind.

  2. Mars Aeronomy Observer: Report of the Science Working Team

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunten, Donald M.; Slavin, James A.; Brace, Lawrence H.; Deming, Drake; Frank, Louis A.; Grebowsky, Joseph M.; Haberle, Robert M.; Hanson, William B.; Intriligator, Devrie S.; Killeen, Timothy L.; hide

    1986-01-01

    The Mars Aeronomy Observer (MAO) is a candidate follow-on mission to Mars Observer (MO) in the Planetary Observer Program. The four Mariner and two Viking spacecraft sent to Mars between 1965 and 1976 have provided a wealth of information concerning Martian planetology. The Mars Observer, to be launched in 1990, will build on their results by further examining the elemental and mineralogical composition of the surface, the strength and multipolar composition of the planetary magnetic field, the gravitational field and topography, and the circulation of the lower atmosphere. The Mars Aeronomy Observer is intended to address the last major aspects of Martian environment which have yet to be investigated: the upper atmosphere, the ionsphere, and the solar wind interaction region.

  3. Hydrovolcanic features on Mars: Preliminary observations from the first Mars year of HiRISE imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keszthelyi, L.P.; Jaeger, W.L.; Dundas, C.M.; Martinez-Alonso, S.; McEwen, A.S.; Milazzo, M.P.

    2010-01-01

    We provide an overview of features indicative of the interaction between water and lava and/or magma on Mars as seen by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera during the Primary Science Phase of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) mission. The ability to confidently resolve meter-scale features from orbit has been extremely useful in the study of the most pristine examples. In particular, HiRISE has allowed the documentation of previously undescribed features associated with phreatovolcanic cones (formed by the interaction of lava and groundwater) on rapidly emplaced flood lavas. These include "moats" and "wakes" that indicate that the lava crust was thin and mobile, respectively [Jaeger, W.L., Keszthelyi, L.P., McEwen, A.S., Dundas, C.M., Russel, P.S., 2007. Science 317, 1709-1711]. HiRISE has also discovered entablature-style jointing in lavas that is indicative of water-cooling [Milazzo, M.P., Keszthelyi, L.P., Jaeger, W.L., Rosiek, M., Mattson, S., Verba, C., Beyer, R.A., Geissler, P.E., McEwen, A.S., and the HiRISE Team, 2009. Geology 37, 171-174]. Other observations strongly support the idea of extensive volcanic mudflows (lahars). Evidence for other forms of hydrovolcanism, including glaciovolcanic interactions, is more equivocal. This is largely because most older and high-latitude terrains have been extensively modified, masking any earlier 1-10 m scale features. Much like terrestrial fieldwork, the prerequisite for making full use of HiRISE's capabilities is finding good outcrops.

  4. BASALT A: Basaltic Terrains in Idaho and Hawaii as Planetary Analogs for Mars Geology and Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Scott S.; Haberle, Christopher W.; Nawotniak, Shannon E. Kobs; Sehlke, Alexander; Garry, W. Brent; Elphic, Richard C.; Payler, Sam J.; Stevens, Adam H.; Cockell, Charles S.; Brady, Allyson L.; hide

    2018-01-01

    Assessments of field research target regions are described within two notably basaltic geologic provinces as Earth analogs to Mars. Regions within the eastern Snake River Plain of Idaho and the Big Island of Hawaii, USA, provinces that represent analogs of present-day and early Mars, respectively, were evaluated on the basis of geologic settings, rock lithology and geochemistry, rock alteration, and climate. Each of these factors provide rationale for the selection of specific targets for field research in five analog target regions: (1) Big Craters and (2) Highway lava flows at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Idaho; and (3) Mauna Ulu low shield, (4) Kilauea Iki lava lake and (5) Kilauea caldera in the Kilauea Volcano summit region and the East Rift Zone of Hawaii. Our evaluation of compositional and textural differences, as well as the effects of syn- and post-eruptive rock alteration, shows that the basaltic terrains in Idaho and Hawaii provide a way to characterize the geology and major geologic substrates that host biological activity of relevance to Mars exploration. This work provides the foundation to better understand the scientific questions related to the habitability of basaltic terrains, the rationale behind selecting analog field targets, and their applicability as analogs to Mars.

  5. Detailed geologic modeling of a turbidity reservoir interval at the Mars discovery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mahaffie, M.J.; Chapin, M.A. [Shell Exploration and Production Technology Co. (United States); Henry, W.A. [Shell Offshore, Inc. (United States)

    1995-12-31

    Detailed reservoir architecture studies using high resolution seismic data coupled with geologic and seismic inversion modeling have been used to evaluate a major hydrocarbon bearing turbidite reservoir found within Prospect Mars. Early interpretations of this interval, based on lower frequency (40 Hz) seismic data, indicated the presence of a single, laterally continuous event covering an area nearly 3 miles square ({approx} 5200 acres). Correlations from well control supported the notion that this seismic event comprised a series of continuous sheet sands exhibiting a high degree of lateral continuity and connectivity. However pressure data taken during fluid sampling of the reservoir suggested the possibility of discontinuities not observed within the resolution of the seismic data. Seismic reprocessing enhancements to increase frequency content revealed the presence of multiple stratigraphic features not previously recognized. Detailed seismic mapping using loop-level seismic attributes and seismic inversion studies constrained by geologic models provide a more realistic depiction of the environment of deposition and improve reservoir simulation modeling for this stratigraphic interval. (author). 3 figs

  6. Geological trainings for analogue astronauts: Lessons learned from MARS2013 expedition, Morocco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orgel, C.; Achorner, I.; Losiak, A.; Gołębiowska, I.; Rampey, M.; Groemer, G.

    2013-09-01

    The Austrian Space Forum (OeWF) is a national organisation for space professionals and space enthusiasts. In collaboration with internal partner organisations, the OeWF focuses on Mars analogue research with their space volunteers and organises space-related outreach/education activities and conducts field tests with the Aouda.X and Aouda.S spacesuit simulators in Mars analogue environment. The main project of OeWF is called "PolAres" [1]. As the result of lessons learned from the Río Tinto 2011 expedition [4], we started to organise geological training sessions for the analogue astronauts. The idea was to give them basic geological background to perform more efficiently in the field. This was done in close imitation of the Apollo astronaut trainings that included theoretical lectures (between Jan. 1963-Nov. 1972) about impact geology, igneous petrology of the Moon, geophysics and geochemistry as well as several field trips to make them capable to collect useful samples for the geoscientists on Earth [3] [5]. In the last year the OeWF has organised three geoscience workshops for analogue astronauts as the part of their "astronaut" training. The aim was to educate the participants to make them understand the fundamentals in geology in theory and in the field (Fig. 1.). We proposed the "Geological Experiment Sampling Usefulness" (GESU) experiment for the MARS2013 simulation to improve the efficiency of the geological trainings. This simulation was conducted during February 2013, a one month Mars analogue research was conducted in the desert of Morocco [2] (Fig. 2.).

  7. Geologic map of Tooting crater, Amazonis Planitia region of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouginis-Mark, Peter J.

    2015-01-01

    Tooting crater has a diameter of 27.2 km, and formed on virtually flat lava flows within Amazonis Planitia ~1,300 km west of the summit of Olympus Mons volcano, where there appear to have been no other major topographic features prior to the impact. The crater formed in an area ~185 x 135 km that is at an elevation between −3,870 m and −3,874 m relative to the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Mars datum. This fortuitous situation (for example, a bland, horizontal target) allows the geometry of the crater and the thickness of the ejecta blanket to be accurately determined by subtracting the appropriate elevation of the surrounding landscape (−3,872 m) from the individual MOLA measurements across the crater. Thus, for the first time, it is possible to determine the radial decrease of ejecta thickness as a function of distance away from the rim crest. On the basis of the four discrete ejecta layers surrounding the crater cavity, Tooting crater is classified as a Multiple-Layered Ejecta (MLE) crater. By virtue of the asymmetric distribution of secondary craters and the greater thickness of ejecta to the northeast, Morris and others (2010) proposed that Tooting crater formed by an oblique impact from the southwest. The maximum range of blocks that produced identifiable secondary craters is ~500 km (~36.0 crater radii) from the northeast rim crest. In contrast, secondary craters are only identifiable ~215 km (15.8 radii) to the southeast and 225 km (16.5 radii) to the west.

  8. Key science questions from the second conference on early Mars: geologic, hydrologic, and climatic evolution and the implications for life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaty, David W; Clifford, Stephen M; Borg, Lars E; Catling, David C; Craddock, Robert A; Des Marais, David J; Farmer, Jack D; Frey, Herbert V; Haberle, Robert M; McKay, Christopher P; Newsom, Horton E; Parker, Timothy J; Segura, Teresa; Tanaka, Kenneth L

    2005-12-01

    In October 2004, more than 130 terrestrial and planetary scientists met in Jackson Hole, WY, to discuss early Mars. The first billion years of martian geologic history is of particular interest because it is a period during which the planet was most active, after which a less dynamic period ensued that extends to the present day. The early activity left a fascinating geological record, which we are only beginning to unravel through direct observation and modeling. In considering this time period, questions outnumber answers, and one of the purposes of the meeting was to gather some of the best experts in the field to consider the current state of knowledge, ascertain which questions remain to be addressed, and identify the most promising approaches to addressing those questions. The purpose of this report is to document that discussion. Throughout the planet's first billion years, planetary-scale processes-including differentiation, hydrodynamic escape, volcanism, large impacts, erosion, and sedimentation-rapidly modified the atmosphere and crust. How did these processes operate, and what were their rates and interdependencies? The early environment was also characterized by both abundant liquid water and plentiful sources of energy, two of the most important conditions considered necessary for the origin of life. Where and when did the most habitable environments occur? Did life actually occupy them, and if so, has life persisted on Mars to the present? Our understanding of early Mars is critical to understanding how the planet we see today came to be.

  9. An Integrated XRF/XRD Instrument for Mars Exobiology and Geology Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koppel, L. N.; Franco, E. D.; Kerner, J. A.; Fonda, M. L.; Schwartz, D. E.; Marshall, J. R.

    1993-01-01

    By employing an integrated x-ray instrument on a future Mars mission, data obtained will greatly augment those returned by Viking; details characterizing the past and present environment on Mars and those relevant to the possibility of the origin and evolution of life will be acquired. A combined x-ray fluorescence/x-ray diffraction (XRF/XRD) instrument was breadboarded and demonstrated to accommodate important exobiology and geology experiment objectives outlined for MESUR and future Mars missions. Among others, primary objectives for the exploration of Mars include the intense study of local areas on Mars to establish the chemical, mineralogical, and petrological character of different components of the surface material; to determine the distribution, abundance, and sources and sinks of volatile materials, including an assessment of the biologic potential, now and during past epoches; and to establish the global chemical and physical characteristics of the Martian surface. The XRF/XRD breadboard instrument identifies and quantifies soil surface elemental, mineralogical, and petrological characteristics and acquires data necessary to address questions on volatile abundance and distribution. Additionally, the breadboard is able to characterize the biogenic element constituents of soil samples providing information on the biologic potential of the Mars environment. Preliminary breadboard experiments confirmed the fundamental instrument design approach and measurement performance.

  10. The subsurface geology of Río Tinto: material examined during a simulated Mars drilling mission for the Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Schutt, John; Sutter, Brad; Heldmann, Jennifer L; Bell, Mary Sue; Battler, Melissa; Cannon, Howard; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Stoker, Carol R

    2008-10-01

    The 2005 Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE) project conducted a simulated 1-month Mars drilling mission in the Río Tinto district, Spain. Dry robotic drilling, core sampling, and biological and geological analytical technologies were collectively tested for the first time for potential use on Mars. Drilling and subsurface sampling and analytical technologies are being explored for Mars because the subsurface is the most likely place to find life on Mars. The objectives of this work are to describe drilling, sampling, and analytical procedures; present the geological analysis of core and borehole material; and examine lessons learned from the drilling simulation. Drilling occurred at an undisclosed location, causing the science team to rely only on mission data for geological and biological interpretations. Core and borehole imaging was used for micromorphological analysis of rock, targeting rock for biological analysis, and making decisions regarding the next day's drilling operations. Drilling reached 606 cm depth into poorly consolidated gossan that allowed only 35% of core recovery and contributed to borehole wall failure during drilling. Core material containing any indication of biology was sampled and analyzed in more detail for its confirmation. Despite the poorly consolidated nature of the subsurface gossan, dry drilling was able to retrieve useful core material for geological and biological analysis. Lessons learned from this drilling simulation can guide the development of dry drilling and subsurface geological and biological analytical technologies for future Mars drilling missions.

  11. NASA Mars Conference

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reiber, D.B.

    1988-01-01

    Papers about Mars and Mars exploration are presented, covering topics such as Martian history, geology, volcanism, channels, moons, atmosphere, meteorology, water on the planet, and the possibility of life. The unmanned exploration of Mars is discussed, including the Phobos Mission, the Mars Observer, the Mars Aeronomy Observer, the seismic network, Mars sample return missions, and the Mars Ball, an inflatable-sectored-tire rover concept. Issues dealing with manned exploration of Mars are examined, such as the reasons for exploring Mars, mission scenarios, a transportation system for routine visits, technologies for Mars expeditions, the human factors for Mars missions, life support systems, living and working on Mars, and the report of the National Commission on Space

  12. Mud Volcanoes - A New Class of Sites for Geological and Astrobiological Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, C.C.; Oehler, D.Z.; Baker, D.M.

    2009-01-01

    Mud volcanoes provide a unique low-temperature window into the Earth s subsurface - including the deep biosphere - and may prove to be significant sources of atmospheric methane. The identification of analogous features on Mars would provide an important new class of sites for geological and astrobiological exploration. We report new work suggesting that features in Acidalia Planitia are most consistent with their being mud volcanoes.

  13. Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI): Inital Observations and Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edgett, K. S.; Yingst, R. A.; Minitti, M. E.; Robinson, M. L.; Kennedy, M. R.; Lipkaman, L. J.; Jensen, E. H.; Anderson, R. C.; Bean, K. M.; Beegle, L. W.; hide

    2013-01-01

    MAHLI (Mars Hand Lens Imager) is a 2-megapixel focusable macro lens color camera on the turret on Curiosity's robotic arm. The investigation centers on stratigraphy, grain-scale texture, structure, mineralogy, and morphology of geologic materials at Curiosity's Gale robotic field site. MAHLI acquires focused images at working distances of 2.1 cm to infinity; for reference, at 2.1 cm the scale is 14 microns/pixel; at 6.9 cm it is 31 microns/pixel, like the Spirit and Opportunity Microscopic Imager (MI) cameras.

  14. (abstract) Tropospheric Calibration for the Mars Observer Gravity Wave Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, Steven J.; Armstrong, John

    1994-01-01

    In spring 1993, microwave radiometer-based tropospheric calibration was provided for the Mars Observer gravitational wave search. The Doppler shifted X-band radio signals propagating between Earth and the Mars Observer satellite were precisely measured to determine path length variations that might signal passage of gravitational waves. Experimental sensitivity was restricted by competing sources of variability in signal transit time. Principally, fluctuations in the solar wind and ionospheric plasma density combined with fluctions in tropospheric refractivity determined the detection limit. Troposphere-induced path delay fluctions are dominated by refractive changes caused by water vapor inhomogeneities blowing through the signal path. Since passive microwave remote sensing techniques are able to determine atmospheric propagation delays, radiometer-based tropospheric calibration was provided at the Deep Space Network Uranus tracking site (DSS-15). Two microwave water vapor radiometers (WVRs), a microwave temperature profiler (MTP), and a ground based meterological station were deployed to determine line-of-sight vapor content and vertical temperature profile concurrently with Mars Observer tracking measurements. This calibration system provided the capability to correct Mars Observer Doppler data for troposphere-induced path variations. We present preliminary analysis of the Doppler and WVR data sets illustrating the utility of WVRs to calibrate Doppler data. This takes an important step toward realizing the ambitious system required to support future Ka-band Cassini satellite gravity wave tropospheric calibration system.

  15. Observations of Mars 1950-1976 compared to ephemerides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duncombe, R.L.; Kubo, Y.

    1979-01-01

    The present basis for the ephemeris of Mars in the National Ephemerides is the theory of S. Newcomb (1898) as amended by the corrections of Ross (1971). These amendments by Ross, however, are empirical in nature and therefore the present ephemeris of Mars does not have a strictly gravitational basis. In order to provide a gravitationally consistent basis for the ephemeris of Mars, Clemence (1949,1961) constructed a new general perturbation theory based on the final elements of Mars as derived by Newcomb for the epoch 1850. To test the adequacy and accuracy of this new theory, Clemence compared it against 87 observations from 1802-1839 and 1931-1950. This provided provisional values of the constraints (without secular, variation) for his new theory. These provisional elements and Clemence's theory were used to produce a heliocentric ephemeris of Mars for the period 1800-2000 (Duncombe and Clemence 1960, Duncombe 1964). The authors provide a comparison from data between 1950-1976. (Auth.)

  16. Alkali trace elements in Gale crater, Mars, with ChemCam: Calibration update and geological implications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Payre, Valerie; Fabre, Cecile; Cousin, Agnes; Sautter, Violaine; Wiens, Roger Craig

    2017-01-01

    The Chemistry Camera (ChemCam) instrument onboard Curiosity can detect minor and trace elements such as lithium, strontium, rubidium, and barium. Their abundances can provide some insights about Mars' magmatic history and sedimentary processes. We focus on developing new quantitative models for these elements by using a new laboratory database (more than 400 samples) that displays diverse compositions that are more relevant for Gale crater than the previous ChemCam database. These models are based on univariate calibration curves. For each element, the best model is selected depending on the results obtained by using the ChemCam calibration targets onboard Curiosity. New quantifications of Li, Sr, Rb, and Ba in Gale samples have been obtained for the first 1000 Martian days. Comparing these data in alkaline and magnesian rocks with the felsic and mafic clasts from the Martian meteorite NWA7533—from approximately the same geologic period—we observe a similar behavior: Sr, Rb, and Ba are more concentrated in soluble- and incompatible-element-rich mineral phases (Si, Al, and alkali-rich). Correlations between these trace elements and potassium in materials analyzed by ChemCam reveal a strong affinity with K-bearing phases such as feldspars, K-phyllosilicates, and potentially micas in igneous and sedimentary rocks. However, lithium is found in comparable abundances in alkali-rich and magnesium-rich Gale rocks. This very soluble element can be associated with both alkali and Mg-Fe phases such as pyroxene and feldspar. Here, these observations of Li, Sr, Rb, and Ba mineralogical associations highlight their substitution with potassium and their incompatibility in magmatic melts.

  17. Alkali trace elements in Gale crater, Mars, with ChemCam: Calibration update and geological implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payré, V.; Fabre, C.; Cousin, A.; Sautter, V.; Wiens, R. C.; Forni, O.; Gasnault, O.; Mangold, N.; Meslin, P.-Y.; Lasue, J.; Ollila, A.; Rapin, W.; Maurice, S.; Nachon, M.; Le Deit, L.; Lanza, N.; Clegg, S.

    2017-03-01

    The Chemistry Camera (ChemCam) instrument onboard Curiosity can detect minor and trace elements such as lithium, strontium, rubidium, and barium. Their abundances can provide some insights about Mars' magmatic history and sedimentary processes. We focus on developing new quantitative models for these elements by using a new laboratory database (more than 400 samples) that displays diverse compositions that are more relevant for Gale crater than the previous ChemCam database. These models are based on univariate calibration curves. For each element, the best model is selected depending on the results obtained by using the ChemCam calibration targets onboard Curiosity. New quantifications of Li, Sr, Rb, and Ba in Gale samples have been obtained for the first 1000 Martian days. Comparing these data in alkaline and magnesian rocks with the felsic and mafic clasts from the Martian meteorite NWA7533—from approximately the same geologic period—we observe a similar behavior: Sr, Rb, and Ba are more concentrated in soluble- and incompatible-element-rich mineral phases (Si, Al, and alkali-rich). Correlations between these trace elements and potassium in materials analyzed by ChemCam reveal a strong affinity with K-bearing phases such as feldspars, K-phyllosilicates, and potentially micas in igneous and sedimentary rocks. However, lithium is found in comparable abundances in alkali-rich and magnesium-rich Gale rocks. This very soluble element can be associated with both alkali and Mg-Fe phases such as pyroxene and feldspar. These observations of Li, Sr, Rb, and Ba mineralogical associations highlight their substitution with potassium and their incompatibility in magmatic melts.

  18. Geologic history of the polar regions of Mars based on Mars Global survey data. I. Noachian and Hesperian Periods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, K.L.; Kolb, E.J.

    2001-01-01

    During the Noachian Period, the south polar region of Mars underwent intense cratering, construction of three groups of volcanoes, widespread contractional deformation, resurfacing of low areas, and local dissection of valley networks; no evidence for polar deposits, ice sheets, or glaciation is recognized. South polar Hesperian geology is broadly characterized by waning impacts, volcanism, and tectonism. Emplacement of the polar Dorsa Argentea Formation (DAF) occurred during the Hesperian Period. Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter topographic data and Mars Orbiter Camera images elucidate stratigraphic, morphologic, and topographic relations, permitting the dividing of the DAF into eight members, which surround and underlie about half of the Amazonian south polar layered deposits. The lobate fronts and lack of typical volcanic-flow morphology of the six plains units indicate that they may be made up of debris flows. We think that these flows, tens of meters to 200 m thick, may have originated by the discharge of huge volumes of slurry fluidized by ground water or liquid CO2, perhaps triggered by local impacts, igneous activity, or basal melting beneath polar deposits. The cavi and rugged members include irregular depressions that penetrate the subsurface; some of the pits have raised rims. The depressions may have formed by collapse due to expulsion of subsurface material in which local explosive activity built up the raised rims. Further, smaller eruptions of volatile-rich material may have resulted in narrow, sinuous channel deposits within aggrading fine-grained unconsolidated material perhaps produced by gaseous discharge of subsurface volatiles; preferential erosion of the latter material could have produced the Dorsa Argentea-type ginuous ridges associated mainly with the DAF. Alternatively, the ridges may be eskers, but the lack of associated glacial and fluvial morphologies casts doubt on this interpretation. The knobby, degraded materials forming Scandia Colles

  19. Observational evidence of crystalline iron oxides on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bell, J.F. III; McCord, T.B.; Owensby, P.D.

    1990-01-01

    Visible to near-IR (0.4-1.0 μm) spectral reflectance observations of Mars during the 1988 opposition were performed at Mauna Kea Observatory using a circular variable filter spectrometer at a spectral resolution R = λ/Δλ ∼ 80. On August 13 and 14 1988, UT, 41 regions 500-600 km in diameter were observed on Mars. The data have been reduced both to reflectance relative to solar analog (Mars/16 Cyg B) and to relative reflectance (spot/spot). The spectra show the strong near-UV reflectance dropoff characteristic of Mars as well as absorptions at 0.62-0.72 μm and 0.81-0.94 μm both seen here clearly for the first time. These absorption features are interpreted as Fe 3+ electronic transition bands that indicate the presence of crystalline ferric oxide or hydroxide minerals on the Martian surface. Comparison of these data with laboratory spectra obtained by other workers supports the conclusion that a single iron oxide phase, most likely hematite, could account for all of the observed spectral behavior of the Martian surface soils and airborne dust in the 0.4-1.0 μm region. This possibility must be reconciled with data from other possible spectral analogs and other wavelength regions as well as geochemical and mineral stability considerations to arrive at a more complete understanding of the role of ferric minerals in Martian surface mineralogy and weathering

  20. Exploring the assessment of geological observation with design research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baek, John Y.

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the assessment of geological observation through the development and field testing of performance tasks. The study addressed a central challenge in geoscience education: for students to observe the world around them and make real-world connections. Yet, there existed no cohesive research approach for the study of observation in geoscience education. The research goal was to understand the assessment of geological observation. The design research of geological observation encountered the situation where few performance assessments existed and few domain-specific learning theories were available. Design research is suited to inquiries in which a domain of learning is unexplored and the phenomena needs to be supported in the classroom in order to study it. This dissertation addressed one general research question and four subquestions: (RQ) How should geological observation be assessed? (S1) What role did perception play in assessing students' geological observations? (S2) What role did explanation play in assessing students' geological observations? (S3) What role did gestures play in assessing students' geological observations? (S4) Were there performance differences between the first and second trial of the GO Inquire prototype with fourth graders? Students were supported in making geological observations with three performance tasks: GO Inquire stamp task, Cutting task, and Fieldguide task. The data set for this study consisted of student response data, videorecordings, and participant observations from seven field tests across one fourth and one fifth grade class. Three data-analytic methods, qualitative coding, item-difficulty analysis, and non-parametric comparisons, were utilized based on four mixed-method data analysis strategies: typology development, data transformation, extreme case analysis, and data consolidation. Analysis revealed that assessment should take into account the separation of visual from verbal

  1. Geologic Map of the MTM -30262 and -30267 Quadrangles, Hadriaca Patera Region of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crown, David A.; Greeley, Ronald

    2007-01-01

    Introduction Mars Transverse Mercator (MTM) -30262 and -30267 quadrangles cover the summit region and east margin of Hadriaca Patera, one of the Martian volcanoes designated highland paterae. MTM -30262 quadrangle includes volcanic deposits from Hadriaca Patera and Tyrrhena Patera (summit northeast of map area) and floor deposits associated with the Dao and Niger Valles canyon systems (south of map area). MTM -30267 quadrangle is centered on the caldera of Hadriaca Patera. The highland paterae are among the oldest, central-vent volcanoes on Mars and exhibit evidence for explosive eruptions, which make a detailed study of their geology an important component in understanding the evolution of Martian volcanism. Photogeologic mapping at 1:500,000-scale from analysis of Viking Orbiter images complements volcanological studies of Hadriaca Patera, geologic investigations of the other highland paterae, and an analysis of the styles and evolution of volcanic activity east of Hellas Planitia in the ancient, cratered highlands of Mars. This photogeologic study is an extension of regional geologic mapping east of Hellas Planitia. The Martian highland paterae are low-relief, areally extensive volcanoes exhibiting central calderas and radial channels and ridges. Four of these volcanoes, Hadriaca, Tyrrhena, Amphitrites, and Peneus Paterae, are located in the ancient cratered terrains surrounding Hellas Planitia and are thought to be located on inferred impact basin rings or related fractures. Based on analyses of Mariner 9 images, Potter (1976), Peterson (1977), and King (1978) suggested that the highland paterae were shield volcanoes formed by eruptions of fluid lavas. Later studies noted morphologic similarities between the paterae and terrestrial ash shields and the lack of primary lava flow features on the flanks of the volcanoes. The degraded appearances of Hadriaca and Tyrrhena Paterae and the apparently easily eroded materials composing their low, broad shields further

  2. The Search for Biosignatures on Mars: Using Predictive Geology to Optimize Exploration Targets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehler, Dorothy Z.; Allen, Carlton C.

    2011-01-01

    Predicting geologic context from satellite data is a method used on Earth for exploration in areas with limited ground truth. The method can be used to predict facies likely to contain organic-rich shales. Such shales concentrate and preserve organics and are major repositories of organic biosignatures on Earth [1]. Since current surface conditions on Mars are unfavorable for development of abundant life or for preservation of organic remains of past life, the chances are low of encountering organics in surface samples. Thus, focusing martian exploration on sites predicted to contain organic-rich shales would optimize the chances of discovering evidence of life, if it ever existed on that planet.

  3. Geologic setting of diverse volcanic materials in northern Elysium Planitia, Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mouginis-Mark, P.J.

    1990-01-01

    Geologic mapping of high-resolution (30-50 m/pixel) Viking Orbiter images of northern Elysium Planitia has identified seven sites where current problems in martian volcanology, chronology, and stratigraphy can be resolved. These sites, which are discussed in the context of a potential Mars rover/sample return mission, would permit the following investigations: (1) the dating of Lower Amazonian lava flows from Elysium Mons (thereby providing absolute calibration for global crater size/frequency relative chronologies), (2) the petrologic investigation of long run-out lava flows, (3) the geologic interpretation of materials that may either be lava flows or lahar deposits, (4) the analysis of materials believed to be ash deposits produced by explosive eruptions of Hecates Tholus, and (5) the investigation of the stratigraphy of fractured terrain along the boundary between northern Elysium Planitia and southern Utopia Planitia. 63 refs

  4. The geological and climatological case for a warmer and wetter early Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez, Ramses M.; Craddock, Robert A.

    2018-04-01

    The climate of early Mars remains a topic of intense debate. Ancient terrains preserve landscapes consistent with stream channels, lake basins and possibly even oceans, and thus the presence of liquid water flowing on the Martian surface 4 billion years ago. However, despite the geological evidence, determining how long climatic conditions supporting liquid water lasted remains uncertain. Climate models have struggled to generate sufficiently warm surface conditions given the faint young Sun—even assuming a denser early atmosphere. A warm climate could have potentially been sustained by supplementing atmospheric CO2 and H2O warming with either secondary greenhouse gases or clouds. Alternatively, the Martian climate could have been predominantly cold and icy, with transient warming episodes triggered by meteoritic impacts, volcanic eruptions, methane bursts or limit cycles. Here, we argue that a warm and semi-arid climate capable of producing rain is most consistent with the geological and climatological evidence.

  5. Evolution of the global water cycle on Mars: The geological evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, V. R.; Gulick, V. C.

    1993-01-01

    The geological evidence for active water cycling early in the history of Mars (Noachian geological system or heavy bombardment) consists almost exclusively of fluvial valley networks in the heavily cratered uplands of the planet. It is commonly assumed that these landforms required explanation by atmospheric processes operating above the freezing point of water and at high pressure to allow rainfall and liquid surface runoff. However, it has also been documented that nearly all valley networks probably formed by subsurface outflow and sapping erosion involving groundwater outflow prior to surface-water flow. The prolonged ground-water flow also requires extensive water cycling to maintain hydraulic gradients, but is this done via rainfall recharge, as in terrestrial environments?

  6. Origins of Sinuous and Braided Channels on Ascraeus Mons, Mars - A Keck Geology Consortium Undergraduate Research Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Wet, A. P.; Bleacher, J. E.; Garry, W. B.

    2012-01-01

    Water has clearly played an important part in the geological evolution of Mars. There are many features on Mars that were almost certainly formed by fluvial processes -- for example, the channels Kasei Valles and Ares Vallis in the Chryse Planitia area of Mars are almost certainly fluvial features. On the other hand, there are many channel features that are much more difficult to interpret -- and have been variously attributed to volcanic and fluvial processes. Clearly unraveling the details of the role of water on Mars is extremely important, especially in the context of the search of extinct or extant life. In this project we built on our recent work in determining the origin of one channel on the southwest rift apron of Ascraeus Mons. This project, funded by the Keck Geology Consortium and involving 4 undergraduate geology majors took advantage of the recently available datasets to map and analyze similar features on Ascraeus Mons and some other areas of Mars. A clearer understanding of how these particular channel features formed might lead to the development of better criteria to distinguish how other Martian channel features formed. Ultimately this might provide us with a better understanding of the role of volcanic and fluvial processes in the geological evolution of Mars.

  7. An Outrageous Geological Hypothesis for the Early Mars Hydro-climatic Conundrum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, V. R.

    2016-12-01

    Nearly a century ago a Science paper by W. M. Davis described the role for an "outrageous geological hypothesis" (OGH) as encouraging, "…a contemplation deliberate enough to seek out what conditions would make the outrage seem permissible and reasonable." Davis even advocated in 1926 that Earth scientists seriously consider "the Wegener outrage of wandering continents"- the OGH that ultimately led to the most important unifying concept for understanding the nature of Earthlike planets. Does this concept of a mobile lithosphere, manifesting itself on Earth as plate tectonics, have relevance for understanding the nature of early Mars? Conceptual arguments have been presented claiming that Mars could never have had an early phase of lithospheric dynamics similar to that associated with Earth's plate tectonics. Nevertheless, a total rejection of this OGH precludes any possibility of considering (1) the conditions that might make such dynamics possible, and (2) connections among the many phenomena that can be collectively accounted for by the OGH. While all scientific arguments are intrinsically fallible, nature presents us with absolute realities. For Mars the latter consist of the numerous anomalies related to planetary evolution that either can be explained piecemeal by ad hoc hypotheses, or, alternatively, might be viewed as part of something to be explained by a unifying, working hypothesis that may seem outrageous in the light of current theory. Briefly stated, the Early Mars OGH envisions a pre-Late Heavy Bombardment (> 4 Ga) phase of lithospheric subduction that helped generate the very powerful core dynamo while also emplacing near the core-mantle boundary a reservoir of volatiles that subsequently influenced the later Mars history of punctuated evolution, involving episodic volcanism and transient states of a denser atmosphere with associated, active hydrological cycling, including the temporary surficial expressions of oceans, lakes, glaciers, and rivers.

  8. Observations of Crew Dynamics During Mars Analog Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cusack, Stacy L.

    2009-01-01

    Crewmembers on Mars missions will face new and unique challenges compared to those in close communications proximity to Mission Control centers. Crews on Mars will likely become more autonomous and responsible for their day-to-day planning. These explorers will need to make frequent real time decisions without the assistance of large ground support teams. Ground-centric control will no longer be an option due to the communications delays. As a result of the new decision making model, crew dynamics and leadership styles of future astronauts may become significantly different from the demands of today. As a volunteer for the Mars Society on two Mars analog missions, this presenter will discuss observations made during isolated, surface exploration simulations. The need for careful crew selections, not just based on individual skill sets, but on overall team interactions becomes apparent very quickly when the crew is planning their own days and deciding their own priorities. Even more important is the selection of a Mission Commander who can lead a team of highly skilled individuals with strong and varied opinions in a way that promotes crew consensus, maintains fairness, and prevents unnecessary crew fatigue.

  9. Mesospheric CO2 ice clouds on Mars observed by Planetary Fourier Spectrometer onboard Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoki, S.; Sato, Y.; Giuranna, M.; Wolkenberg, P.; Sato, T. M.; Nakagawa, H.; Kasaba, Y.

    2018-03-01

    We have investigated mesospheric CO2 ice clouds on Mars through analysis of near-infrared spectra acquired by Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) onboard the Mars Express (MEx) from MY 27 to MY 32. With the highest spectral resolution achieved thus far in the relevant spectral range among remote-sensing experiments orbiting Mars, PFS enables precise identification of the scattering peak of CO2 ice at the bottom of the 4.3 μm CO2 band. A total of 111 occurrences of CO2 ice cloud features have been detected over the period investigated. Data from the OMEGA imaging spectrometer onboard MEx confirm all of PFS detections from times when OMEGA operated simultaneously with PFS. The spatial and seasonal distributions of the CO2 ice clouds detected by PFS are consistent with previous observations by other instruments. We find CO2 ice clouds between Ls = 0° and 140° in distinct longitudinal corridors around the equatorial region (± 20°N). Moreover, CO2 ice clouds were preferentially detected at the observational LT range between 15-16 h in MY 29. However, observational biases prevent from distinguishing local time dependency from inter-annual variation. PFS also enables us to investigate the shape of mesospheric CO2 ice cloud spectral features in detail. In all cases, peaks were found between 4.240 and 4.265 μm. Relatively small secondary peaks were occasionally observed around 4.28 μm (8 occurrences). These spectral features cannot be reproduced using our radiative transfer model, which may be because the available CO2 ice refractive indices are inappropriate for the mesospheric temperatures of Mars, or because of the assumption in our model that the CO2 ice crystals are spherical and composed by pure CO2 ice.

  10. Telescopic observations - Visual, photographic, polarimetric. [of planet Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Leonard J.; James, Philip B.; Dollfus, Audouin; Iwasaki, Kyosuke; Beish, Jeffrey D.

    1992-01-01

    The paper divides the high points of telescopic observations of Mars into three time periods: historical, missions support (recent), and present. Particular attention is given to visual and photographic observations, with brief discussions of spectroscopic and polarization studies. Major topics of Martian phenomena included are albedo features, polar caps, dust storms, and white clouds. The interannual variability of the recessions of seasonal polar caps has been compared to dust storm activity, but this relationship remains uncertain. Only a very limited number of canals can be related to markings on the Viking images. The remainder are argued to be optical illusions created by observers pushing their perceived resolution beyond practical limits.

  11. Geologic context of recurring slope lineae in Melas and Coprates Chasmata, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chojnacki, Matthew; McEwen, Alfred; Dundas, Colin M.; Ojha, Lujendra; Urso, Anna; Sutton, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    One of the major Mars discoveries of recent years is the existence of recurring slope lineae (RSL), which suggests that liquid water occurs on or near the surface of Mars today. These dark and narrow features emerge from steep, rocky exposures and incrementally grow, fade, and reform on a seasonal basis and are detected in images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera. RSL are known to occur at scattered midlatitude and equatorial sites with little spatial connection to one another. One major exception is the steep, low-albedo slopes of Melas and Coprates Chasmata, in Valles Marineris where RSL are detected among diverse geologic surfaces (e.g., bedrock and talus) and landforms (e.g., inselbergs and landslides). New images show topographic changes including sediment deposition on active RSL slopes. Midwall locations in Coprates and Melas appear to have more areally extensively abundant RSL and related fans as compared with other RSL sites found on Mars. Water budget estimates for regional RSL are on the order of 105 to 106 m3 of fluid, for depths of 10 to 100mm, and suggest that a significant amount of near-surface watermight be present. Many RSL are concentrated near local topographic highs, such as ridge crests or peaks, which is challenging to explain via groundwater or ice without a recharge mechanism. Collectively, results provide additional support for the notion that significant amounts of near-surface water can be found on Mars today and suggest that a widespread mechanism, possibly related to the atmosphere, is recharging RSL sources.

  12. Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - First Results of Pressure Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, Ari-Matti; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kemppinen, Osku; Genzer, Maria; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Haberle, Robert M.; Schmidt, Walter; Savijärvi, Hannu; Rodríquez-Manfredi, Jose Antonio; Rafkin, Scott; Polkko, Jouni; Richardson, Mark; Newman, Claire; de la Torre Juárez, Manuel; Martín-Torres, Javier; Paz Zorzano-Mier, Maria; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Kauhanen, Janne; Paton, Mark; Haukka, Harri

    2013-04-01

    The Mars Science laboratory (MSL) called Curiosity made a successful landing at Gale crater early August 2012. MSL has an environmental instrument package called the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) as a part of its scientific payload. REMS comprises instrumentation for the observation of atmospheric pressure, temperature of the air, ground temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity, and UV measurements. The REMS instrument suite is described at length in [1]. We concentrate on describing the first results from the REMS pressure observations and comparison of the measurements with modeling results. The REMS pressure device is provided by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. It is based on silicon micro-machined capacitive pressure sensors developed by Vaisala Inc. The pressure device makes use of two transducer electronics sections placed on a single multi-layer PCB inside the REMS Instrument Control Unit (ICU) with a filter-protected ventilation inlet to the ambient atmosphere. The absolute accuracy of the pressure device (< 3 Pa) and zero-drift (< 1 Pa/year) enables the investigations of long term and seasonal cycles of the Martian atmosphere. The relative accuracy, or repeatability, in the diurnal time scale is < 1.5 Pa, less than 2 % of the observed diurnal pressure variation at the landing site. The pressure device has special sensors with very high precision (less than 0.2 Pa) that makes it a good tool to study short-term atmospheric phenomena, e.g., dust devils and other convective vortices. The observed MSL pressure data enable us to study both the long term and short-term phenomena of the Martian atmosphere. This would add knowledge of these phenomena to that gathered by earlier Mars missions and modeling experiments [2,3]. Pressure observations are revealing new information on the local atmosphere and climate at Gale crater, and will shed light on the mesoscale and micrometeorological phenomena. Pressure observations show also

  13. Geologic Map of MTM 35337, 40337, and 45337 Quadrangles, Deuteronilus Mensae Region of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuang, Frank C.; Crown, David A.

    2009-01-01

    Deuteronilus Mensae, first defined as an albedo feature at lat 35.0 deg N., long 5.0 deg E., by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and International Astronomical Union (IAU) nomenclature, is a gradational zone along the dichotomy boundary in the northern mid-latitudes of Mars. The boundary in this location includes the transition from the rugged cratered highlands of Arabia Terra to the northern lowland plains of Acidalia Planitia. Within Deuteronilus Mensae, polygonal mesas are prominent along with features diagnostic of Martian fretted terrain, including lobate debris aprons, lineated valley fill, and concentric crater fill. Lobate debris aprons, as well as the valley and crater fill deposits, are geomorphic indicators of ground ice, and their concentration in Deuteronilus Mensae is of great interest because of their potential association with Martian climate change. The paucity of impact craters on the surfaces of debris aprons and the presence of ice-cemented mantle material imply young (for example, Amazonian) surface ages that are consistent with recent climate change in this region of Mars. North of Deuteronilus Mensae are the northern lowlands, a potential depositional sink that may have had large standing bodies of water or an ocean in the past. The northern lowlands have elevations that are several kilometers below the ancient cratered highlands with significantly younger surface ages. The morphologic and topographic characteristics of the Deuteronilus Mensae region record a diverse geologic history, including significant modification of the ancient highland plateau and resurfacing of low-lying regions. Previous studies of this region have interpreted a complex array of geologic processes, including eolian, fluvial and glacial activity, coastal erosion, marine deposition, mass wasting, tectonic faulting, effusive volcanism, and hydrovolcanism. The origin and age of the Martian crustal dichotomy boundary are fundamental questions that remain unresolved at the

  14. HiRISE observations of Recurring Slope Lineae (RSL) during southern summer on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojha, Lujendra; McEwen, Alfred; Dundas, Colin; Byrne, Shane; Mattson, Sarah; Wray, James; Masse, Marion; Schaefer, Ethan

    2014-01-01

    Recurring Slope Lineae (RSL) are active features on Mars that might require flowing water. Most examples observed through 2011 formed on steep, equator-facing slopes in the southern mid-latitudes. They form and grow during warm seasons and fade and often completely disappear during colder seasons, but recur over multiple Mars years. They are recognizable by their incremental growth, relatively low albedo and downhill orientation. We examined all images acquired by HiRISE during Ls 250–10° (slightly longer than southern summer, Ls 270–360°) of Mars years 30–31 (03/2011–10/2011), and supplemented our results with data from previous studies to better understand the geologic context and characteristics of RSL. We also confirmed candidate and likely sites from previous studies and discovered new RSL sites. We report 13 confirmed RSL sites, including the 7 in McEwen et al. (McEwen et al. [2011]. Science 333(6043), 740–743]. The observed seasonality, latitudinal and slope orientation preferences, and THEMIS bright- ness temperatures indicate that RSL require warm temperatures to form. We conclude that RSL are a unique phenomenon on Mars, clearly distinct from other slope processes that occur at high latitudes associated with seasonal CO2 frost, and episodic mass wasting on equatorial slopes. However, only 41% (82 out of 200) of the sites that present apparently suitable conditions for RSL formation (steep, equator-facing rocky slopes with bedrock exposure) in the southern mid-latitudes (28–60°S) contain any candidate RSL, with confirmed RSL present only in 7% (13 sites) of those locations. Significant variability in abundance, size and exact location of RSL is also observed at most sites, indicating additional controls such as availability of water or salts that might be playing a crucial role.

  15. Mars gravity field error analysis from simulated radio tracking of Mars Observer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, D.E.; Lerch, F.J.; Chan, J.C.; Chinn, D.S.; Iz, H.B.; Mallama, A.; Patel, G.B.

    1990-01-01

    The Mars Observer (MO) Mission, in a near-polar orbit at 360-410 km altitude for nearly a 2-year observing period, will greatly improve our understanding of the geophysics of Mars, including its gravity field. To assess the expected improvement of the gravity field, the authors have conducted an error analysis based upon the mission plan for the Mars Observer radio tracking data from the Deep Space Network. Their results indicate that it should be possible to obtain a high-resolution model (spherical harmonics complete to degree and order 50 corresponding to a 200-km horizontal resolution) for the gravitational field of the planet. This model, in combination with topography from MO altimetry, should provide for an improved determination of the broad scale density structure and stress state of the Martian crust and upper mantle. The mathematical model for the error analysis is based on the representation of doppler tracking data as a function of the Martian gravity field in spherical harmonics, solar radiation pressure, atmospheric drag, angular momentum desaturation residual acceleration (AMDRA) effects, tracking station biases, and the MO orbit parameters. Two approaches are employed. In the first case, the error covariance matrix of the gravity model is estimated including the effects from all the nongravitational parameters (noise-only case). In the second case, the gravity recovery error is computed as above but includes unmodelled systematic effects from atmospheric drag, AMDRA, and solar radiation pressure (biased case). The error spectrum of gravity shows an order of magnitude of improvement over current knowledge based on doppler data precision from a single station of 0.3 mm s -1 noise for 1-min integration intervals during three 60-day periods

  16. Mars Sample Return: The Next Step Required to Revolutionize Knowledge of Martian Geological and Climatological History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittlefehldt, D. W.

    2012-01-01

    The capability of scientific instrumentation flown on planetary orbiters and landers has made great advances since the signature Viking mission of the seventies. At some point, however, the science return from orbital remote sensing, and even in situ measurements, becomes incremental, rather than revolutionary. This is primarily caused by the low spatial resolution of such measurements, even for landed instrumentation, the incomplete mineralogical record derived from such measurements, the inability to do the detailed textural, mineralogical and compositional characterization needed to demonstrate equilibrium or reaction paths, and the lack of chronological characterization. For the foreseeable future, flight instruments will suffer from this limitation. In order to make the next revolutionary breakthrough in understanding the early geological and climatological history of Mars, samples must be available for interrogation using the full panoply of laboratory-housed analytical instrumentation. Laboratory studies of samples allow for determination of parageneses of rocks through microscopic identification of mineral assemblages, evaluation of equilibrium through electron microbeam analyses of mineral compositions and structures, determination of formation temperatures through secondary ion or thermal ionization mass spectrometry (SIMS or TIMS) analyses of stable isotope compositions. Such details are poorly constrained by orbital data (e.g. phyllosilicate formation at Mawrth Vallis), and incompletely described by in situ measurements (e.g. genesis of Burns formation sediments at Meridiani Planum). Laboratory studies can determine formation, metamorphism and/or alteration ages of samples through SIMS or TIMS of radiogenic isotope systems; a capability well-beyond flight instrumentation. Ideally, sample return should be from a location first scouted by landers such that fairly mature hypotheses have been formulated that can be tested. However, samples from clastic

  17. Geology and MER target site characteristics along the southern rim of Isidis Planitia, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crumpler, L.S.; Tanaka, K.L.

    2003-01-01

    The southern rim of the Isidis basin contains one of the highest densities of valley networks, several restricted paleolake basins, and the stratigraphically lowest (oldest) terrain on Mars. Geologic mapping in Viking, MGS/MOC, and MOLA data, Odyssey/ THEMIS data, and other multispectral data products supports the presence of extensive fans of debris and sediments deposited along the inner rim of the Isidis basin where large valleys enter the lowlands. Additional processes subsequent to the period of intense fluvial activity, including mass flow analogous to some glacial processes, have contributed to the materials accumulated on the margins of the Isidis basin. These have occurred along preexisting channels and valleys at the termini of major channels where they enter the plains along the highland-lowland boundary. If the abundant valley networks in highland terrains are the result of runoff accompanied by saturated groundwater flow, as has been suggested in previous studies of ancient fluvial highland terrains, then the extreme age and abundance of early valley networks in the Libya Montes highland rocks should have resulted in deposition of materials that record evidence for the long-term presence of water in the form of aqueous alteration of polycrystalline constituents. The material deposited along the basin margin is likely to consist of ancient altered highland rocks in several physical states (weathered, rounded, and angular) exposing both weathered and altered surfaces, and exposures of alteration profiles in fractured faces and unweathered material from rock interiors. Debris fans shed off the southern rim of Isidis Planitia should contain materials that have experienced possible saturated groundwater flow, residence within paleolake basins, and derivative materials deposited during the most fluvially intensive part of Martian geologic history. Many of these materials have also been reworked by ice-related processes. In situ measurements of the ancient

  18. New Mars free-air and Bouguer gravity: Correlation with topography, geology and large impact basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, Herbert; Bills, Bruce G.; Kiefer, Walter S.; Nerem, R. Steven; Roark, James H.; Zuber, Maria T.

    1993-01-01

    Free-air and Bouguer gravity anomalies from a 50x50 field (MGM635), derived at the Goddard Space Flight Center, with global topography, geology, and the distribution of large impact basins was compared. The free-air gravity anomalies were derived from re-analysis of Viking Orbiter and Mariner 9 tracking data and have a spatial resolution of 250-300 km. Bouguer anomalies were calculated using a 50x50 expansion of the current Mars topography and the GSFC degree 50 geoid as the equipotential reference surface. Rotational flattening was removed using a moment of inertia of 0.365 and the corrections from Table B2 of Sleep and Phillips. Crustal density and mean density were assumed to be 2.9 and 3.93 gm/cm(sup 3). The spherical harmonic topography used has zero mean elevation, and differs from the USGS maps by about 2 km. Comparisons with global geology use a simplified map with about 1/3 the number of units on the current maps. For correlation with impact basins, the recent compilation by Schultz and Frey was used.

  19. A geoethical approach to the geological and astrobiological exploration and research of the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Frias, Jesus; Horneck, Gerda; de La Torre Noetzel, Rosa; Rull, Fernando

    Lunar and Mars exploration and research require not only scientific and technological inter-disciplinary cooperation, but also the consideration of budding ethical and scientific integrity issues. COSPAR's planetary protection policy (in coordination with the United Nations Com-mittee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space as well as various other bilateral and multilateral organizations) serves as the consensus standard for biological contamination prevention under the 1967 Outer Space Treaty1 . Space agencies Planetary Protection Policies are mostly consis-tent with the COSPAR policy. Geoethics was formerly promoted in 1991 as a new discipline, involving scientific and societal aspects2 , and its institutionalization was officially established in 2004 with the backing of the Association of Geoscientists for International Development, AGID3 (IUGS/ICSU). Recently, it has been proposed that the integration of geoethical issues in studies on planetary geology and astrobiology would enrich their methodological and con-ceptual character4-6 . The incorporation through geoethics of new questions and approaches associated to the "abiotic world" would involve: 1) extrapolating to space the recently defined and approved IUCN/UNESCO guidelines and recommendations on geodiversity7 as "planetary geodiversity", and 2) widening the classical concept of Planetary Protection, giving an addi-tional "abiotic" dimension to the exploration and research of the Moon and Mars. Given the geological characteristics and planetary evolution of the Moon and Mars, it is obvious that they require tailored geoethical approaches. Some fundamental aspects include, among others: the interrelation with bioethics and organics vs. inorganic contamination in Planetary Protection, the appropriate regulations of some necessary natural disturbances (e.g. on the Moon) dur-ing robotic and manned planetary missions, wilderness/planetary parks8,9 , the correct use of mineralogical and geochemical analytical

  20. Sulfates on Mars: TES Observations and Thermal Inertia Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, C. D.; Mustard, J. F.

    2001-05-01

    The high resolution thermal emission spectra returned by the TES spectrometer on the MGS spacecraft have allowed the mapping of a variety of minerals and rock types by different sets of researchers. Recently, we have used a linear deconvolution approach to compare sulfate-palagonite soil mixtures created in the laboratory with Martian surface spectra. This approach showed that a number of areas on Mars have spectral properties that match those of sulfate-cemented soils (but neither loose powder mixtures of sulfates and soils nor sand-sized grains of disaggregated crusted soils). These features do not appear to be caused by atmospheric or instrumental effects and are thus believed to be related to surface composition and texture. The distribution and physical state of sulfate are important pieces of information for interpreting surface processes on Mars. A number of different mechanisms could have deposited sulfate in surface layers. Some of these include evaporation of standing bodies of water, aerosol deposition of volcanic gases, hydrothermal alteration from groundwater, and in situ interaction between the atmosphere and soil. The areas on Mars with cemented sulfate signatures are spread across a wide range of elevations and are generally large in spatial scale. Some of the areas are associated with volcanic regions, but many are in dark red plains that have previously been interpreted as duricrust deposits. Our current work compares the distribution of sulfate-cemented soils as mapped by the spectral deconvolution approach with thermal inertia maps produced from both Viking and MGS-TES. Duricrust regions, interpreted from intermediate thermal inertia values, are large regions thought to be sulfate-cemented soils similar to coherent, sulfate-rich materials seen at the Viking lander sites. Our observations of apparent regions of cemented sulfate are also large in spatial extent. This scale information is important for evaluating formation mechanisms for the

  1. Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) - First Results of Relative Humidity Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Kemppinen, Osku; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Renno, Nilton; Savijärvi, Hannu; Schmidt, Walter; Polkko, Jouni; Rodríquez-Manfredi, Jose Antonio; de la Torre Juárez, Manuel; Mischna, Michael; Martín-Torres, Javier; Haukka, Harri; Paz Zorzano-Mier, Maria; Rafkin, Scott; Paton, Mark; MSL Science Team

    2013-04-01

    The Mars Science laboratory (MSL) called Curiosity made a successful landing at Gale crater early August 2012. MSL has an environmental instrument package called the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) as a part of its scientific payload. REMS comprises instrumentation for the observation of atmospheric pressure, temperature of the air, ground temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity, and UV measurements. The REMS instrument suite is described at length in [1]. We concentrate on describing the first results from the REMS relative humidity observations and comparison of the measurements with modeling results. The REMS humidity device is provided by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. It is based on polymeric capacitive humidity sensors developed by Vaisala Inc. The humidity device makes use of one transducer electronics section placed in the vicinity of the three (3) humidity sensor heads. The humidity device is mounted on the REMS boom 2 providing ventilation with the ambient atmosphere through a filter protecting the device from airborne dust. The absolute accuracy of the humidity device is temperature dependent, and is of the order of 2% at the temperature range of -30 to -10 °C, and of the order of 10% at the temperature range of -80 to -60 °C. This enables the investigations of atmospheric humidity variations of both diurnal and seasonal scale. The humidity device measurements will have a lag, when a step-wise change in humidity is taking place. This lag effect is increasing with decreasing temperature, and it is of the order of a few hours at the temperature of -75 °C. To compensate for the lag effect we used an algorithm developed by Mäkinen [2]. The humidity observations were validated after tedious efforts. This was needed to compensate for the artifacts of the transducer electronics. The compensation process includes an assumption that the relative humidity at Mars in the temperature range of 0 to -30 °C is about zero. The

  2. Compact Micro-Imaging Spectrometer (CMIS): Investigation of Imaging Spectroscopy and Its Application to Mars Geology and Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staten, Paul W.

    2005-01-01

    Future missions to Mars will attempt to answer questions about Mars' geological and biological history. The goal of the CMIS project is to design, construct, and test a capable, multi-spectral micro-imaging spectrometer use in such missions. A breadboard instrument has been constructed with a micro-imaging camera and Several multi-wavelength LED illumination rings. Test samples have been chosen for their interest to spectroscopists, geologists and astrobiologists. Preliminary analysis has demonstrated the advantages of isotropic illumination and micro-imaging spectroscopy over spot spectroscopy.

  3. Mars Science Laboratory relative humidity observations: Initial results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A-M; Genzer, M; Kemppinen, O; Gomez-Elvira, J; Haberle, R; Polkko, J; Savijärvi, H; Rennó, N; Rodriguez-Manfredi, J A; Schmidt, W; Richardson, M; Siili, T; Paton, M; Torre-Juarez, M De La; Mäkinen, T; Newman, C; Rafkin, S; Mischna, M; Merikallio, S; Haukka, H; Martin-Torres, J; Komu, M; Zorzano, M-P; Peinado, V; Vazquez, L; Urqui, R

    2014-09-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) made a successful landing at Gale crater early August 2012. MSL has an environmental instrument package called the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) as a part of its scientific payload. REMS comprises instrumentation for the observation of atmospheric pressure, temperature of the air, ground temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity (REMS-H), and UV measurements. We concentrate on describing the REMS-H measurement performance and initial observations during the first 100 MSL sols as well as constraining the REMS-H results by comparing them with earlier observations and modeling results. The REMS-H device is based on polymeric capacitive humidity sensors developed by Vaisala Inc., and it makes use of transducer electronics section placed in the vicinity of the three humidity sensor heads. The humidity device is mounted on the REMS boom providing ventilation with the ambient atmosphere through a filter protecting the device from airborne dust. The final relative humidity results appear to be convincing and are aligned with earlier indirect observations of the total atmospheric precipitable water content. The water mixing ratio in the atmospheric surface layer appears to vary between 30 and 75 ppm. When assuming uniform mixing, the precipitable water content of the atmosphere is ranging from a few to six precipitable micrometers. Atmospheric water mixing ratio at Gale crater varies from 30 to 140 ppmMSL relative humidity observation provides good dataHighest detected relative humidity reading during first MSL 100 sols is RH75.

  4. Assessment of planetary geologic mapping techniques for Mars using terrestrial analogs: The SP Mountain area of the San Francisco Volcanic Field, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, K.L.; Skinner, J.A.; Crumpler, L.S.; Dohm, J.M.

    2009-01-01

    We photogeologically mapped the SP Mountain region of the San Francisco Volcanic Field in northern Arizona, USA to evaluate and improve the fidelity of approaches used in geologic mapping of Mars. This test site, which was previously mapped in the field, is chiefly composed of Late Cenozoic cinder cones, lava flows, and alluvium perched on Permian limestone of the Kaibab Formation. Faulting and folding has deformed the older rocks and some of the volcanic materials, and fluvial erosion has carved drainage systems and deposited alluvium. These geologic materials and their formational and modificational histories are similar to those for regions of the Martian surface. We independently prepared four geologic maps using topographic and image data at resolutions that mimic those that are commonly used to map the geology of Mars (where consideration was included for the fact that Martian features such as lava flows are commonly much larger than their terrestrial counterparts). We primarily based our map units and stratigraphic relations on geomorphology, color contrasts, and cross-cutting relationships. Afterward, we compared our results with previously published field-based mapping results, including detailed analyses of the stratigraphy and of the spatial overlap and proximity of the field-based vs. remote-based (photogeologic) map units, contacts, and structures. Results of these analyses provide insights into how to optimize the photogeologic mapping of Mars (and, by extension, other remotely observed planetary surfaces). We recommend the following: (1) photogeologic mapping as an excellent approach to recovering the general geology of a region, along with examination of local, high-resolution datasets to gain insights into the complexity of the geology at outcrop scales; (2) delineating volcanic vents and lava-flow sequences conservatively and understanding that flow abutment and flow overlap are difficult to distinguish in remote data sets; (3) taking care to

  5. Geology and mineralogy of the Auki Crater, Tyrrhena Terra, Mars: A possible post impact-induced hydrothermal system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrozzo, F. G.; Di Achille, G.; Salese, F.; Altieri, F.; Bellucci, G.

    2017-01-01

    A variety of hydrothermal environments have been documented in terrestrial impact structures. Due to both past water interactions and meteoritic bombardment on the surface of Mars, several authors have predicted various scenarios that include the formation of hydrothermal systems. Geological and mineralogical evidence of past hydrothermal activity have only recently been found on Mars. Here, we present a geological and mineralogical study of the Auki Crater using the spectral and visible imagery data acquired by the CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars), CTX (Context Camera) and HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) instruments on board the NASA MRO mission. The Auki Crater is a complex crater that is ∼38 km in diameter located in Tyrrhena Terra (96.8°E and 15.7°S) and shows a correlation between its mineralogy and morphology. The presence of minerals, such as smectite, silica, zeolite, serpentine, carbonate and chlorite, associated with morphological structures, such as mounds, polygonal terrains, fractures and veins, suggests that the Auki Crater may have hosted a post impact-induced hydrothermal system. Although the distribution of hydrated minerals in and around the central uplift and the stratigraphic relationships of some morphological units could also be explained by the excavation and exhumation of carbonate-rich bedrock units as a consequence of crater formation, we favor the hypothesis of impact-induced hydrothermal circulation within fractures and subsequent mineral deposition. The hydrothermal system could have been active for a relatively long period of time after the impact, thus producing a potential transient habitable environment. It must be a spectrally neutral component to emphasize the spectral features; It is an average of spectra taken in the same column of the numerator spectra to correct the residual instrument artifacts and reduce detector noise that changes from column to column; It must be taken in

  6. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hari, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Aleksashkin, Sergey; Arruego, Ignacio; Schmidt, Walter; Genzer, Maria; Vazquez, Luis; Siikonen, Timo; Palin, Matti

    2017-04-01

    accelerometer combined with a 3-axis gyrometer. The data will be sent via auxiliary beacon antenna throughout the descent phase starting shortly after separation from the spacecraft. MetNet Mission payload instruments are specially designed to operate under very low power conditions. MNL flexible solar panels provides a total of approximately 0.7-0.8 W of electric power during the daylight time. As the provided power output is insufficient to operate all instruments simultaneously they are activated sequentially according to a specially designed cyclogram table which adapts itself to the different environmental constraints. 3. Mission Status he eventual goal is to create a network of atmospheric observational posts around the Martian surface. Even if the MetNet mission is focused on the atmospheric science, the mission payload will also include additional kinds of geophysical instrumentation. The next step is the MetNet Precursor Mission that will demonstrate the technical robustness and scientific capabilities of the MetNet type of landing vehicle. Definition of the Precursor Mission and discussions on launch opportunities are currently under way. The first MetNet Science Payload Precursors have already been successfully completed, e,g, the REMS/MSL and DREAMS/Exomars-2016. The next MetNet Payload Precursors will be METEO/Exomars-2018 and MEDA/Mars-2020. The baseline program development funding exists for the next seven years. Flight unit manufacture of the payload bay takes about 18 months, and it will be commenced after the Precursor Mission has been defined. References [1] http://metnet.fmi.fi

  7. Goldstone Radar Observations of the 1999 Mars Opposition and other Observing Opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slade, M. A.

    1997-07-01

    As part of the International Mars Watch, Goldstone radar observations of Mars are planned during the 1999 Opposition ( Feb.'99-Aug'99). While some observing time is already allocated, a number of tracks could be made available for well-focused scientific objectives. Since the Deep Space Network plans far in advance, now is the time to develop your plans. During the next Mars opposition, the sub-Earth latitudes are in Mars' Northern hemisphere over the most northerly terrain accessible, which has not been previously examined with current sensitivity. The North residual ice cap is of particular interest. As a reminder to the Planetary Science community, observing proposals from any scientist with peer-reviewed planetary funding are solicited and should be forwarded to Martin.A.Slade@jpl.nasa.gov by email. Data reduction can, in principle, be carried out over the Internet. A graduate student or postdoctoral fellow resident at JPL for short period is recommended, however, to become familiar with suite of software for data analysis. Unfortunately, JPL cannot guarantee travel reimbursement due to funding limitations. We urge your consideration of becoming involved with the acquisition and analysis of Goldstone radar data. In the recent past, P.I.'s or co-I.s from Cornell, Arecibo/NAIC, Washington State University, Univ. Cal. Berkeley, Harvard -Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Univ. of Chicago, the DLR, Kashima SRC, ISAS, the Russian Academy of Science, the Russian Space Agency, and the USGS, have participated in radar experiments with Goldstone transmitting. This work is supported by the California Institute of Technology, under contract with NASA.

  8. Observations at the Mars Pathfinder site: Do they provide "unequivocal" evidence of catastrophic flooding?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, M.G.; Kargel, J.S.

    1999-01-01

    After Mars Pathfinder landed at the mouth of Ares Vallis, a large channel that drains into the Chryse Planitia basin, the mission reports unanimously supported the interpretation that the lander site is the locus of catastrophic flooding by noting that all aspects of the scene are consistent with this interpretation. However, alternatives cannot be ruled out by any site observations, as all aspects of the scene are equally consistent with other interpretations of origin, namely, ice and mass-flow processes subsequently modified by wind erosion. The authors discuss alternative explanations for the geologic history of the channel based on a regional view of the circum-Chryse channels from Viking images (our best broad-scale information to date) and the local view from the recent Pathfinder landing site. Mega-indicators of channel origin, the regional geomorphology, geology, and planetary climatic conditions, taken together suggest some combination of flood, mass flow, glacial, and eolian processes. The macro-indicators of channel origin (sedimentologic) are also not indicative of one process of emplacement, either as single criteria or taken cumulatively. Finally, the micro-indicators of channel origin (geochemical and mineralogic composition) do not provide very tight constraints on the deposits' possible origins other than that water was in some way involved.

  9. Observations of Crew Dynamics during Mars Analog Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cusack, Stacy L.

    2010-01-01

    This presentation reviews the crew dynamics during two simulations of Mars Missions. Using an analog of a Mars habitat in two locations, Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) which is located on Devon Island at 75 deg North in the Canadian Arctic, and the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) which is located in the south of Utah, the presentation examines the crew dynamics in relation to the leadership style of the commander of the mission. The difference in the interaction of the two crews were shown to be related to the leadership style and the age group in the crew. As much as possible the habitats and environment was to resemble a Mars outpost. The difference between the International Space Station and a Mars missions is reviewed. The leadership styles are reviewed and the contrast between the FMARS and the MDRS leadership styles were related to crew productivity, and the personal interactions between the crew members. It became evident that leadership styles and interpersonal skill had more affect on mission success and crew dynamics than other characteristics.

  10. Geology of Libya Montes and the Interbasin Plains of Northern Tyrrhena Terra, Mars: Project Introduction and First Year Work Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skiner, J. A., Jr.; Rogers, A. D.; Seelos, K. D.

    2009-01-01

    The highland-lowland boundary (HLB) of Mars is interpreted to be a complex tectonic and erosional transition that may hold evidence for past geologic processes and environments. The HLB-abutting margin of the Libya Montes and the interbasin plains of northern Tyrrhena Terra display an exceptional view of the earliest to middle history of Mars that has yet to be fully characterized. This region contains some of the oldest exposed materials on the Martian surface as well as aqueous mineral signatures that may be potential chemical artifacts of early highland formational processes. However, a full understanding of the regions geologic and stratigraphic evolution is remarkably lacking. Some outstanding questions regarding the geologic evolution of Libya Montes and northern Tyrrhena Terra in-clude: Does combining geomorphology and composition advance our understanding of the region s evolution? Can highland materials be subdivided into stratigraphically discrete rock and sediment sequences? What do major physiographic transitions imply about the balanced tectonism, climate change, and erosion? Where is the erosional origin and what is the post-depositional history of channel and plains units? When and in what types of environments did aqueous mineral signatures arise? This abstract introduces the geologic setting, science rationale, and first year work plan of a recently-funded 4-year geologic mapping proposal (project year = calendar year). The objective is to delineate the geologic evolution of Libya Montes and northern Tyrrhena Terra at 1:1M scale using both classical geomorphological and compositional mapping techniques. The funded quadrangles are MTMs 00282, -05282, -10282, 00277, -05277, and -10277.

  11. Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Payment, Simone

    2017-01-01

    This curriculum-based, fun, and approachable book offers everything young readers need to know to begin their study of the Red Planet. They will learn about the fundamental aspects of the Mars, including its size, mass, surface features, interior, orbit, and spin. Further, they will learn about the history of the missions to Mars, including the Viking spacecraft and the Curiosity and MAVEN rovers. Finally, readers will learn about why scientists think there's a chance that Mars is or was suitable for life. With stunning imagery from NASA itself, readers will have a front seat-view of the missi

  12. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Haukka, H.; Aleksashkin, S.; Arruego, I.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Vazquez, L.; Siikonen, T.; Palin, M.

    2017-09-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is under development in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor [1] mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior. The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested.

  13. Preliminary Geological Map of the Peace Vallis Fan Integrated with In Situ Mosaics From the Curiosity Rover, Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumner, D. Y.; Palucis, M.; Dietrich, B.; Calef, F.; Stack, K. M.; Ehlmann, B.; Bridges, J.; Dromart, J.; Eigenbrode, J.; Farmer, J.; hide

    2013-01-01

    A geomorphically defined alluvial fan extends from Peace Vallis on the NW wall of Gale Crater, Mars into the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover landing ellipse. Prior to landing, the MSL team mapped the ellipse and surrounding areas, including the Peace Vallis fan. Map relationships suggest that bedded rocks east of the landing site are likely associated with the fan, which led to the decision to send Curiosity east. Curiosity's mast camera (Mastcam) color images are being used to refine local map relationships. Results from regional mapping and the first 100 sols of the mission demonstrate that the area has a rich geological history. Understanding this history will be critical for assessing ancient habitability and potential organic matter preservation at Gale Crater.

  14. Probing the Hidden Geology of Isidis Planitia (Mars with Impact Craters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graziella Caprarelli

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In this study we investigated Isidis Planitia, a 1325 km diameter multi-ring impact basin intersecting the Martian hemispheric dichotomy, located in the eastern hemisphere, between Syrtis Major and Utopia Planitia. From Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter gridded data we observed that in the center of Isidis the −3700 m and −3800 m isolines strike NW-SE, being quasi-parallel to the diameter of the basin. We interpreted this as evidence that the basement of Isidis Planitia was faulted prior to being completely covered by layers of sediments and volcanic rocks. Plotting the morphometric data of impact craters located on the floor of the basin in a measured depths vs. predicted depths diagram (MPD, we concluded that the fault planes should dip SW, which is consistent with the location of the most topographically depressed sector of Isidis Planitia. We also estimated a minimum vertical displacement of ~1–2 km. Considering that the crust under Isidis Planitia is only a few km thick, our estimate implies brittle behavior of the lithosphere under the basin, suggesting that a low geothermal gradient and rheologically strong material characterize this Martian location.

  15. A synthesis of Martian aqueous mineralogy after 1 Mars year of observations from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murchie, S.L.; Mustard, J.F.; Ehlmann, B.L.; Milliken, R.E.; Bishop, J.L.; McKeown, N.K.; Noe Dobrea, E.Z.; Seelos, F.P.; Buczkowski, D.L.; Wiseman, S.M.; Arvidson, R. E.; Wray, J.J.; Swayze, G.; Clark, R.N.; Des Marais, D.J.; McEwen, A.S.; Bibring, J.-P.

    2009-01-01

    Martian aqueous mineral deposits have been examined and characterized using data acquired during Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's (MRO) primary science phase, including Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars hyperspectral images covering the 0.4-3.9 ??m wavelength range, coordinated with higher-spatial resolution HiRISE and Context Imager images. MRO's new high-resolution measurements, combined with earlier data from Thermal Emission Spectrometer; Thermal Emission Imaging System; and Observatoire pour la Min??ralogie, L'Eau, les Glaces et l'Activiti?? on Mars Express, indicate that aqueous minerals are both diverse and widespread on the Martian surface. The aqueous minerals occur in 9-10 classes of deposits characterized by distinct mineral assemblages, morphologies, and geologic settings. Phyllosilicates occur in several settings: in compositionally layered blankets hundreds of meters thick, superposed on eroded Noachian terrains; in lower layers of intracrater depositional fans; in layers with potential chlorides in sediments on intercrater plains; and as thousands of deep exposures in craters and escarpments. Carbonate-bearing rocks form a thin unit surrounding the Isidis basin. Hydrated silica occurs with hydrated sulfates in thin stratified deposits surrounding Valles Marineris. Hydrated sulfates also occur together with crystalline ferric minerals in thick, layered deposits in Terra Meridiani and in Valles Marineris and together with kaolinite in deposits that partially infill some highland craters. In this paper we describe each of the classes of deposits, review hypotheses for their origins, identify new questions posed by existing measurements, and consider their implications for ancient habitable environments. On the basis of current data, two to five classes of Noachian-aged deposits containing phyllosilicates and carbonates may have formed in aqueous environments with pH and water activities suitable for life. Copyright 2009 by the American

  16. Observations of CO on Mars with OMEGA/Mars Express: A Study of Local Variations over the Volcanoes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Encrenaz, T.; Drossart, P.; Fouchet, T.; Melchiorri, R.; Lellouch, E.; Combes, M.; Bibring, J.-P.; Moroz, V.; Ignatiev, N.; Forget, F.; OMEGA Team

    Spectra of Mars recorded with the OMEGA/Mars Express experiment have been used to retrieve information on the CO mixing ratio over the planet. By using simultaneously the CO (1-0) band at 4.7 microns and a weak CO2 band at 4.85 microns, we have inferred the CO mixing ratio in all regions where the thermal emission is dominent, i.e. where the surface temperature is maximum. These observations, in particular, indicate a significant depletion of the CO/CO2 ratio over Olympus Mons. This preliminary result seems to confirm the analysis performed by the ISM imaging spectrometer aboard the Phobos mission, which suggested a possible depletion of CO over the volcanoes (Rosenqvist et al., Icarus 98, 254, 1992). Implications of this result will be discussed.

  17. Evidence for komatiite-type lavas on Mars from Phobos ISM data and other observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, David P.; Christensen, Philip R.

    1994-01-01

    Data from the Phobos 2 Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (ISM), compiled by Mustard et al. (1993), and other observations support the existence of komatiitic lavas on Mars. Mustard et al. (1993) determined from ISM data that the composition of the low-albedo materials covering the Syrtis Major plateau originally consisted of augite-bearing basalt containing both augite and pigeonite, with no appreciable amount of olivine. This description is consistent with a komatiitic basalt. Komatiite is significant for the Earth because it contains a high amount of MgO, implying generation under unique circumstances compared to more typical basaltic compositions and may be similarly important for Mars.

  18. Properties of Subsurface Soil Cores from Four Geologic Provinces Surrounding Mars Desert Research Station, Utah: Characterizing Analog Martian Soil in a Human Exploration Scenario

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, C. R.; Clarke, J. D. A.; Direito, S.; Foing, B.

    2011-01-01

    The DOMEX program is a NASA-MMAMA funded project featuring simulations of human crews on Mars focused on science activities that involve collecting samples from the subsurface using both manual and robotic equipment methods and analyzing them in the field and post mission. A crew simulating a human mission to Mars performed activities focused on subsurface science for 2 weeks in November 2009 at Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah --an important chemical and morphological Mars analog site. Activities performed included 1) survey of the area to identify geologic provinces, 2) obtaining soil and rock samples from each province and characterizing their mineralogy, chemistry, and biology; 3) site selection and reconnaissance for a future drilling mission; 4) deployment and testing of Mars Underground Mole, a percussive robotic soil sampling device; and 5) recording and analyzing how crew time was used to accomplish these tasks. This paper summarizes results from analysis of soil cores

  19. Geologic Mapping and Studies of Diverse Deposits at Noctis Labyrinthus, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weitz, C. M.; Berman, D. C.; Rodriguez, A. P.; Bishop, J. L.

    2018-06-01

    We are mapping the western portion of Noctis Labyrinthus (–6 to –14°N, –99.5 to –95.0°W) at 1:500,000 scale, which includes some of the most diverse mineralogies identified on Mars using CRISM data.

  20. Geology of McLaughlin Crater, Mars: A Unique Lacustrine Setting with Implications for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalski, J. R.; Niles, P. B.; Rogers, A. D.; Johnson, S. S.; Ashley, J. W.; Golombek, M. P.

    2016-01-01

    McLaughlin crater is a 92-kmdiameter Martian impact crater that contained an ancient carbonate- and clay mineral-bearing lake in the Late Noachian. Detailed analysis of the geology within this crater reveals a complex history with important implications for astrobiology [1]. The basin contains evidence for, among other deposits, hydrothermally altered rocks, delta deposits, deep water (>400 m) sediments, and potentially turbidites. The geology of this basin stands in stark contrast to that of some ancient basins that contain evidence for transient aqueous processes and airfall sediments (e.g. Gale Crater [2-3]).

  1. Geology

    Data.gov (United States)

    Kansas Data Access and Support Center — This database is an Arc/Info implementation of the 1:500,000 scale Geology Map of Kansas, M­23, 1991. This work wasperformed by the Automated Cartography section of...

  2. Geology of Libya Montes and the Interbasin Plains of Northern Tyrrhena Terra, Mars: First Year Results and Second Year Work Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, J. A., Jr.; Rogers, A. D.; Seelos, K. D.

    2010-01-01

    The Libya Montes-Tyrrhena Terra highland-lowland transitional zone of Mars is a complex tectonic and erosional region that contains some of the oldest exposed materials on the Martian surface as well as aqueous mineral signatures that may be potential chemical artifacts of early highland formational processes. Our 1:1M scale mapping project includes the geologic materials and landforms contained within MTMs 00282, -05282, -10282, 00277, - 05277, and -10277, which cover the highland portion of the transitional zone. The map region extends from the Libya Montes southward into Tyrrhena Terra and to the northern rim of Hellas basin and includes volcanic rocks of Syrtis Major Planum and a broad lowlying plain (palus) that forms a topographic divide between Isidis and Hellas basins. The objective of this project is to describe the geologic history of regional massif and plains materials by combining geomorphological and compositional mapping observations. This abstract summarizes the technical approaches and interim scientific results of Year 1 efforts and the expected work plan for Year 2 efforts.

  3. Plasma Observations During the Mars Atmospheric Plume Event of March-April 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, D. J.; Barabash, S.; Edberg, N. J. T.; Gurnett, D. A.; Hall, B. E. S.; Holmstrom, M.; Lester, M.; Morgan, D. D.; Opgenoorth, H. J.; Ramstad, R.; hide

    2016-01-01

    We present initial analysis and conclusions from plasma observations made during the reported Mars Dust plume event of March - April 2012. During this period, multiple independent amateur observers detected a localized, high-altitude plume over the Martian dawn terminator [Sanchez-Lavega7 et al., Nature, 2015, doi:10.1038nature14162], the origin of which remains to be explained. We report on in-situ measurements of ionospheric plasma density and solar wind parameters throughout this interval made by Mars Express, obtained over the surface region, but at the opposing terminator. We tentatively conclude that the formation and/or transport of this plume to the altitudes where it was observed could be due in part the result of a large interplanetary coronal mass ejection (ICME) encountering the Martian system. Interestingly, we note that a similar plume detection in May 1997 may also have been associated with a large ICME impact at Mars.

  4. Interaction of the solar wind with the planet Mars: Phobos 2 magnetic field observations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Riedler, W.; Schwingenschuh, K.; Lichtenegger, H.

    1991-01-01

    The magnetometers on board the Phobos 2 spacecraft provided the opportunity to study the magnetic environment around Mars, including regions which have never been explored before, such as at low altitudes (down to 850 km above the surface of Mars) and in the tail. The data revealed a bow shock, characterized by a distinct jump in the magnetic field strength and a boundary denoted ''planetopause'', where the level of turbulence of the magnetic field changes. Inside the planetopause the field remains quiet. Some of the main characteristics of the bow shock and the magnetosheath can be reproduced by computer simulations within the framework of a gas-dynamic model using the observed planetopause as an obstacle for the incoming solar wind. In many spacecraft orbits around Mars, reversals of the B x -component were found which are typical for tail crossings. A first analysis of the tail data from the circular orbits at a distance of 2.8 Mars radii showed several cases where the reversal of the tail lobes was controlled by the IMF. This supports the idea of an induced character of the solar wind interaction with Mars outside a distance of about 2.8 Mars radii. However, there are certain features in the magnetic field data which could be interpreted as traces of a weak Martian intrinsic field. (author)

  5. CO2 non-LTE limb emissions in Mars' atmosphere as observed by OMEGA/Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccialli, A.; López-Valverde, M. A.; Määttänen, A.; González-Galindo, F.; Audouard, J.; Altieri, F.; Forget, F.; Drossart, P.; Gondet, B.; Bibring, J. P.

    2016-06-01

    We report on daytime limb observations of Mars upper atmosphere acquired by the OMEGA instrument on board the European spacecraft Mars Express. The strong emission observed at 4.3 μm is interpreted as due to CO2 fluorescence of solar radiation and is detected at a tangent altitude in between 60 and 110 km. The main value of OMEGA observations is that they provide simultaneously spectral information and good spatial sampling of the CO2 emission. In this study we analyzed 98 dayside limb observations spanning over more than 3 Martian years, with a very good latitudinal and longitudinal coverage. Thanks to the precise altitude sounding capabilities of OMEGA, we extracted vertical profiles of the non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) emission at each wavelength and we studied their dependence on several geophysical parameters, such as the solar illumination and the tangent altitude. The dependence of the non-LTE emission on solar zenith angle and altitude follows a similar behavior to that predicted by the non-LTE model. According to our non-LTE model, the tangent altitude of the peak of the CO2 emission varies with the thermal structure, but the pressure level where the peak of the emission is found remains constant at ˜0.03 ± 0.01 Pa, . This non-LTE model prediction has been corroborated by comparing SPICAM and OMEGA observations. We have shown that the seasonal variations of the altitude of constant pressure levels in SPICAM stellar occultation retrievals correlate well with the variations of the OMEGA peak emission altitudes, although the exact pressure level cannot be defined with the spectroscopy for the investigation of the characteristics of the atmosphere of Venus (SPICAM) nighttime data. Thus, observed changes in the altitude of the peak emission provide us information on the altitude of the 0.03 Pa pressure level. Since the pressure at a given altitude is dictated by the thermal structure below, the tangent altitude of the peak emission represents

  6. Observations on some thermoluminescence emission centres in geological quartz

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scholefield, R.B.; Prescott, J.R.; Fox, P.J.; Franklin, A.D.

    1994-01-01

    We report measurements of three-dimensional thermoluminescence emission spectra of samples of geological quartz, derived from Australian sediments. The emphasis is on peaks of particular practical interest for thermoluminescence sediment dating, viz. the 110 o C peak, which is used for pre-dose dating and the peak at 325 o C, which is of significance for partial and selective bleach techniques and for optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating. Because the 325 o C peak can be bleached to essentially zero, it can be isolated in a given spectrum by subtracting the bleached spectrum from the unbleached spectrum. By including both peaks in the same spectrum, it is demonstrated that they do not emit at the same wavelength, although this does not necessarily mean that the emission is from different emission centres. The 375 o C peak, which is important in total bleach methods, emits at a distinguishable wavelength. The use of bleaching and subtraction in practical dating is discussed. (Author)

  7. Water ice clouds observations with PFS on Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moroz, V. I.; Zasova, L. V.; Formisano, V.; Grassi, D.; Ignatiev, N. I.; Giuranna, M.; Maturilli, A.; Pfs Team

    The water ice cloud observation is one of the scientific goals of PFS. Presence and properties of the ice particles are identified from absorption features, observed in both spectral ranges of PFS. Being in the near perihelion condition, the temperature of the Martian atmosphere is pretty high and ice clouds exist only in some places, for example, related to topography or at north high latitudes et etc. The ice clouds are observed often above the tops of the volcanoes. We have found the ice clouds above Olympus (orbit 37) and Ascraeus Mons (orbit 68). Effective radius of particles according to the thermal IR is preliminary estimated of 1 μ m, which leads to the visual opacity of 0.2 -0.3 above Olympus and of maximum of 0.6 above Ascraeus Mons. In the case of Ascraeus Mons the ice clouds are observed on the south slope near the top of the volcano. The maximum surface temperature, observed there, results in the upward flux of warm air, which, cooling, provides the condensation of H2O. We will present a detailed analysis of the ice clouds, observed over the planet in the IR spectral range.

  8. Inverted stream channels in the Western Desert of Egypt: Synergistic remote, field observations and laboratory analysis on Earth with applications to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaki, Abdallah S.; Pain, Colin F.; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Giegengack, Robert

    2018-07-01

    Inverted relief landforms occur in numerous regions on Mars, ranging in age from Noachian to more recent Amazonian periods (channel features on Earth form, and the geologic records they preserve in arid settings, can yield insights into the development of inverted landforms on Mars. Inverted channel landforms in the Western Desert of Egypt are well represented across an area of ∼27,000 km2. We investigated inverted channel features at seven sites using remotely-sensed data, field observations, and lab analysis. Inverted channel features in the Western Desert record fluvial environments of differing scales and ages. They developed mainly via inversion of cemented valley floor sediment, but there is a possibility that inverted fluvial landforms in the Dakhla Depression might have been buried, lithified, and exhumed. A few examples, in the southeastern part of the Western Desert, record, instead, a resistance to erosion caused by surface armouring of uncemented valley floor sediment. We show that the grain-size distribution for investigated and reviewed inverted channels is highly variable, with boulders that are commonly 0.35 - 1 m in size; large particles provide high porosity that influences the cementation mechanism. The studied inverted channel sediments are mainly cemented with ferricrete, calcrete, gypcrete, and silcrete. Inverted channels are valuable for the reconstruction of paleoclimate cycles or episodes on Earth and Mars; observations from the Western Desert, when offered as analogs, add to the growing list of Earth examples that provide suites of observables relevant to reconstruction of paleoenvironmental conditions on Mars.

  9. Observations of the 10 micrometer natural laser emission from the mesospheres of Mars and Venus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deming, D.; Espenak, F.; Jennings, D.; Kostiuk, T.; Mumma, M.J.

    1983-06-01

    Observations of the total flux and center to limb dependence of the nonthermal emission occurring in the cores of the 9.4 and 10.4 micrometers CO2 bands on Mars are compared to a theoretical model based on this mechanism. The model successfully reproduces the observed center to limb dependence of this emission, to within the limits imposed by the spatial resolution of the observations of Mars and Venus. The observed flux from Mars agrees closely with the prediction of the model the flux observed from Venus is 74% of the flux predicted by the model. This emission is used to obtain the kinetic temperatures of the Martian and Venusian mesospheres. For Mars near 70 km altitude, a rotational temperature analysis using five lines gives T 135 + or - 20 K. The frequency width of the emission is also analyzed to derive a temperature of 126 + or - 6 K. In the case of the Venusian mesosphere near 109 km, the frequency width of the emission gives T 204 + or - 10 K

  10. Observations of the 10-micron natural laser emission from the mesospheres of Mars and Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espenak, F.; Deming, D.; Jennings, D.; Kostiuk, T.; Mumma, M.; Zipoy, D.

    1983-01-01

    Observations of the total flux and center to limb dependence of the nonthermal emission occurring in the cores of the 9.4 and 10.4 micrometers CO2 bands on Mars are compared to a theoretical model based on this mechanism. The model successfully reproduces the observed center to limb dependence of this emission, to within the limits imposed by the spatial resolution of the observations of Mars and Venus. The observed flux from Mars agrees closely with the prediction of the model; the flux observed from Venus is 74 percent of the flux predicted by the model. This emission is used to obtain the kinetic temperatures of the Martian and Venusian mesospheres. For Mars near 70 km altitude, a rotational temperature analysis using five lines gives T = 135 + or - 20 K. The frequency width of the emission is also analyzed to derive a temperature of 126 + or - 6 K. In the case of the Venusian mesosphere near 109 km, the frequency width of the emission gives T = 204 + or - 10 K.

  11. Observations of the 10 micrometer natural laser emission from the mesospheres of Mars and Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, D.; Espenak, F.; Jennings, D.; Kostiuk, T.; Mumma, M. J.

    1983-01-01

    Observations of the total flux and center to limb dependence of the nonthermal emission occurring in the cores of the 9.4 and 10.4 micrometers CO2 bands on Mars are compared to a theoretical model based on this mechanism. The model successfully reproduces the observed center to limb dependence of this emission, to within the limits imposed by the spatial resolution of the observations of Mars and Venus. The observed flux from Mars agrees closely with the prediction of the model; the flux observed from Venus is 74% of the flux predicted by the model. This emission is used to obtain the kinetic temperatures of the Martian and Venusian mesospheres. For Mars near 70 km altitude, a rotational temperature analysis using five lines gives T = 135 + or - 20 K. The frequency width of the emission is also analyzed to derive a temperature of 126 + or - 6 K. In the case of the Venusian mesosphere near 109 km, the frequency width of the emission gives T = 204 + or - 10 K.

  12. Geology of -30247, -35247, and -40247 Quadrangles, Southern Hesperia Planum, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mest, S. C.; Crown, D. A.

    2010-01-01

    Geologic mapping of MTM -30247, -35247, and -40247 quadrangles is being used to characterize Reull Vallis (RV) and examine the roles and timing of volatile-driven erosional and depositional processes. This study complements earlier investigations of the eastern Hellas region, including regional analyses [1-6], mapping studies of circum-Hellas canyons [7-10], and volcanic studies of Hadriaca and Tyrrhena Paterae [11-13]. Key scientific objectives include 1) characterizing RV in its "fluvial zone," and evaluating its history of formation, 2) analyzing channels in the surrounding plains and potential connections to RV, and 3) examining young, possibly sedimentary plains along RV.

  13. Photometric Observations of Soils and Rocks at the Mars Exploration Rover Landing Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, J. R.; Arvidson, R. A.; Bell, J. F., III; Farrand, W.; Guinness, E.; Johnson, M.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Lemmon, M.; Morris, R. V.; Seelos, F., IV

    2005-01-01

    The Panoramic Cameras (Pancam) on the Spirit and Opportunity Mars Exploration Rovers have acquired multispectral reflectance observations of rocks and soils at different incidence, emission, and phase angles that will be used for photometric modeling of surface materials. Phase angle coverage at both sites extends from approx. 0 deg. to approx. 155 deg.

  14. Plasma Clouds and Snowplows: Bulk Plasma Escape from Mars Observed by MAVEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halekas, J. S.; Brain, D. A.; Ruhunusiri, S.; McFadden, J. P.; Mitchell, D. L.; Mazelle, C.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Harada, Y.; Hara, T.; Espley, J. R.; hide

    2016-01-01

    We present initial Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) observations and preliminary interpretation of bulk plasma loss from Mars. MAVEN particle and field measurements show that planetary heavy ions derived from the Martian atmosphere can escape in the form of discrete coherent structures or "clouds." The ions in these clouds are unmagnetized or weakly magnetized, have velocities well above the escape speed, and lie directly downstream from magnetic field amplifications, suggesting a "snowplow" effect. This postulated escape process, similar to that successfully used to explain the dynamics of active gas releases in the solar wind and terrestrial magnetosheath, relies on momentum transfer from the shocked solar wind protons to the planetary heavy ions, with the electrons and magnetic field acting as intermediaries. Fluxes of planetary ions on the order of 10(exp 7)/sq cm/s can escape by this process, and if it operates regularly, it could contribute 10-20% of the current ion escape from Mars.

  15. A Comet Engulfs Mars: MAVEN Observations of Comet Siding Spring's Influence on the Martian Magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espley, Jared R.; Dibraccio, Gina A.; Connerney, John E. P.; Brain, David; Gruesbeck, Jacob; Soobiah, Yasir; Halekas, Jasper S.; Combi, Michael; Luhmann, Janet; Ma, Yingjuan

    2015-01-01

    The nucleus of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) passed within 141,000?km of Mars on 19 October 2014. Thus, the cometary coma and the plasma it produces washed over Mars for several hours producing significant effects in the Martian magnetosphere and upper atmosphere. We present observations from Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN's (MAVEN's) particles and field's instruments that show the Martian magnetosphere was severely distorted during the comet's passage. We note four specific major effects: (1) a variable induced magnetospheric boundary, (2) a strong rotation of the magnetic field as the comet approached, (3) severely distorted and disordered ionospheric magnetic fields during the comet's closest approach, and (4) unusually strong magnetosheath turbulence lasting hours after the comet left. We argue that the comet produced effects comparable to that of a large solar storm (in terms of incident energy) and that our results are therefore important for future studies of atmospheric escape, MAVEN's primary science objective.

  16. Energetic protons at Mars. Interpretation of SLED/Phobos-2 observations by a kinetic model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kallio, E.; Alho, M.; Jarvinen, R.; Dyadechkin, S.; McKenna-Lawlor, S.; Afonin, V.V.

    2012-01-01

    Mars has neither a significant global intrinsic magnetic field nor a dense atmosphere. Therefore, solar energetic particles (SEPs) from the Sun can penetrate close to the planet (under some circumstances reaching the surface). On 13 March 1989 the SLED instrument aboard the Phobos- 2 spacecraft recorded the presence of SEPs near Mars while traversing a circular orbit (at 2.8RM). In the present study the response of the Martian plasma environment to SEP impingement on 13 March was simulated using a kinetic model. The electric and magnetic fields were derived using a 3- D self-consistent hybrid model (HYB-Mars) where ions are modelled as particles while electrons form a massless charge neutralizing fluid. The case study shows that the model successfully reproduced several of the observed features of the in situ observations: (1) a flux enhancement near the inbound bow shock, (2) the formation of a magnetic shadow where the energetic particle flux was decreased relative to its solar wind values, (3) the energy dependency of the flux enhancement near the bow shock and (4) how the size of the magnetic shadow depends on the incident particle energy. Overall, it is demonstrated that the Martian magnetic field environment resulting from the Mars-solar wind interaction significantly modulated the Martian energetic particle environment. (orig.)

  17. Energetic protons at Mars. Interpretation of SLED/Phobos-2 observations by a kinetic model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kallio, E.; Alho, M.; Jarvinen, R.; Dyadechkin, S. [Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki (Finland); McKenna-Lawlor, S. [Space Technology Ireland, Maynooth, Co. Kildare (Ireland); Afonin, V.V. [Space Research Institute, Moscow (Russian Federation)

    2012-07-01

    Mars has neither a significant global intrinsic magnetic field nor a dense atmosphere. Therefore, solar energetic particles (SEPs) from the Sun can penetrate close to the planet (under some circumstances reaching the surface). On 13 March 1989 the SLED instrument aboard the Phobos- 2 spacecraft recorded the presence of SEPs near Mars while traversing a circular orbit (at 2.8RM). In the present study the response of the Martian plasma environment to SEP impingement on 13 March was simulated using a kinetic model. The electric and magnetic fields were derived using a 3- D self-consistent hybrid model (HYB-Mars) where ions are modelled as particles while electrons form a massless charge neutralizing fluid. The case study shows that the model successfully reproduced several of the observed features of the in situ observations: (1) a flux enhancement near the inbound bow shock, (2) the formation of a magnetic shadow where the energetic particle flux was decreased relative to its solar wind values, (3) the energy dependency of the flux enhancement near the bow shock and (4) how the size of the magnetic shadow depends on the incident particle energy. Overall, it is demonstrated that the Martian magnetic field environment resulting from the Mars-solar wind interaction significantly modulated the Martian energetic particle environment. (orig.)

  18. Vertical distribution of Martian aerosols from SPICAM/Mars-Express limb observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedorova, A.; Korablev, O.; Bertaux, J.-L.; Rodin, A.; Perrier, S.; Moroz, V. I.

    Limb spectroscopic observations provide invaluable information about vertical distribution of main atmospheric components in the Martian atmosphere, in particular vertical distribution and structure of aerosols, which play an important role in the heat balance of the planet. Only limited set of successful limb spectroscopic observations have been carried out on Mars so far, including those by MGS/TES spectrometer and Thermoscan and Auguste experiments of Phobos mission. Currently SPICAM instrument onboard Mars-Express spacecraft has accomplished several sequences of limb observations. First analysis of limb sounding data received by SPICAM IR and UV channels, which imply the presence of fine, deep, optically thin aerosol fraction extended over broad range of altitudes, is presented.

  19. Mars Infrared Spectroscopy: From Theory and the Laboratory To Field Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkland, Laurel (Editor); Mustard, John (Editor); McAfee, John (Editor); Hapke, Bruce (Editor); Ramsey, Michael (Editor)

    2002-01-01

    The continuity and timely implementation of the Mars exploration strategy relies heavily on the ability of the planetary community to interpret infrared spectral data. However, the increasing mission rate, data volume, and data variety, combined with the small number of spectroscopists within the planetary community, will require a coordinated community effort for effective and timely interpretation of the newly acquired and planned data sets. Relevant spectroscopic instruments include the 1996 TES, 2001 THEMIS, 2003 Pancam, 2003 Mini-TES, 2003 Mars Express OMEGA, 2003 Mars Express PFS, and 2005 CFUSM. In light of that, leaders of the Mars spectral community met June 4-6 to address the question: What terrestrial theoretical, laboratory, and field studies are most needed to best support timely interpretations of current and planned visible infrared spectrometer data sets, in light of the Mars Program goals? A primary goal of the spectral community is to provide a reservoir of information to enhance and expand the exploration of Mars. Spectroscopy has a long history of providing the fundamental compositional discoveries in the solar system, from atmospheric constituents to surface mineralogy, from earth-based to spacecraft-based observations. However, such spectroscopic compositional discoveries, especially surface mineralogies, have usually come after long periods of detailed integration of remote observations, laboratory analyses, and field measurements. Spectroscopic information of surfaces is particularly complex and often is confounded by interference of broad, overlapping absorption features as well as confusing issues of mixtures, coatings, and grain size effects. Thus some spectroscopic compositional discoveries have come only after many years of research. However, we are entering an era of Mars exploration with missions carrying sophisticated spectrometers launching about every 2 years. It is critical that each mission provide answers to relevant questions

  20. Dedicated Low Latitude Diurnal CO2 Frost Observation Campaigns by the Mars Climate Sounder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piqueux, S.; Kass, D. M.; Kleinboehl, A.; Hayne, P. O.; Heavens, N. G.; McCleese, D. J.; Schofield, J. T.; Shirley, J. H.

    2017-12-01

    In December 2016 (Ls≈280, MY33) and July 2017 (Ls≈30, MY34), the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) conducted two distinct observation campaigns. The first one aimed at 1) confirming the presence of low latitude diurnal CO2 frost on Mars, and 2) refining the estimated mass of carbon dioxide condensed at the surface, whereas the second campaign was designed to 3) search for temporally and spatially varying spectral characteristics indicative of frost properties (i.e., crystal size, contamination, etc.) and relationship to the regolith. To meet these goals, MCS acquired thermal infrared observations of the surface and atmosphere at variable local times (≈1.70-3.80 h Local True Solar Time) and in the 10°-50°N latitude band where very low thermal inertia material (frost distribution and spectral properties. In addition, pre-frost deposition surface cooling rates are found to be consistent with those predicted by numerical models (i.e., 1-2K per hour). Finally, we observe buffered surface temperatures near the local frost point, indicating a surface emissivity ≈1. (i.e., optically thin frost layers, or dust contaminated frost, or slab-like ice) and no discernable frost metamorphism. We will present a detailed analysis of these new and unique observations, and elaborate on the potential relationship between the regolith and this recurring frost cycle.

  1. A diagnostic model to estimate winds and small-scale drag from Mars Observer PMIRR data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, J. R.

    1993-01-01

    Theoretical and modeling studies indicate that small-scale drag due to breaking gravity waves is likely to be of considerable importance for the circulation in the middle atmospheric region (approximately 40-100 km altitude) on Mars. Recent earth-based spectroscopic observations have provided evidence for the existence of circulation features, in particular, a warm winter polar region, associated with gravity wave drag. Since the Mars Observer PMIRR experiment will obtain temperature profiles extending from the surface up to about 80 km altitude, it will be extensively sampling middle atmospheric regions in which gravity wave drag may play a dominant role. Estimating the drag then becomes crucial to the estimation of the atmospheric winds from the PMIRR-observed temperatures. An interative diagnostic model based upon one previously developed and tested with earth satellite temperature data will be applied to the PMIRR measurements to produce estimates of the small-scale zonal drag and three-dimensional wind fields in the Mars middle atmosphere. This model is based on the primitive equations, and can allow for time dependence (the time tendencies used may be based upon those computed in a Fast Fourier Mapping procedure). The small-scale zonal drag is estimated as the residual in the zonal momentum equation; the horizontal winds having first been estimated from the meridional momentum equation and the continuity equation. The scheme estimates the vertical motions from the thermodynamic equation, and thus needs estimates of the diabatic heating based upon the observed temperatures. The latter will be generated using a radiative model. It is hoped that the diagnostic scheme will be able to produce good estimates of the zonal gravity wave drag in the Mars middle atmosphere, estimates that can then be used in other diagnostic or assimilation efforts, as well as more theoretical studies.

  2. Atypical pit craters on Mars: new insights from THEMIS, CTX and HiRISE observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cushing, Glen; Okubo, Chris H.; Titus, Timothy N.

    2015-01-01

    More than 100 pit craters in the Tharsis region of Mars exhibit morphologies, diameters and thermal behaviors that diverge from the much larger bowl-shaped pit craters that occur in most regions across Mars. These Atypical Pit Craters (APCs) generally have sharp and distinct rims, vertical or overhanging walls that extend down to their floors, surface diameters of ~50-350 m, and high depth-to-diameter (d/D) ratios that are usually greater than 0.3 (which is an upper-range value for impacts and bowl-shaped pit craters), and can exceed values of 1.8. Observations by the Mars Odyssey THermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) show that APC floor temperatures are warmer at night, and fluctuate with much lower diurnal amplitudes than nearby surfaces or adjacent bowl-shaped pit craters. Kīlauea volcano, Hawai'i, hosts pit craters that formed through subsurface collapse into active volcanic dikes, resulting in pits that can appear morphologically analogous to either APCs or bowl-shaped pit craters. Partially-drained dikes are sometimes exposed within the lower walls and floors of these terrestrial APC analogs and can form extensive cave systems with unique microclimates. Similar caves in martian pit craters are of great interest for astrobiology. This study uses new observations by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) and Context Camera (CTX) to refine previous work where seven APCs were described from lower-resolution THEMIS visible-wavelength (VIS) observations. Here, we identify locations of 115 APCs, map their distribution across the Tharsis region, characterize their internal morphologies with high-resolution observations, and discuss possible formation mechanisms.

  3. Low-Centred Polygons and Alas-Like Basins as Geological Markers of Warming Trends Late in Mars' History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soare, R. J.; Conway, S. J.; Godin, E.; Osinski, G.; Hawkswell, J.; Bina, A.

    2017-12-01

    Expansive assemblages of low/high centred (ice-wedge) polygons and (polygonised) flat-floored thermokarst-basins (alases) are ubiquitous on Earth where the permafrost is continuous, metres to decametres-thick and ice rich, i.e. the Tuktoyaktuk Coastlands of northern Canada and the Yamal Peninsula of eastern Russia. These assemblages are geological bellwethers of transient and on occasion, long-term rises of sub-aerial and thaw-generating mean temperatures, for two principal reasons. First, high-centred (ice-wedge) polygons evolve from low-centred (ice-wedge) polygons when ice wedges that have aggraded and uplift overlying sediments above the elevation datum at the polygon centres, degrade, by thaw, and induce the loss of elevation below that datum. Second, thermokarst terrain comprises sediments whose pore volume is exceeded by the presence of water ice. A thermokarst basin (an alas) forms if and only when this ice undergoes thermal destabilisation and where thaw-generated meltwater is lost by evaporation or drainage. Spatially-associated and morphologically-similar assemblages of polygons and basins are commonplace throughout the mid-latitudes of eastern Utopia Planitia (UP), Mars. Under current conditions of extreme aridity, low atmospheric-pressure and frigid mean-temperatures, the widespread formation of ice-rich terrain by freeze-thaw cycling, let alone of near-surface ice-wedges and/or thermokarst basins, seems implausible. Against this environmental backdrop, sublimation seemingly stands alone in being able to revise ice-rich landscapes. However, multiple strands of data point to the possible periglacial-assemblages (PPAs) being youthful but not current in their formation. First, the sub-regional and dark-toned terrain incised by the PPAs is cratered more densely than would be expected. Second, the PPAs reside at a lower relative and absolute elevation than a light-toned and region-wide latitude-dependent mantle that is generally thought to be very recent in

  4. Smectites on Cape York, Matijevic Hill, Mars, Observed and Characterized by Crism and Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvidson, R.; Bennett, K.; Catalano, J.; Fraeman, A.; Gellert, R.; Guinness, E.; Morris, R.; Murchie, S.; Smith, M.; Squyres, S.; hide

    2013-01-01

    Opportunity has conducted an extensive "walk-about" and set of in-situ measurements on strata exposed on the inboard side of Cape York, a segment of the dissected rim of the Noachian-age approx.22 km wide Endeavour crater [1] (Fig. 1). The specific region for the observations (Matijevic Hill) was chosen based on along track oversampled (ATO) CRISM hyperspectral observations (processed to 5 m/pixel) that showed the presence of exposures of Fe/Mg smectite phyllosilicates. We describe the first ground-based observations of phyllosilicates on Mars and discuss implications based on the combined CRISM and Opportunity measurements.

  5. Energetic protons at Mars: interpretation of SLED/Phobos-2 observations by a kinetic model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Kallio

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Mars has neither a significant global intrinsic magnetic field nor a dense atmosphere. Therefore, solar energetic particles (SEPs from the Sun can penetrate close to the planet (under some circumstances reaching the surface. On 13 March 1989 the SLED instrument aboard the Phobos-2 spacecraft recorded the presence of SEPs near Mars while traversing a circular orbit (at 2.8 RM. In the present study the response of the Martian plasma environment to SEP impingement on 13 March was simulated using a kinetic model. The electric and magnetic fields were derived using a 3-D self-consistent hybrid model (HYB-Mars where ions are modelled as particles while electrons form a massless charge neutralizing fluid. The case study shows that the model successfully reproduced several of the observed features of the in situ observations: (1 a flux enhancement near the inbound bow shock, (2 the formation of a magnetic shadow where the energetic particle flux was decreased relative to its solar wind values, (3 the energy dependency of the flux enhancement near the bow shock and (4 how the size of the magnetic shadow depends on the incident particle energy. Overall, it is demonstrated that the Martian magnetic field environment resulting from the Mars–solar wind interaction significantly modulated the Martian energetic particle environment.

  6. Extreme temperature events on Greenland in observations and the MAR regional climate model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leeson, Amber A.; Eastoe, Emma; Fettweis, Xavier

    2018-03-01

    Meltwater from the Greenland Ice Sheet contributed 1.7-6.12 mm to global sea level between 1993 and 2010 and is expected to contribute 20-110 mm to future sea level rise by 2100. These estimates were produced by regional climate models (RCMs) which are known to be robust at the ice sheet scale but occasionally miss regional- and local-scale climate variability (e.g. Leeson et al., 2017; Medley et al., 2013). To date, the fidelity of these models in the context of short-period variability in time (i.e. intra-seasonal) has not been fully assessed, for example their ability to simulate extreme temperature events. We use an event identification algorithm commonly used in extreme value analysis, together with observations from the Greenland Climate Network (GC-Net), to assess the ability of the MAR (Modèle Atmosphérique Régional) RCM to reproduce observed extreme positive-temperature events at 14 sites around Greenland. We find that MAR is able to accurately simulate the frequency and duration of these events but underestimates their magnitude by more than half a degree Celsius/kelvin, although this bias is much smaller than that exhibited by coarse-scale Era-Interim reanalysis data. As a result, melt energy in MAR output is underestimated by between 16 and 41 % depending on global forcing applied. Further work is needed to precisely determine the drivers of extreme temperature events, and why the model underperforms in this area, but our findings suggest that biases are passed into MAR from boundary forcing data. This is important because these forcings are common between RCMs and their range of predictions of past and future ice sheet melting. We propose that examining extreme events should become a routine part of global and regional climate model evaluation and that addressing shortcomings in this area should be a priority for model development.

  7. Solar wind modulation of the Martian ionosphere observed by Mars Global Surveyor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.-S. Wang

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Electron density profiles in the Martian ionosphere observed by the radio occultation experiment on board Mars Global Surveyor have been analyzed to determine if the densities are influenced by the solar wind. Evidence is presented that the altitude of the maximum ionospheric electron density shows a positive correlation to the energetic proton flux in the solar wind. The solar wind modulation of the Martian ionosphere can be attributed to heating of the neutral atmosphere by the solar wind energetic proton precipitation. The modulation is observed to be most prominent at high solar zenith angles. It is argued that this is consistent with the proposed modulation mechanism.

  8. Simultaneous Observations of Atmospheric Tides from Combined in Situ and Remote Observations at Mars from the MAVEN Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    England, Scott L.; Liu, Guiping; Withers, Paul; Yigit, Erdal; Lo, Daniel; Jain, Sonal; Schneider, Nicholas M. (Inventor); Deighan, Justin; McClintock, William E.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; hide

    2016-01-01

    We report the observations of longitudinal variations in the Martian thermosphere associated with nonmigrating tides. Using the Neutral Gas Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS) and the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) on NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN Mission (MAVEN) spacecraft, this study presents the first combined analysis of in situ and remote observations of atmospheric tides at Mars for overlapping volumes, local times, and overlapping date ranges. From the IUVS observations, we determine the altitude and latitudinal variation of the amplitude of the nonmigrating tidal signatures, which is combined with the NGIMS, providing information on the compositional impact of these waves. Both the observations of airglow from IUVS and the CO2 density observations from NGIMS reveal a strong wave number 2 signature in a fixed local time frame. The IUVS observations reveal a strong latitudinal dependence in the amplitude of the wave number 2 signature. Combining this with the accurate CO2 density observations from NGIMS, this would suggest that the CO2 density variation is as high as 27% at 0-10 deg latitude. The IUVS observations reveal little altitudinal dependence in the amplitude of the wave number 2 signature, varying by only 20% from 160 to 200 km. Observations of five different species with NGIMS show that the amplitude of the wave number 2 signature varies in proportion to the inverse of the species scale height, giving rise to variation in composition as a function of longitude. The analysis and discussion here provide a roadmap for further analysis as additional coincident data from these two instruments become available.

  9. 3D representation of geological observations in underground mine workings of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marek Marcisz

    Full Text Available The purpose of the paper is to present the possibilities of the three-dimensional representation of geological strata in underground (access workings in a hard coal deposit in the SW part of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin, using CAD software and its flagship program AutoCAD. The 3D visualization of the results of underground workings’ mapping is presented and illustrated on two opening out workings (descending galleries. The criteria for choosing these workings were based on their length and the complexity of geological settings observed while they were driven. The described method may be applied in spatial visualization of geological structures observed in other deposits, mines and existing workings (it is not applicable for designing mine workings, also beyond the area of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB. The method presented describes the problem of the visualization of underground mine workings in a typical geological aspect, considering (aimed at detailed visualization of geological settings revealed on the side walls of workings cutting the deposit. Keywords: Upper silesian coal basin, Hard coal, Underground mine workings, 3D visualization, CAD

  10. Remotely sensed detection of sulfates on Mars: Laboratory measurements and spacecraft observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Christopher David

    Visible, near-infrared, and mid-infrared spectroscopic measurements were made of physically realistic analogs of Martian soil containing silicates and sulfates. These measurements indicate that the physical structure of soil will control its spectroscopic properties. Orbital measurements from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) identified features similar to those seen in the laboratory mixtures. Maps were made of this sulfate-cemented soil which indicated that the presence of this material is not geographically controlled and hints at an origin for duricrust in atmosphere-surface interactions. Further confirmation comes from combining data from TES and the Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (ISM). This data shows a congruence between sulfate spectral features and water features. The likely form of the mappable sulfate in Martian soils is therefore a cemented mixture of hydrated sulfate mixed with silicates and oxides derived from crustal rocks. The combination of ISM and TES spectra in particular and spectra from multiple wavelength regimes in general also is an excellent technique for addressing other problems of interest regarding the geology of Mars. A number of topics including rock coatings in Syrtis Major and the nature of low albedo rock assemblages are addressed. Syrtis Major is found to behave differently in the thermal and near infrared, likely indicating that the spectral features are not related to simple coatings but perhaps processes like penetrative oxidation. TES Type I rocks are found to be high in pyroxene, but TES Type II rocks do not have a correlation with pyroxene. Spectral mixing trends indicate that dust and rock are the dominant two variables in surface composition on a large scale. A smaller mixing trend involves the physical breakup of sulfate-cemented soils into a loose, fine-grained, but still hydrated form. In all, this work provides strong evidence for the global identification and distribution of sulfate minerals in the Martian soil.

  11. Long-term observation of the geological environment: needs and techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-01-01

    For site characterization programmes aimed at determining the suitability of sites for the disposal of radioactive waste, attention must be given to collecting data over long periods of time for adequate understanding of certain processes in the geological environment (hydrologic conditions, seismicity etc.). It is important for all national projects to carefully plan and implement programmes to observe the long-term behaviour of the geological environment in order to secure high-quality, reliable data for use in safety assessments. These proceedings present the results of a workshop organized to discuss the needs and techniques related to the planning and implementation of such programmes. 13 papers have been presented

  12. Ground Truthing Orbital Clay Mineral Observations with the APXS Onboard Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, C.; Gellert, R.; VanBommel, S.; Clark, B. C.; Ming, D. W.; Mittlefehldt, D. S.; Yen, A. S.

    2016-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has been exploring approximately 22 km diameter Endeavour crater since 2011. Its rim segments predate the Hesperian-age Burns formation and expose Noachian-age material, which is associated with orbital Fe3+-Mg-rich clay mineral observations [1,2]. Moving to an orders of magnitude smaller instrumental field of view on the ground, the clay minerals were challenging to pinpoint on the basis of geochemical data because they appear to be the result of near-isochemical weathering of the local bedrock [3,4]. However, the APXS revealed a more complex mineral story as fracture fills and so-called red zones appear to contain more Al-rich clay minerals [5,6], which had not been observed from orbit. These observations are important to constrain clay mineral formation processes. More detail will be added as Opportunity is heading into her 10th extended mission, during which she will investigate Noachian bedrock that predates Endeavour crater, study sedimentary rocks inside Endeavour crater, and explore a fluid-carved gully. ESA's ExoMars rover will land on Noachian-age Oxia Planum where abundant Fe3+-Mg-rich clay minerals have been observed from orbit, but the story will undoubtedly become more complex once seen from the ground.

  13. The Annual Cycle of Water Vapor on Mars as Observed by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Michael D.; Vondrak, Richard R. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Spectra taken by the Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) have been used to monitor the latitude, longitude, and seasonal dependence of water vapor for over one full Martian year (March 1999-March 2001). A maximum in water vapor abundance is observed at high latitudes during mid-summer in both hemispheres, reaching a maximum value of approximately 100 pr-micrometer in the north and approximately 50 pr-micrometer in the south. Low water vapor abundance (water vapor. The latitudinal and seasonal dependence of the decay of the northern summer water vapor maximum implies cross-equatorial transport of water to the southern hemisphere, while there is little or no corresponding transport during the decay of the southern hemisphere summer maximum. The latitude-longitude dependence of annually-averaged water vapor (corrected for topography) has a significant positive correlation with albedo and significant negative correlations with thermal inertia and surface pressure. Comparison of TES results with those retrieved from the Viking Orbiter Mars Atmospheric Water Detectors (MAWD) experiments shows some similar features, but also many significant differences. The southern hemisphere maximum observed by TES was not observed by MAWD and the large latitudinal gradient in annually-averaged water vapor observed by MAWD does not appear in the TES results.

  14. MAVEN Observation of an Obliquely Propagating Low-Frequency Wave Upstream of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruhunusiri, Suranga; Halekas, J. S.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Espley, J. R.; McFadden, J. P.; Mazelle, C.; Brain, D.; Collinson, G.; Harada, Y.; Larson, D. E.; hide

    2016-01-01

    We report Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission observations of a large amplitude low-frequency plasma wave that propagated oblique to the ambient magnetic field upstream of Mars along with a non-solar-wind plasma component that had a flow velocity perpendicular to the magnetic field. We consider nine possibilities for this wave that include various combinations of its propagation direction, polarization in the solar wind frame, and ion source responsible for its generation. Using the observed wave parameters and the measured plasma parameters as constraints, we uniquely identify the wave by systematically discarding these possibilities. We determine that the wave is a right-hand polarized wave that propagated upstream in the solar wind frame. We find two possibilities for the ion source that can be responsible for this wave generation. They are either newly born pickup protons or reflected solar wind protons from the bow shock.We determine that the observed non-solar-wind component is not responsible for the wave generation, and it is likely that the non-solar-wind component was merely perturbed by the passage of the wave.

  15. Comparison of accelerated ion populations observed upstream of the bow shocks at Venus and Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Yamauchi

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Foreshock ions are compared between Venus and Mars at energies of 0.6~20 keV using the same ion instrument, the Ion Mass Analyser, on board both Venus Express and Mars Express. Venus Express often observes accelerated protons (2~6 times the solar wind energy that travel away from the Venus bow shock when the spacecraft location is magnetically connected to the bow shock. The observed ions have a large field-aligned velocity compared to the perpendicular velocity in the solar wind frame, and are similar to the field-aligned beams and intermediate gyrating component of the foreshock ions in the terrestrial upstream region. Mars Express does not observe similar foreshock ions as does Venus Express, indicating that the Martian foreshock does not possess the intermediate gyrating component in the upstream region on the dayside of the planet. Instead, two types of gyrating protons in the solar wind frame are observed very close to the Martian quasi-perpendicular bow shock within a proton gyroradius distance. The first type is observed only within the region which is about 400 km from the bow shock and flows tailward nearly along the bow shock with a similar velocity as the solar wind. The second type is observed up to about 700 km from the bow shock and has a bundled structure in the energy domain. A traversal on 12 July 2005, in which the energy-bunching came from bundling in the magnetic field direction, is further examined. The observed velocities of the latter population are consistent with multiple specular reflections of the solar wind at the bow shock, and the ions after the second reflection have a field-aligned velocity larger than that of the de Hoffman-Teller velocity frame, i.e., their guiding center has moved toward interplanetary space out from the bow shock. To account for the observed peculiarity of the Martian upstream region, finite gyroradius effects of the solar wind protons compared to the radius of the bow shock curvature and

  16. Mutual event observations of solar system objects by SRC on Mars Express. Analysis and release of observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziese, R.; Willner, K.

    2018-06-01

    Context. Both Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos, have been observed during several imaging campaigns by the Super Resolution Channel (SRC) on the Mars Express probe. Several tens of images are obtained during mutual event observations - when the Martian moons are both observed or together with another solar system body. These observations provide new opportunities to determine the bodies' positions in their orbits. Aims: A method was sought to automate the observation of the positions of the imaged bodies. Within one image sequence a similarly accurate localization of the objects in all images should be possible. Methods: Shape models of Phobos and Deimos are applied to simulate the appearance of the bodies in the images. Matching the illuminated simulation against the observation provides a reliable determination of the bodies' location within the image. To enhance the matching confidence several corrections need to be applied to the simulation to closely reconstruct the observation. Results: A list of 884 relative positions between the different objects is provided through the Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg (CDS). Tables A.1-A.4 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (http://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/614/A15

  17. A simulation of the OMEGA/Mars Express observations: Analysis of the atmospheric contribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melchiorri, R.; Drossart, P.; Fouchet, T.; Bézard, B.; Forget, F.; Gendrin, A.; Bibring, J. P.; Manaud, N.; OMEGA Team; Berthé, M.; Bibring, J.-P.; Langevin, Y.; Forni, O.; Gendrin, A.; Gondet, B.; Manaud, N.; Poulet, F.; Poulleau, G.; Soufflot, A.; Mangold, N.; Bonello, G.; Forget, F.; Bezard, B.; Combes, M.; Drossart, P.; Encrenaz, T.; Fouchet, T.; Melchiorri, R.; Erard, S.; Bellucci, G.; Altieri, F.; Formisano, V.; Fonti, S.; Capaccioni, F.; Cerroni, P.; Coradini, A.; Kottsov, V.; Ignatiev, N.; Moroz, V.; Titov, D.; Zasova, L.; Pinet, P.; Schmitt, B.; Sotin, C.; Hauber, E.; Hoffmann, H.; Jaumann, R.; Keller, U.; Arvidson, R.; Mustard, J.; Duxbary, T.

    2006-08-01

    Spectral images of Mars obtained by the Mars Express/OMEGA experiment in the near infrared are the result of a complex combination of atmospheric, aerosol and ground features. Retrieving the atmospheric information from the data is important, not only to decorrelate mineralogical against atmospheric features, but also to retrieve the atmospheric variability. Once the illumination conditions have been taken into account, the main source of variation on the CO2 absorption is due to the altitude of the surface, which governs atmospheric pressure variation by more than an order of magnitude between the summit of Olympus Mons down to the bottom of Valles Marineris. In this article we present a simplified atmospheric spectral model without scattering, specially developed for the OMEGA observations, which is used to retrieve the local topography through the analysis of the 2.0μmCO2 band. OMEGA atmospheric observations increase the horizontal resolution compared to MOLA altimetry measurements, and therefore complement the mineralogical studies from the same instrument. Finally, residual variations of the pressure can be related to atmospheric structure variation.

  18. Evaluation of a compact spectrograph for in-situ and stand-off Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy analyses of geological samples on Mars missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Salle, Beatrice; Cremers, David A.; Maurice, Sylvestre; Wiens, Roger C.; Fichet, Pascal

    2005-01-01

    Laser-induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) is actively under development for future use on surface probes to Mars. The analytical method can be deployed for in-situ and/or stand-off analysis with the latter embodiment providing the greatest advantages compared to previous and current elemental analysis methods used for planetary surface analysis. For this application, LIBS must be thoroughly investigated in terms of analytical capabilities and flight-rated instruments must be developed. Because of the low pressure of the predominantly CO 2 atmosphere on Mars, studies are needed to understand analytical requirements and to determine performance under these conditions. Stand-off analysis demands the most stringent requirements on instrumentation. Therefore, it must be determined if the high performance components that are normally used in a typical LIBS laboratory setup, which are generally not optimized for small size and weight, are essential to obtain the maximum scientific return from a mission. A key component of a LIBS apparatus is the detection system consisting of a spectrograph and a detector. Here we present an evaluation of one design of a compact spectrograph (Ocean Optics HR2000) for in-situ and stand-off LIBS analyses of geological samples under Mars atmospheric conditions

  19. Rosetta and Mars Express observations of the influence of high solar wind pressure on the Martian plasma environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. J. T. Edberg

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available We report on new simultaneous in-situ observations at Mars from Rosetta and Mars Express (MEX on how the Martian plasma environment is affected by high pressure solar wind. A significant sharp increase in solar wind density, magnetic field strength and turbulence followed by a gradual increase in solar wind velocity is observed during ~24 h in the combined data set from both spacecraft after Rosetta's closest approach to Mars on 25 February 2007. The bow shock and magnetic pileup boundary are coincidently observed by MEX to become asymmetric in their shapes. The fortunate orbit of MEX at this time allows a study of the inbound boundary crossings on one side of the planet and the outbound crossings on almost the opposite side, both very close to the terminator plane. The solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF downstream of Mars are monitored through simultaneous measurements provided by Rosetta. Possible explanations for the asymmetries are discussed, such as crustal magnetic fields and IMF direction. In the same interval, during the high solar wind pressure pulse, MEX observations show an increased amount of escaping planetary ions from the polar region of Mars. We link the high pressure solar wind with the observed simultaneous ion outflow and discuss how the pressure pulse could also be associated with the observed boundary shape asymmetry.

  20. Estimating the Grain Size Distribution of Mars based on Fragmentation Theory and Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charalambous, C.; Pike, W. T.; Golombek, M.

    2017-12-01

    We present here a fundamental extension to the fragmentation theory [1] which yields estimates of the distribution of particle sizes of a planetary surface. The model is valid within the size regimes of surfaces whose genesis is best reflected by the evolution of fragmentation phenomena governed by either the process of meteoritic impacts, or by a mixture with aeolian transportation at the smaller sizes. The key parameter of the model, the regolith maturity index, can be estimated as an average of that observed at a local site using cratering size-frequency measurements, orbital and surface image-detected rock counts and observations of sub-mm particles at landing sites. Through validation of ground truth from previous landed missions, the basis of this approach has been used at the InSight landing ellipse on Mars to extrapolate rock size distributions in HiRISE images down to 5 cm rock size, both to determine the landing safety risk and the subsequent probability of obstruction by a rock of the deployed heat flow mole down to 3-5 m depth [2]. Here we focus on a continuous extrapolation down to 600 µm coarse sand particles, the upper size limit that may be present through aeolian processes [3]. The parameters of the model are first derived for the fragmentation process that has produced the observable rocks via meteorite impacts over time, and therefore extrapolation into a size regime that is affected by aeolian processes has limited justification without further refinement. Incorporating thermal inertia estimates, size distributions observed by the Spirit and Opportunity Microscopic Imager [4] and Atomic Force and Optical Microscopy from the Phoenix Lander [5], the model's parameters in combination with synthesis methods are quantitatively refined further to allow transition within the aeolian transportation size regime. In addition, due to the nature of the model emerging in fractional mass abundance, the percentage of material by volume or mass that resides

  1. Space Weather at Mars: MAVEN and MSL/RAD Observations of CME and SEP Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, C. O.; Ehresmann, B.; Lillis, R. J.; Dunn, P.; Rahmati, A.; Larson, D. E.; Guo, J.; Zeitlin, C.; Luhmann, J. G.; Halekas, J. S.; Espley, J. R.; Thiemann, E.; Hassler, D.

    2017-12-01

    While MAVEN have been observing the space weather conditions driven by ICMEs and SEPs in orbit around Mars, MSL/RAD have been measuring the surface radiation environment due to E > 150 MeV/nuc SEPs and the higher-energy galactic cosmic rays. The suite of MAVEN instruments measuring the particles (SEP), plasma (SWIA) and fields (MAG) information provides detailed local space weather information regarding the solar activity-related fluctuations in the measured surface dose rates. At the same time, the related enhancements in the RAD surface dose rates indicate the degree to which the SEPs affect the lower atmosphere and surface. We will present an overview of the MAVEN observations together with the MSL/RAD measurements and focus our discussion on a number of space weather events driven by CMEs and SEPs. During the March 2015 solar storm period, a succession of CMEs produced intense SEP proton fluxes that were detected by MAVEN/SEP in the 20 keV to 6 MeV detected energy channels. At higher energies, MAVEN/SEP record `FTO' SEP events that were triggered by > 13 MeV energetic protons passing through all three silicon detector layers (Front, Thick, and Open). Using the detector response matrix for an FTO event (incident energy vs detected energy), the minimum incident energy of the SEP protons observed in March 2015 was inferred to be > 40 MeV. The lack of any notable enhancements in the surface dose rate by MSL/RAD suggests that the highest incident energies of the SEP protons were 150 MeV SEP protons impacted the Martian atmosphere and surface. The source of the October 2015 SEP event was probably the CME that erupted near the solar west limb with respect to the Sun-Mars line. As part of the discussion, we will also show solar-heliospheric observations from near-Earth assets together with WSA-Enlil-cone results for some global heliospheric context.

  2. Strength and deformability of light-toned layered deposits observed by MER Opportunity: Eagle to Erebus craters, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okubo, Chris H.

    2007-10-01

    Quantifying host rock deformation is vital to understanding the geologic evolution and productivity of subsurface fluid reservoirs. In support of on-going characterization of fracture controlled fluid flow through the light-toned layered deposits on Mars, key parameters of strength and deformability are derived from Microscopic Imager and Rock Abrasion Tool data collected by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity in Meridiani Planum. Analysis of 21 targets of light-toned layered deposits yields a median apparent porosity of 0.25. Additional physical parameters for each target are derived from these porosity measurements. The median value of unconfined compressive strength is 11.23 MPa, Young's modulus is 1.86 GPa, and the brittle-ductile transition pressure is 8.77 MPa.

  3. Spectral heterogeneity on Phobos and Deimos: HiRISE observations and comparisons to Mars Pathfinder results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, N.; Stelter, R.; Ivanov, A.; Bridges, N.T.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; McEwen, A.S.

    2011-01-01

    The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) onboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been used to observe Phobos and Deimos at spatial scales of around 6 and 20 m/px, respectively. HiRISE (McEwen et al.; JGR, 112, CiteID E05S02, DOI: 10.1029/2005JE002605, 2007) has provided, for the first time, high-resolution colour images of the surfaces of the Martian moons. When processed, by the production of colour ratio images for example, the data show considerable small-scale heterogeneity, which might be attributable to fresh impacts exposing different materials otherwise largely hidden by a homogenous regolith. The bluer material that is draped over the south-eastern rim of the largest crater on Phobos, Stickney, has been perforated by an impact to reveal redder material and must therefore be relatively thin. A fresh impact with dark crater rays has been identified. Previously identified mass-wasting features in Stickney and Limtoc craters stand out strongly in colour. The interior deposits in Stickney appear more inhomogeneous than previously suspected. Several other local colour variations are also evident. Deimos is more uniform in colour but does show some small-scale inhomogeneity. The bright streamers (Thomas et al.; Icarus, 123, 536556,1996) are relatively blue. One crater to the south-west of Voltaire and its surroundings appear quite strongly reddened with respect to the rest of the surface. The reddening of the surroundings may be the result of ejecta from this impact. The spectral gradients at optical wavelengths observed for both Phobos and Deimos are quantitatively in good agreement with those found by unresolved photometric observations made by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP; Thomas et al.; JGR, 104, 90559068, 1999). The spectral gradients of the blue and red units on Phobos bracket the results from IMP. ?? 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Bedrock and structural geologic maps of eastern Candor Sulci, western Ceti Mensa, and southeastern Ceti Mensa, Candor Chasma, Valles Marineris region of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okubo, Chris H.; Gaither, Tenielle A.

    2017-05-12

    This map product contains a set of three 1:18,000-scale maps showing the geology and structure of study areas in the western Candor Chasma region of Valles Marineris, Mars. These maps are part of an informal series of large-scale maps and map-based topical studies aimed at refining current understanding of the geologic history of western Candor Chasma. The map bases consist of digital elevation models and orthorectified images derived from High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) data. These maps are accompanied by geologic cross sections, colorized elevation maps, and cutouts of HiRISE images showing key superposition relations. Also included in this product is a Correlation of Map Units that integrates units across all three map areas, as well as an integrated Description of Map Units and an integrated Explanation of Map Symbols. The maps were assembled using ArcGIS software produced by Environmental Systems Research Institute (http://www.esri.com). The ArcGIS projects and databases associated with each map are included online as supplemental data.

  5. Mars atmosphere studies with the SPICAM IR emission phase function observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trokhimovskiy, Alexander; Fedorova, Anna; Montmessin, Franck; Korablev, Oleg; Bertaux, Jean-Loup

    Emission Phase Function (EPF) observations is a powerful tool for characterization of atmosphere and surface. EPF sequence provides the extensive coverage of scattering angles above the targeted surface location which allow to separate the surface and aerosol scattering, study a vertical distribution of minor species and aerosol properties. SPICAM IR instrument on Mars Express mission provides continuous atmospheric observations in near IR (1-1.7 mu) in nadir and limb starting from 2004. For the first years of SPICAM operation only a very limited number of EPFs was performed. But from the mid 2013 (Ls=225, MY31) SPICAM EPF observations become rather regular. Based on the multiple-scattering radiative transfer model SHDOM, we analyze equivalent depths of carbon dioxide (1,43 mu) and water vapour (1,38 mu) absorption bands and their dependence on airmass during observation sequence to get aerosol optical depths and properties. The derived seasonal dust opacities from near IR can be used to retrieve the size distribution from comparison with simultaneous results of other instruments in different spectral ranges. Moreover, the EPF observations of water vapour band allow to access poorly known H2O vertical distribution for different season and locations.

  6. Mars: The Viking Discoveries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Bevan M.

    This booklet describes the results of NASA's Viking spacecraft on Mars. It is intended to be useful for the teacher of basic courses in earth science, space science, astronomy, physics, or geology, but is also of interest to the well-informed layman. Topics include why we should study Mars, how the Viking spacecraft works, the winds of Mars, the…

  7. Modeling and observational occurrences of near-surface drainage in Utopia Planitia, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costard, F.; Sejourne, A.; Kargel, J.; Godin, E.

    2016-12-01

    During the past 15 years, evidence for an ice-rich planet Mars has rapidly mounted, become increasingly varied in terms of types of deposits and types of observational data, and has become more widespread across the surface. The mid-latitudes of Mars, especially Utopia Planitia, show many types of interesting landforms similar to those in periglacial landscapes on Earth that suggest the presence of ice-rich permafrost. These include thermal contraction polygonal networks, scalloped terrains similar to thermokarst pits, debris flows, small mounds like pingos and rock glaciers. Here, we address questions concerning the influence of meltwater in the Utopia Planitia (UP) landscape using analogs of near-surface melting and drainage along ice-wedge troughs on Bylot Island, northern Canada. In Utopia Planitia, based on the identification of sinuous channel-like pits within polygonal networks, we suggest that episodic underground melting was possible under severe periglacial climate conditions. In UP, the collapse pattern and morphology of unconnected sinuous elongated pits that follow the polygon crack are similar to underground melting in Bylot Island (Nunavut, Canada). Based on this terrestrial analogue, we develop a thermal model that consists of a thick insulating dusty layer over ice-saturated dust during a period of slight climatic warming relative to today's climate. In the model, the melting point is reached at depths down to 150 m. We suggest that small-scale melting could have occurred below ground within ground-ice polygonal fractures and pooled in underground cavities. Then the water may have been released episodically causing mechanical erosion as well as undermining and collapse. After melting, the dry surface dusty layer might have been blown away, thus exposing the degraded terrain of the substrate layer.

  8. Observed diurnal variations in Mars Science Laboratory Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons passive mode data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tate, C. G.; Moersch, J.; Jun, I.; Mitrofanov, I.; Litvak, M.; Boynton, W. V.; Drake, D.; Fedosov, F.; Golovin, D.; Hardgrove, C.; Harshman, K.; Kozyrev, A. S.; Kuzmin, R.; Lisov, D.; Maclennan, E.; Malakhov, A.; Mischna, M.; Mokrousov, M.; Nikiforov, S.; Sanin, A. B.; Starr, R.; Vostrukhin, A.

    2018-06-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) experiment measures the martian neutron leakage flux in order to estimate the amount of water equivalent hydrogen present in the shallow regolith. When DAN is operating in passive mode, it is sensitive to neutrons produced through the interactions of galactic cosmic rays (GCR) with the regolith and atmosphere and neutrons produced by the rover's Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG). During the mission, DAN passive mode data were collected over the full diurnal cycle at the locations known as Rocknest (sols 60-100) and John Klein (sols 166-272). A weak, but unexpected, diurnal variation was observed in the neutron count rates reported at these locations. We investigate different hypotheses that could be causing these observed variations. These hypotheses are variations in subsurface temperature, atmospheric pressure, the exchange of water vapor between the atmosphere and regolith, and instrumental effects on the neutron count rates. Our investigation suggests the most likely factors contributing to the observed diurnal variations in DAN passive data are instrumental effects and time-variable preferential shielding of alpha particles, with other environmental effects only having small contributions.

  9. Ground-based observations of Mars and Venus water vapor during 1972 and 1973

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barker, E.S.

    1974-01-01

    The Venus water vapor line at 8197.71 A has been monitored at several positions on the disk of Venus and at phase angles between 22 0 and 91 0 . Variations in the abundance have been found with both position and time. The total two-way transmission has varied from less than 5 to 77 μ of water vapor. Comparisons are made between water vapor abundance, presence of UV features and the CO 2 abundance determined from near simultaneous observations of CO 2 bands at the same position on the disk of Venus. The amount of Martian atmospheric water vapor has been monitored during the past two years at McDonald Observatory using the echelle coude scanner of the 272cm reflector. Two periods of the Martain year have been monitored. The first period was during and after the great 1971 dust storm (Lsub(s)=290 0 to 20 0 or summer in the southern hemisphere). The results obtained are compared to the Mariner 9 IRIS and Mars 3 observations made during the same period. During the second period (Lsub(s)=124 0 to 266 0 ) observations were made to follow the seasonal latitudinal and diurnal changes in the water abundance in the Martian atmosphere. Studies of the latitudinal and diurnal vapor distributions indicate the location of maximum and minimum abundances for this season are positively correlated with surface temperature variations. (Auth.)

  10. Interannual and seasonal changes in the south seasonal polar cap of Mars: Observations from MY 28-31 using MARCI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvin, W. M.; Cantor, B. A.; James, P. B.

    2017-08-01

    The Mars Color Imager (MARCI) camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter provides daily synoptic coverage that allows monitoring of seasonal cap retreat and interannual changes that occur between Mars Years (MY) and over the southern summer. We present the first analysis of this data for the southern seasonal cap evolution observed in MY 28, 29, 30 and 31 (2/2007 to 07/2013). Observation over multiple Mars years allows us to compare changes between years as well as longer-term evolution of the high albedo deposits at the poles. Seasonal cap retreat is similar in all years and to retreats observed in other years by both optical and thermal instruments. The cryptic terrain has a fairly consistent boundary in each year, but numerous small-scale variations occur in each MY observed. Additionally, numerous small dark deposits are identified outside the classically identified cyptic region, including Inca City and other locations not previously noted. The large water ice outlier is observed to retain seasonal frost the longest (outside the polar dome) and is also highly variable in each MY. The development of the cryptic/anti-cryptic hemispheres is inferred to occur due to albedo variations that develop after dust venting starts and may be caused by recondensation of CO2 ice on the brightest and coldest regions controlled by topographic winds. Ground ice may play a role in which regions develop cryptic terrain, as there is no elevation control on either cryptic terrain or the late season brightest deposits.

  11. Striped aeolian bedforms: a novel longitudinal pattern observed in ripples and megaripples on Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gough, T. R.; Hugenholtz, C.; Barchyn, T.; Martin, R. L.

    2017-12-01

    Striped aeolian bedforms (SABs) are a previously undocumented longitudinal pattern consisting of streamwise corridors of ripples or megaripples separated by corridors containing smaller bedforms. Similar patterns of spanwise variations in bed texture and/or bed topography are observed in water flumes. SABs have been observed in satellite imagery at sites in Peru, Iran, California, the Puna region of northwestern Argentina, and on Mars. The spanwise periodicity varies from automated image-based grain size analysis, we found that median grain size was larger on the ripples and megaripples than on the intervening corridors containing smaller bedforms. This result is consistent with fluvial stripes, for which it is suggested that instability-driven streamwise vortices produce lateral sediment transport and sorting. We found no consistent evidence upwind of the SAB patterns to indicate topographic seeding is necessary. Therefore, we hypothesize that SABs are a self-organized bedform pattern that develops from secondary (lateral) transport of sediment in mixed sediment deposits. We also hypothesize that the development and maintenance of SABs requires unimodal wind regimes.

  12. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Opportunity observations of the Burns formation: crater hopping at Meridiani Planum

    Science.gov (United States)

    R.E. Arvidson,; Bell, J.F.; Catalano, J.G.; Clark, B. C.; Fox, V.K.; Gellert, Ralf; Grotzinger, J.P.; Guinness, E.A.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Knoll, A.H.; Lapotre, M.G.A.; McLennan, S.M.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R.V.; Murchie, S.L.; Powell, K. E.; Smith, M.D.; Squyres, S. W.; Wolff, M.J.; J.J. Wray,

    2015-01-01

    Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars hyperspectral (1.0–2.65 µm) along-track oversampled observations covering Victoria, Santa Maria, Endeavour, and Ada craters were processed to 6 m/pixel and used in combination with Opportunity observations to detect and map hydrated Mg and Ca sulfate minerals in the Burns formation. The strongest spectral absorption features were found to be associated with outcrops that are relatively young and fresh (Ada) or preferentially scoured of dust, soil, and coatings by prevailing winds. At Victoria and Santa Maria, the scoured areas are on the southeastern rims and walls, opposite to the sides where wind-blown sands extend out of the craters. At Endeavour, the deepest absorptions are in Botany Bay, a subdued and buried rim segment that exhibits high thermal inertias, extensive outcrops, and is interpreted to be a region of enhanced wind scour extending up and out of the crater. Ada, Victoria, and Santa Maria outcrops expose the upper portion of the preserved Burns formation and show spectral evidence for the presence of kieserite. In contrast, gypsum is pervasive spectrally in the Botany Bay exposures. Gypsum, a relatively insoluble evaporative mineral, is interpreted to have formed close to the contact with the Noachian crust as rising groundwaters brought brines close to and onto the surface, either as a direct precipitate or during later diagenesis. The presence of kieserite at the top of the section is hypothesized to reflect precipitation from evaporatively concentrated brines or dehydration of polyhydrated sulfates

  13. Atmospheric Modeling of the Martian Polar Regions: One Mars Year of CRISM EPF Observations of the South Pole

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, A. J.; Wolff, M. J.

    2009-03-01

    We have used CRISM Emission Phase Function gimballed observations to investigate atmospheric dust/ice opacity and surface albedo in the south polar region for the first Mars year of MRO operations. This covers the MY28 "dust event" and cap recession.

  14. On the Origins of Mars' Exospheric Nonthermal Oxygen Component as Observed by MAVEN and Modeled by HELIOSARES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leblanc, F.; Chaufray, J. Y.; Modolo, R.; Leclercq, L.; Curry, S.; Luhmann, J.; Lillis, R.; Hara, T.; McFadden, J.; Halekas, J.; Schneider, N.; Deighan, J.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Benna, M.; Johnson, R. E.; Gonzalez-Galindo, F.; Forget, F.; Lopez-Valverde, M. A.; Eparvier, F. G.; Jakosky, B.

    2017-12-01

    The first measurements of the emission brightness of the oxygen atomic exosphere by Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission have clearly shown that it is composed of a thermal component produced by the extension of the upper atmosphere and of a nonthermal component. Modeling these measurements allows us to constrain the origins of the exospheric O and, as a consequence, to estimate Mars' present oxygen escape rate. We here propose an analysis of three periods of MAVEN observations based on a set of three coupled models: a hybrid magnetospheric model (LATmos HYbrid Simulation (LatHyS)), an Exospheric General Model (EGM), and the Global Martian Circulation model of the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD-GCM), which provide a description of Mars' environment from the surface up to the solar wind. The simulated magnetosphere by LatHyS is in good agreement with MAVEN Plasma and Field Package instruments data. The LMD-GCM modeled upper atmospheric profiles for the main neutral and ion species are compared to Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer/MAVEN data showing that the LMD-GCM can provide a satisfactory global view of Mars' upper atmosphere. Finally, we were able to reconstruct the expected emission brightness intensity from the oxygen exosphere using EGM. The good agreement with the averaged measured profiles by Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph during these three periods suggests that Mars' exospheric nonthermal component can be fully explained by the reactions of dissociative recombination of the O2+ ion in Mars' ionosphere, limiting significantly our ability to extract information from MAVEN observations of the O exosphere on other nonthermal processes, such as sputtering.

  15. Stratigraphy and mineralogy of Candor Mensa, West Candor Chasma, Mars: Insights into the geologic history of Valles Marineris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fueten, F.; Flahaut, J.; Stesky, R.; Hauber, E.; Rossi, A. P.

    2014-02-01

    Candor Mensa, an interior layered deposit (ILD) in Valles Marineris, Mars, consists of two stratigraphically distinct units, the lower of which comprises the bulk of the mensa. This lower unit is approximately 5 km thick and composed of parallel layers, 4 to 14 m in thickness and associated with monohydrated sulfates. The lower unit is disconformably overlain by an upper unit composed of thinner (ancestral basins into the current geometry of Valles Marineris chasmata and that it was possible to form hydrated minerals after this event.

  16. Geomorphology and Geology of the Southwestern Margaritifer Sinus and Argyre Regions of Mars. Part 3: Valley Types and Distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, T. J.; Pieri, D. C.

    1985-01-01

    Three major valley tapes were identified in the SW Margaritefer Sinus and Argyre regions. Two are restricted to specific geologic units while the third is independent of the geology. The first type (the small valley networks) are found within the channeled and subdued plains unit in the eastern half of the map, in the grooved and channeled plains unit north of Nirgal Vallis, and in scattered instances in the cratered plateau unit north of Argyre. The even smaller valleys just inside Argyre's rim and on the inner slopes of many large craters are not directly related to the processes which formed the small valleys but are a result, instead, of post-impact modification of the crater walls. The second type of valley network is represented by Nirgal Vallis and the similar, shorter continuation of it to the west. This type is found only in the smooth plains material west of Uzboi Vallis in the map area. The third type of valley network is that of the Uzbol-Holden-Ladon valles system. This system is related to catastrophic outflow from Argyre Basin and is topographically rather than geologically controlled.

  17. Solar illumination geometry and its influence on the observance of geological structures in orbital imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Jose Eduardo; Liu, Chan Chiang

    1991-04-01

    The geology of the westernmost part of Rio de Janeiro State (Brazil) is characterized by the conspicuous presence of the Alem Paraiba lineament, a large shear zone extending more than 200 km in N50-60E direction. Parts of Paraiba do Sul river and of the regional topography are strongly related to this geologic feature. Several other lineament directions complete the structural framework that can be seen on remote sensing products. According to well accepted theories of photointerpretation, LANDSAT images with low sun elevation angles should more clearly show those lineaments, because the shadow enhancement of the relief is greatest. Also, considering the high grade of relief conditionment by the Alem Paraiba lineament, it is expected that this structure could be clearly observed on LANDSAT images of all seasons. However, these hypotheses are not confirmed. The images with low sun elevation angles belong to the epoch (winter) in which the solar azimuths are nearly parallel to the regional structure, making its identification difficult. In summer, the images have high sun elevation angles but their solar azimuths, oblique to the regional structures, allow an adequate identification of the main structural trend.

  18. High-Altitude Closed Magnetic Loops at Mars Observed by MAVEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Shaosui; Mitchell, David; Luhmann, Janet; Ma, Yingjuan; Fang, Xiaohua; Harada, Yuki; Hara, Takuya; Brain, David; Weber, Tristan; Mazelle, Christian; DiBraccio, Gina A.

    2017-11-01

    With electron and magnetic field data obtained by the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft, we have identified closed magnetic field lines, with both foot points embedded in the dayside ionosphere, extending up to 6,200 km altitude into the Martian tail. This topology is deduced from photoelectrons produced in the dayside ionosphere being observed traveling both parallel and antiparallel to the magnetic field. At trapped-zone pitch angles (within a range centered on 90° where electrons magnetically reflect before interacting with the atmosphere), cases with either solar wind electrons or photoelectrons have been found, indicating different formation mechanisms for these closed loops. These large closed loops are present in MHD simulations. The case with field-aligned photoelectrons mixed with solar wind electrons having trapped-zone pitch angles is likely to be associated with reconnection, while the case with photoelectrons at all pitch angles is probably due to closed field lines being pulled tailward by the surrounding plasma flow. By utilizing an algorithm for distinguishing photoelectrons from solar wind electrons in pitch angle-resolved energy spectra, we systematically map the spatial distribution and occurrence rate of these closed magnetic loops over the region sampled by the MAVEN orbit. We find that the occurrence rate ranges from a few percent to a few tens of percent outside of the optical shadow and less than one percent within the shadow. These observations can be used to investigate the general magnetic topology in the tail, which is relevant to cold ion escape, reconnection, and flux ropes.

  19. Thermal infrared sounding observations of lower atmospheric variances at Mars and their implications for gravity wave activity: a preliminary examination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heavens, N. G.

    2017-12-01

    It has been recognized for over two decades that the mesoscale statistical variance observed by Earth-observing satellites at temperature-sensitive frequencies above the instrumental noise floor is a measure of gravity wave activity. These types of observation have been made by a variety of satellite instruments have been an important validation tool for gravity wave parameterizations in global and mesoscale models. At Mars, the importance of topographic and non-topographic sources of gravity waves for the general circulation is now widely recognized and the target of recent modeling efforts. However, despite several ingenious studies, gravity wave activity near hypothetical lower atmospheric sources has been poorly and unsystematically characterized, partly because of the difficulty of separating the gravity wave activity from baroclinic wave activity and the thermal tides. Here will be presented a preliminary analysis of calibrated radiance variance at 15.4 microns (635-665 cm-1) from nadir, off-nadir, and limb observations by the Mars Climate Sounder on board Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The overarching methodology follows Wu and Waters (1996, 1997). Nadir, off-nadir, and lowest detector limb observations should sample variability with vertical weighting functions centered high in the lower atmosphere (20-30 km altitude) and full width half maximum (FWHM) 20 km but be sensitive to gravity waves with different horizontal wavelengths and slightly different vertical wavelengths. This work is supported by NASA's Mars Data Analysis Program (NNX14AM32G). References Wu, D.L. and J.W. Waters, 1996, Satellite observations of atmospheric variances: A possible indication of gravity waves, GRL, 23, 3631-3634. Wu D.L. and J.W. Waters, 1997, Observations of Gravity Waves with the UARS Microwave Limb Sounder. In: Hamilton K. (eds) Gravity Wave Processes. NATO ASI Series (Series I: Environmental Change), vol 50. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

  20. Water clouds and dust aerosols observations with PFS MEX at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zasova, L.; Formisano, V.; Moroz, V.; Grassi, D.; Ignatiev, N.; Giuranna, M.; Hansen, G.; Blecka, M.; Ekonomov, A.; Lellouch, E.; Fonti, S.; Grigoriev, A.; Hirsch, H.; Khatuntsev, I.; Mattana, A.; Maturilli, A.; Moshkin, B.; Patsaev, D.; Piccioni, G.; Rataj, M.; Saggin, B.

    2005-08-01

    Observations of water ice clouds and dust are among the main scientific goals of the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS), a payload instrument of the European Mars Express mission. We report some results, obtained in three orbits: 37, 41 and 68. The temperature profile, and dust and water ice cloud opacities are retrieved from the thermal infrared (long-wavelength channel of PFS) in a self-consistent way using the same spectrum. Orographic ice clouds are identified above Olympus (orbit 37) and Ascraeus Mons (orbit 68). Both volcanoes were observed near noon at Ls=337° and 342°, respectively. The effective radius of ice particles is preliminary estimated as 1-3 μm, changing along the flanks. The corresponding visual opacity changes in the interval 0.2-0.4 above Olympus and 0.1-0.6 above Ascraeus Mons. In the case of Ascraeus Mons, the ice clouds were observed mainly above the Southern flank of the volcano with maximum opacity near the summit. In the case of Olympus, the clouds were found above both sides of the top. A different type of ice cloud is observed at latitudes above 50°N (orbit 68) in the polar hood: the effective particle radius is estimated to be 4 μm. Below the 1 mb level an inversion in the temperature profiles is found with maximum temperature at around 0.6 mb. Along orbit 68 it appears above Alba Patera, then it increases to the north and decreases above the CO 2 polar cap. Beginning from latitude 20°S above Tharsis (orbit 68), the ice clouds and dust contribute equally to the spectral shape. Further on, the ice clouds are found everywhere along orbit 68 up to the Northern polar cap, except the areas between the Northern flank of Ascraeus Mons (below 10 km) and the edge of Alba Patera. Orbit 41 is shifted from the orbit 68 by roughly 180° longitude and passes through Hellas. Ice clouds are not visible in this orbit at latitudes below 80°S. The dust opacity is anticorrelated with the surface altitude. From 70°S to 25°N latitude the vertical

  1. Observations of Phobos by the Mars Express radar MARSIS: Description of the detection techniques and preliminary results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cicchetti, A.; Nenna, C.; Plaut, J. J.; Plettemeier, D.; Noschese, R.; Cartacci, M.; Orosei, R.

    2017-11-01

    The Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) (Picardi et al., 2005) is a synthetic aperture low frequency radar altimeter, onboard the ESA Mars Express orbiter, launched in June 2003. It is the first and so far the only spaceborne radar that has observed the Martian moon Phobos. Radar echoes were collected on different flyby trajectories. The primary aim of sounding Phobos is to prove the feasibility of deep sounding, into its subsurface. MARSIS is optimized for deep penetration investigations and is capable of transmitting at four different bands between 1.3 MHz and 5.5 MHz with a 1 MHz bandwidth. Unfortunately the instrument was originally designed to operate exclusively on Mars, assuming that Phobos would not be observed. Following this assumption, a protection mechanism was implemented in the hardware (HW) to maintain a minimum time separation between transmission and reception phases of the radar. This limitation does not have any impact on Mars observation but it prevented the observation of Phobos. In order to successfully operate the instrument at Phobos, a particular configuration of the MARSIS onboard software (SW) parameters, called ;Range Ambiguity,; was implemented to override the HW protection zone, ensuring at the same time a high level of safety of the instrument. This paper describes the principles of MARSIS onboard processing, and the procedure through which the parameters of the processing software were tuned to observe targets below the minimum distance allowed by hardware. Some preliminary results of data analysis will be shown, with the support of radar echo simulations. A qualitative comparison between the simulated results and the actual data, does not support the detection of subsurface reflectors.

  2. Geological implications of radium and helium in oil-field brines: observations, inferences and speculations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lerche, I.

    1993-01-01

    The 1600 yr half-life of radium restricts the time and thus the distance over which radium can migrate in sediments. The dominant source of unsupported radium in sandstone reservoir brines must then be close by and is likely in shales adjacent to the oil-field reservoirs. The chemical similarity of calcium and radium can be used to argue for a local shale-source contribution to the calcium in reservoir sands -suggesting the probability of calcite cementation early in the sedimentary sequence. Helium production by radium decay increases with time. Concentrations of helium found in reservoir oil field brines are then used to suggest that: (a) such reservoirs are dominantly closed systems over geological times; (b) neither methane nor helium in the reservoirs have migrated any significant distance; and (c) the mechanism responsible for the observed helium in the brine is a continuous on-going process operative today. Diagenetic studies should then deal with both sands and shales interdependently, the two are not separable. Shales control the transport mechanisms of migration so that the primary migration of hydrocarbons, the result of kerogen catagenesis in shales, should occur sufficiently early in the sedimentary sequence in order to avoid exclusion from the reservoir by calcite cementation in association with radium transport. (author)

  3. Geomorphology and Geology of the Southwestern Margaritifer Sinus and Argyre Regions of Mars. Part 4: Flow Ejecta Crater Distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, T. J.; Pieri, D. C.

    1985-01-01

    Flow ejecta craters - craters surrounded by lobate ejecta blankets - are found throughout the study area. The ratio of the crater's diameter to that of the flow ejecta in this region is approximately 40 to 45%. Flow ejecta craters are dominantly sharply defined craters, with slightly degraded craters being somewhat less common. This is probably indicative of the ejecta's relatively low resistence to weathering and susceptibility to burial. Flow ejecta craters here seem to occur within a narrow range of crater sizes - the smallest being about 4km in diameter and the largest being about 27km in diameter. Ejecta blankets of craters at 4km are easily seen and those of smaller craters are simply not seen even in images with better than average resolution for the region. This may be due to the depth of excavation of small impacting bodies being insufficient to reach volatile-rich material. Flow ejecta craters above 24km are rare, and those craters above 27km do not display flow ejecta blankets. This may be a result of an excavation depth so great that the volatile content of the ejecta is insufficient to form a fluid ejecta blanket. The geomorphic/geologic unit appears also to play an important role in the formation of flow ejecta craters. Given the typical size range for the occurrence of flow ejecta craters for most units, it can be seen that the percentage of flow ejecta craters to the total number of craters within this size range varies significantly from one unit to the next. The wide variance in flow ejecta crater density over this relatively small geographical area argues strongly for a lithologic control of their distribution.

  4. ON THE RETRIEVAL OF MESOSPHERIC WINDS ON MARS AND VENUS FROM GROUND-BASED OBSERVATIONS AT 10 μm

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lopez-Valverde, M. A. [Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia, IAA/CSIC, Granada (Spain); Montabone, L. [Space Science Institute, Boulder, CO (United States); Sornig, M.; Sonnabend, G., E-mail: valverde@iaa.es [University of Cologne, KOSMA, Köln (Germany)

    2016-01-10

    A detailed analysis is presented of ground-based observations of atmospheric emissions on Mars and Venus under non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) conditions at high spectral resolution. Our first goal is to comprehend the difficulties behind the derivation of wind speeds from ground-based observations. A second goal is to set a framework to permit comparisons with other observations and with atmospheric models. A forward model including non-LTE radiative transfer is used to evaluate the information content within the telescopic beam, and is later convolved with the beam function and a typical wind field to discern the major contributions to the measured radiance, including limb and nadir views. The emission mostly arises from the non-LTE limb around altitudes of 75 km on Mars and 110 km on Venus. We propose a parameterization of the limb emission using few geophysical parameters which can be extended to other hypothetical CO{sub 2} planetary atmospheres. The tropospheric or LTE component of the emission varies with the temperature and is important at low solar illumination but only for the emerging radiance, not for the wind determinations since these are derived from the Doppler shift at the non-LTE line cores. We evaluated the sources of uncertainty and found that the forward model errors amount to approximately 12% of the measured winds, which is normally smaller than the instrumental errors. We applied this study to revise a set of measurements extending for three Martian years and confirmed previous results suggesting winds that are too large simulated by current Martian circulation models at equatorial latitudes during solstice. We encourage new observational campaigns, particularly for the strong jet at mid–high latitudes on Mars, and propose general guidelines and recommendations for future observations.

  5. ON THE RETRIEVAL OF MESOSPHERIC WINDS ON MARS AND VENUS FROM GROUND-BASED OBSERVATIONS AT 10 μm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lopez-Valverde, M. A.; Montabone, L.; Sornig, M.; Sonnabend, G.

    2016-01-01

    A detailed analysis is presented of ground-based observations of atmospheric emissions on Mars and Venus under non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) conditions at high spectral resolution. Our first goal is to comprehend the difficulties behind the derivation of wind speeds from ground-based observations. A second goal is to set a framework to permit comparisons with other observations and with atmospheric models. A forward model including non-LTE radiative transfer is used to evaluate the information content within the telescopic beam, and is later convolved with the beam function and a typical wind field to discern the major contributions to the measured radiance, including limb and nadir views. The emission mostly arises from the non-LTE limb around altitudes of 75 km on Mars and 110 km on Venus. We propose a parameterization of the limb emission using few geophysical parameters which can be extended to other hypothetical CO 2 planetary atmospheres. The tropospheric or LTE component of the emission varies with the temperature and is important at low solar illumination but only for the emerging radiance, not for the wind determinations since these are derived from the Doppler shift at the non-LTE line cores. We evaluated the sources of uncertainty and found that the forward model errors amount to approximately 12% of the measured winds, which is normally smaller than the instrumental errors. We applied this study to revise a set of measurements extending for three Martian years and confirmed previous results suggesting winds that are too large simulated by current Martian circulation models at equatorial latitudes during solstice. We encourage new observational campaigns, particularly for the strong jet at mid–high latitudes on Mars, and propose general guidelines and recommendations for future observations

  6. Interactive 3D Mars Visualization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Mark W.

    2012-01-01

    The Interactive 3D Mars Visualization system provides high-performance, immersive visualization of satellite and surface vehicle imagery of Mars. The software can be used in mission operations to provide the most accurate position information for the Mars rovers to date. When integrated into the mission data pipeline, this system allows mission planners to view the location of the rover on Mars to 0.01-meter accuracy with respect to satellite imagery, with dynamic updates to incorporate the latest position information. Given this information so early in the planning process, rover drivers are able to plan more accurate drive activities for the rover than ever before, increasing the execution of science activities significantly. Scientifically, this 3D mapping information puts all of the science analyses to date into geologic context on a daily basis instead of weeks or months, as was the norm prior to this contribution. This allows the science planners to judge the efficacy of their previously executed science observations much more efficiently, and achieve greater science return as a result. The Interactive 3D Mars surface view is a Mars terrain browsing software interface that encompasses the entire region of exploration for a Mars surface exploration mission. The view is interactive, allowing the user to pan in any direction by clicking and dragging, or to zoom in or out by scrolling the mouse or touchpad. This set currently includes tools for selecting a point of interest, and a ruler tool for displaying the distance between and positions of two points of interest. The mapping information can be harvested and shared through ubiquitous online mapping tools like Google Mars, NASA WorldWind, and Worldwide Telescope.

  7. How Students and Field Geologists Reason in Integrating Spatial Observations from Outcrops to Visualize a 3-D Geological Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kastens, Kim A.; Agrawal, Shruti; Liben, Lynn S.

    2009-01-01

    Geologists and undergraduate students observed eight artificial "rock outcrops" in a realistically scaled field area, and then tried to envision a geological structure that might plausibly be formed by the layered rocks in the set of outcrops. Students were videotaped as they selected which of fourteen 3-D models they thought best…

  8. The Effect of Solar Wind Variations on the Escape of Oxygen Ions From Mars Through Different Channels: MAVEN Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubinin, E.; Fraenz, M.; Pätzold, M.; McFadden, J.; Halekas, J. S.; DiBraccio, G. A.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Eparvier, F.; Brain, D.; Jakosky, B. M.; Vaisberg, O.; Zelenyi, L.

    2017-11-01

    We present multi-instrument observations of the effects of solar wind on ion escape fluxes on Mars based on the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) data from 1 November 2014 to 15 May 2016. Losses of oxygen ions through different channels (plasma sheet, magnetic lobes, boundary layer, and ion plume) as a function of the solar wind and the interplanetary magnetic field variations were studied. We have utilized the modified Mars Solar Electric (MSE) coordinate system for separation of the different escape routes. Fluxes of the low-energy (≤30 eV) and high-energy (≥30 eV) ions reveal different trends with changes in the solar wind dynamic pressure, the solar wind flux, and the motional electric field. Major oxygen fluxes occur through the tail of the induced magnetosphere. The solar wind motional electric field produces an asymmetry in the ion fluxes and leads to different relations between ion fluxes supplying the tail from the different hemispheres and the solar wind dynamic pressure (or flux) and the motional electric field. The main driver for escape of the high-energy oxygen ions is the solar wind flux (or dynamic pressure). On the other hand, the low-energy ion component shows the opposite trend: ion flux decreases with increasing solar wind flux. As a result, the averaged total oxygen ion fluxes reveal a low variability with the solar wind strength. The large standard deviations from the averages values of the escape fluxes indicate the existence of mechanisms which can enhance or suppress the efficiency of the ion escape. It is shown that the Martian magnetosphere possesses the properties of a combined magnetosphere which contains different classes of field lines. The existence of the closed magnetic field lines in the near-Mars tail might be responsible for suppression of the ion escape fluxes.

  9. Mars Infrared Spectroscopy: From Theory and the Laboratory to Field Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkland, L.; Mustard, J.; McAfee, J.; Hapke, B.; Ramsey, M.

    2002-12-01

    Visible-infrared spectroscopy has a long history of providing compositional discoveries in the solar system. A primary goal of the Mars visible-infrared spectral community is to provide information to enhance the exploration of Mars. We are entering an era of Mars exploration with missions every ~2 years. It is critical that each mission provide information to optimize the success of the next mission. That will not occur effectively unless the data can be analyzed on a ~2-year rate. Our current knowledge of spectral properties of materials and effects of the natural environment are not sufficient for the accurate interpretations needed for such time critical objectives. Relevant instruments include the 1996 TES, 2001 THEMIS, 2003 Mars Express OMEGA and PFS, 2003 MER Pancam and Mini-TES, and the 2005 CRISM. Two critical gaps that cannot be filled by individual researchers alone exist in moving toward the goal of rapid and accurate analysis. These are in coordinated "end-to-end" field testing and public spectral libraries. Three related gaps are in data from terrestrial sites to aid interpretations of the orbited spectrometers, lack of high quality development data to support landers, and delays in funding non-flight team members owing to lack of coordination between research and analysis proposal dues dates and mission data releases. A detailed discussion of the each of these areas is in a workshop report through the web site below. The two critical gaps are summarized below. Field Testing. Field/rover, airborne/satellite, and telescopic measurements are sensitive to very different effects, and these differ from those present in the lab. Thus a convincing determination of uncertainties requires demonstration through coordinated "end-to-end" field testing, using: (1) Data sets of appropriate terrestrial analog sites that are measured with both geometric and spectral fidelity as close as possible to flight instruments; (2) Interpretation as applied to data of Mars; (3

  10. Discovery of jarosite within the Mawrth Vallis region of Mars: Implications for the geologic history of the region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrand, W. H.; Glotch, T.D.; Rice, J. W.; Hurowitz, J.A.; Swayze, G.A.

    2009-01-01

    Analysis of visible to near infrared reflectance data from the MRO CRISM hyperspectral imager has revealed the presence of an ovoid-shaped landform, approximately 3 by 5 km in size, within the layered terrains surrounding the Mawrth Vallis outflow channel. This feature has spectral absorption features consistent with the presence of the ferric sulfate mineral jarosite, specifically a K-bearing jarosite (KFe3(SO4)2(OH)6). Terrestrial jarosite is formed through the oxidation of iron sulfides in acidic environments or from basaltic precursor minerals with the addition of sulfur. Previously identified phyllosilicates in the Mawrth Vallis layered terrains include a basal sequence of layers containing Fe-Mg smectites and an upper set of layers of hydrated silica and aluminous phyllosilicates. In terms of its fine scale morphology revealed by MRO HiRISE imagery, the jarosite-bearing unit has fracture patterns very similar to that observed in Fe-Mg smectite-bearing layers, but unlike that observed in the Al-bearing phyllosilicate unit. The ovoid-shaped landform is situated in an east-west bowl-shaped depression superposed on a north sloping surface. Spectra of the ovoid-shaped jarosite-bearing landform also display an anomalously high 600 nm shoulder, which may be consistent with the presence of goethite and a 1.92 ??m absorption which could indicate the presence of ferrihydrite. Goethite, jarosite, and ferrihydrite can be co-precipitated and/or form through transformation of schwertmannite, both processes generally occurring under low pH conditions (pH 2-4). To date, this location appears to be unique in the Mawrth Vallis region and could represent precipitation of jarosite in acidic, sulfur-rich ponded water during the waning stages of drying. ?? 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Discovery of jarosite within the Mawrth Vallis region of Mars: Implications for the geologic history of the region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrand, William H.; Glotch, Timothy D.; Rice, James W.; Hurowitz, Joel A.; Swayze, Gregg A.

    2009-12-01

    Analysis of visible to near infrared reflectance data from the MRO CRISM hyperspectral imager has revealed the presence of an ovoid-shaped landform, approximately 3 by 5 km in size, within the layered terrains surrounding the Mawrth Vallis outflow channel. This feature has spectral absorption features consistent with the presence of the ferric sulfate mineral jarosite, specifically a K-bearing jarosite (KFe 3(SO 4) 2(OH) 6). Terrestrial jarosite is formed through the oxidation of iron sulfides in acidic environments or from basaltic precursor minerals with the addition of sulfur. Previously identified phyllosilicates in the Mawrth Vallis layered terrains include a basal sequence of layers containing Fe-Mg smectites and an upper set of layers of hydrated silica and aluminous phyllosilicates. In terms of its fine scale morphology revealed by MRO HiRISE imagery, the jarosite-bearing unit has fracture patterns very similar to that observed in Fe-Mg smectite-bearing layers, but unlike that observed in the Al-bearing phyllosilicate unit. The ovoid-shaped landform is situated in an east-west bowl-shaped depression superposed on a north sloping surface. Spectra of the ovoid-shaped jarosite-bearing landform also display an anomalously high 600 nm shoulder, which may be consistent with the presence of goethite and a 1.92 μm absorption which could indicate the presence of ferrihydrite. Goethite, jarosite, and ferrihydrite can be co-precipitated and/or form through transformation of schwertmannite, both processes generally occurring under low pH conditions (pH 2-4). To date, this location appears to be unique in the Mawrth Vallis region and could represent precipitation of jarosite in acidic, sulfur-rich ponded water during the waning stages of drying.

  12. Recent Accomplishments in Mars Exploration: The Rover Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLennan, S. M.; McSween, H. Y.

    2018-04-01

    Mobile rovers have revolutionized our understanding of Mars geology by identifying habitable environments and addressing critical questions related to Mars science. Both the advances and limitations of rovers set the scene for Mars Sample Return.

  13. The stratigraphy of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Kenneth L.

    1986-01-01

    A global stratigraphy of Mars was developed from a global geologic map series derived from Viking images; the stratigraphy is composed of three maps. A new chronostratigraphic classification system which consists of lower, middle, and upper Noachian, Hesperian, and Amazonian systems is described. The crater-density boundaries of the chronostratigraphic units and the absolute ages of the Martian epochs aer estimated. The relative ages of major geologic units and featues are calculated and analyzed. The geologic history of Mars is summarized on the maps in terms of epochs.

  14. Improvement of geological subsurface structure models for Kanto area, Japan, based on records of microtremor array and earthquake observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wakai, A.; Senna, S.; Jin, K.; Cho, I.; Matsuyama, H.; Fujiwara, H.

    2017-12-01

    To estimate damage caused by strong ground motions from a large earthquake, it is important to accurately evaluate broadband ground-motion characteristics in wide area. For realizing that, it is one of the important issues to model detailed subsurface structure from top surface of seismic bedrock to ground surface.Here, we focus on Kanto area, including Tokyo, where there are thicker sedimentary layers. We, first, have ever collected deep bore-hole data, soil physical properties obtained by some geophysical explorations, geological information and existing models for deep ground from top surface of seismic bedrock to that of engineering bedrock, and have collected a great number of bore-hole data and surficial geological ones for shallow ground from top surface of engineering bedrock to ground surface. Using them, we modeled initial geological subsurface structure for each of deep ground and shallow one. By connecting them appropriately, we constructed initial geological subsurface structure models from top surface of seismic bedrock to ground surface.In this study, we first collected a lot of records obtained by dense microtremor observations and earthquake ones in the whole Kanto area. About microtremor observations, we conducted measurements from large array with the size of hundreds of meters to miniature array with the size of 60 centimeters to cover both of deep ground and shallow one. And then, using ground motion characteristics such as disperse curves and H/V(R/V) spectral ratios obtained from these records, the initial geological subsurface structure models were improved in terms of velocity structure from top surface of seismic bedrock to ground surface in the area.We will report outlines on microtremor array observations, analysis methods and improved subsurface structure models.

  15. Mars Stratigraphy Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budney, C. J.; Miller, S. L.; Cutts, J. A.

    2000-01-01

    The Mars Stratigraphy Mission lands a rover on the surface of Mars which descends down a cliff in Valles Marineris to study the stratigraphy. The rover carries a unique complement of instruments to analyze and age-date materials encountered during descent past 2 km of strata. The science objective for the Mars Stratigraphy Mission is to identify the geologic history of the layered deposits in the Valles Marineris region of Mars. This includes constraining the time interval for formation of these deposits by measuring the ages of various layers and determining the origin of the deposits (volcanic or sedimentary) by measuring their composition and imaging their morphology.

  16. Lakshmi Planum, Venus: Assessment of models using observations from geological mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, M. A.; Head, J. W.

    2008-09-01

    suggest more extensive presence under younger plains units, forming basement. Densely fractured plains (pdl) appear younger than tessera; the largest massifs of pdl occur in Atropos and Itzpapalotl where plains are further deformed by broad ridges and to some degree resemble the tessera deformation patterns. The ridges are generally conformal to the strike of Akna/Freyja Montes, occur within large areas of pdl adjacent to the mountain ranges, and clearly relate to the orogenic phase of formation of mountain belts [10,16-19,11,20- 23,25,26,29]. Shield plains and regional plains embay mountainous ridges both outside and inside Lakshmi Planum, which implies that the orogenic phase was toward earlier stages of the observable geological history. Shield plains were emplaced after the main phase of mountain belt formation and before regional plains, but exclusively outside of the plateau. The lower unit of regional plains (rp1) postdates shield plains; occurrences are concentrated S of Lakshmi Planum and in the interior of Lakshmi. The thickness of unit rp1 is small because outliers of older units occur within the broad regional plains. Youngest units, smooth/lobate plains, are superposed on regional plains and undeformed by tectonic structures; they were emplaced after cessation of major tectonic activity. Smooth/lobate plains form extensive lava aprons around Colette and Sacajawea Paterae, representing the latest volcanic activity inside Lakshmi Planum. Testing models of Lakshmi Planum formation: Detailed geological analysis thus allows definition of map units, establishing the sequence of major events during formation of Lakshmi, and testing the suite of models proposed to explain the mechanisms of formation of this structure. The interpreted nature of units and the sequence of events strongly contradict the predictions of divergent models: 1) The very likely presence of an ancient (craton-like) tessera massif in the core of Lakshmi; such a core is inconsistent with the rise

  17. Mars Global Digital Dune Database (MGD3): Global dune distribution and wind pattern observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayward, Rosalyn K.; Fenton, Lori; Titus, Timothy N.

    2014-01-01

    The Mars Global Digital Dune Database (MGD3) is complete and now extends from 90°N to 90°S latitude. The recently released south pole (SP) portion (MC-30) of MGD3 adds ∼60,000 km2 of medium to large-size dark dune fields and ∼15,000 km2 of sand deposits and smaller dune fields to the previously released equatorial (EQ, ∼70,000 km2), and north pole (NP, ∼845,000 km2) portions of the database, bringing the global total to ∼975,000 km2. Nearly all NP dunes are part of large sand seas, while the majority of EQ and SP dune fields are individual dune fields located in craters. Despite the differences between Mars and Earth, their dune and dune field morphologies are strikingly similar. Bullseye dune fields, named for their concentric ring pattern, are the exception, possibly owing their distinctive appearance to winds that are unique to the crater environment. Ground-based wind directions are derived from slipface (SF) orientation and dune centroid azimuth (DCA), a measure of the relative location of a dune field inside a crater. SF and DCA often preserve evidence of different wind directions, suggesting the importance of local, topographically influenced winds. In general however, ground-based wind directions are broadly consistent with expected global patterns, such as polar easterlies. Intriguingly, between 40°S and 80°S latitude both SF and DCA preserve their strongest, though different, dominant wind direction, with transport toward the west and east for SF-derived winds and toward the north and west for DCA-derived winds.

  18. Correlations between variations in solar EUV and soft X-ray irradiance and photoelectron energy spectra observed on Mars and Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, W. K.; Brain, D. A.; Mitchell, D. L.; Bailey, S. M.; Chamberlin, P. C.

    2013-11-01

    extreme ultraviolet (EUV; 10-120 nm) and soft X-ray (XUV; 0-10 nm) radiation are major heat sources for the Mars thermosphere as well as the primary source of ionization that creates the ionosphere. In investigations of Mars thermospheric chemistry and dynamics, solar irradiance models are used to account for variations in this radiation. Because of limited proxies, irradiance models do a poor job of tracking the significant variations in irradiance intensity in the EUV and XUV ranges over solar rotation time scales when the Mars-Sun-Earth angle is large. Recent results from Earth observations show that variations in photoelectron energy spectra are useful monitors of EUV and XUV irradiance variability. Here we investigate photoelectron energy spectra observed by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Electron Reflectometer (ER) and the FAST satellite during the interval in 2005 when Earth, Mars, and the Sun were aligned. The Earth photoelectron data in selected bands correlate well with calculations based on 1 nm resolution observations above 27 nm supplemented by broadband observations and a solar model in the 0-27 nm range. At Mars, we find that instrumental and orbital limitations to the identifications of photoelectron energy spectra in MGS/ER data preclude their use as a monitor of solar EUV and XUV variability. However, observations with higher temporal and energy resolution obtained at lower altitudes on Mars might allow the separation of the solar wind and ionospheric components of electron energy spectra so that they could be used as reliable monitors of variations in solar EUV and XUV irradiance than the time shifted, Earth-based, F10.7 index currently used.

  19. Correlations Between Variations in Solar EUV and Soft X-Ray Irradiance and Photoelectron Energy Spectra Observed on Mars and Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, W. K.; Brain, D. A.; Mitchell, D. L.; Bailey, S. M.; Chamberlin, P. C.

    2013-01-01

    Solar extreme ultraviolet (EUV; 10-120 nm) and soft X-ray (XUV; 0-10 nm) radiation are major heat sources for the Mars thermosphere as well as the primary source of ionization that creates the ionosphere. In investigations of Mars thermospheric chemistry and dynamics, solar irradiance models are used to account for variations in this radiation. Because of limited proxies, irradiance models do a poor job of tracking the significant variations in irradiance intensity in the EUV and XUV ranges over solar rotation time scales when the Mars-Sun-Earth angle is large. Recent results from Earth observations show that variations in photoelectron energy spectra are useful monitors of EUV and XUV irradiance variability. Here we investigate photoelectron energy spectra observed by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Electron Reflectometer (ER) and the FAST satellite during the interval in 2005 when Earth, Mars, and the Sun were aligned. The Earth photoelectron data in selected bands correlate well with calculations based on 1 nm resolution observations above 27 nm supplemented by broadband observations and a solar model in the 0-27 nm range. At Mars, we find that instrumental and orbital limitations to the identifications of photoelectron energy spectra in MGS/ER data preclude their use as a monitor of solar EUV and XUV variability. However, observations with higher temporal and energy resolution obtained at lower altitudes on Mars might allow the separation of the solar wind and ionospheric components of electron energy spectra so that they could be used as reliable monitors of variations in solar EUV and XUV irradiance than the time shifted, Earth-based, F(10.7) index currently used.

  20. Shallow radar (SHARAD) sounding observations of the Medusae Fossae Formation, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, L.M.; Campbell, B.A.; Watters, T.R.; Phillips, R.J.; Putzig, N.E.; Safaeinili, A.; Plaut, J.J.; Okubo, C.H.; Egan, A.F.; Seu, R.; Biccari, D.; Orosei, R.

    2009-01-01

    The SHARAD (shallow radar) sounding radar on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter detects subsurface reflections in the eastern and western parts of the Medusae Fossae Formation (MFF). The radar waves penetrate up to 580 m of the MFF and detect clear subsurface interfaces in two locations: west MFF between 150 and 155?? E and east MFF between 209 and 213?? E. Analysis of SHARAD radargrams suggests that the real part of the permittivity is ???3.0, which falls within the range of permittivity values inferred from MARSIS data for thicker parts of the MFF. The SHARAD data cannot uniquely determine the composition of the MFF material, but the low permittivity implies that the upper few hundred meters of the MFF material has a high porosity. One possibility is that the MFF is comprised of low-density welded or interlocked pyroclastic deposits that are capable of sustaining the steep-sided yardangs and ridges seen in imagery. The SHARAD surface echo power across the MFF is low relative to typical martian plains, and completely disappears in parts of the east MFF that correspond to the radar-dark Stealth region. These areas are extremely rough at centimeter to meter scales, and the lack of echo power is most likely due to a combination of surface roughness and a low near-surface permittivity that reduces the echo strength from any locally flat regions. There is also no radar evidence for internal layering in any of the SHARAD data for the MFF, despite the fact that tens-of-meters scale layering is apparent in infrared and visible wavelength images of nearby areas. These interfaces may not be detected in SHARAD data if their permittivity contrasts are low, or if the layers are discontinuous. The lack of closely spaced internal radar reflectors suggests that the MFF is not an equatorial analog to the current martian polar deposits, which show clear evidence of multiple internal layers in SHARAD data. ?? 2008 Elsevier Inc.

  1. The Aristarchus-Harbinger region of the moon: Surface geology and history from recent remote-sensing observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zisk, S.H.; Hodges, C.A.; Moore, H.J.; Shorthill, R.W.; Thompson, T.W.; Whitaker, E.A.; Wilhelms, D.E.

    1977-01-01

    The region including the Aristarchus Plateau and Montes Harbinger is probably the most diverse, geologically, of any area of comparble size on the Moon. This part of the northwest quadrant of the lunar near side includes unique dark mantling material; both the densest concentration and the largest of the sinuous rilles; apparent volcanic vents, sinks, and domes; mare materials of various ages and colors; one of the freshest large craters (Aristarchus) with ejecta having unique colors and albedos; and three other large craters in different states of flooding and degradation (krieger, Herodotus, and Prinz). The three best-authenticated lunar transient phenomena were also observed here. This study is based principally on photographic and remote sensing observations made from Earth and Apollo orbiting space craft. Results include (1) delineation of geologic map units and their stratigraphic relationships; (2) discussion of the complex interrelationships between materials of volcanic and impact origin, including the effects of excavation, redistribution and mixing of previously deposited materials by younger impact craters; (3) deduction of physical and chemical properties of certain of the geologic units, based on both the remote-sensing information and on extrapolation of Apollo data to this area; and (4) development of a detailed geologic history of the region, outlining the probable sequence of events that resulted in its present appearance. A primary concern of the investigation has been anomalous red dark mantle on the Plateau. Based on an integration of Earth- and lunar orbit-based data, this layer seems to consist of fine-grained, block-free material containing a relatively large fraction of orange glass. It is probably of pyroclastic origin, laid down at some time during the Imbrian period of mare flooding. ?? 1977 D. Reidel Publishing Company.

  2. Understanding the History of a Diverse Inverted Landscape: Summary and Plan for Finishing the 1:500k Geologic Map of Aeolis Dorsa, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobsen, R. E.; Burr, D. M.; Peel, S. E.; Borden, R. M.; Boyd, A. S.

    2018-06-01

    The Aeolis Dorsa region, Mars, consists of highlands and transitional units of the late Noachian, and aeolian/volcaniclastic deposits interleaved with fluvial and lacustrine deposits formed during the Hesperian and Amazonian periods.

  3. Characterization of phyllosilicates observed in the central Mawrth Vallis region, Mars, their potential formational processes, and implications for past climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKeown, N.K.; Bishop, J.L.; Noe Dobrea, E.Z.; Ehlmann, B.L.; Parente, M.; Mustard, J.F.; Murchie, S.L.; Swayze, G.A.; Bibring, J.-P.; Silver, E.A.

    2009-01-01

    Mawrth Vallis contains one of the largest exposures of phyllosilicates on Mars. Nontronite, montmorillonite, kaolinite, and hydrated silica have been identified throughout the region using data from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM). In addition, saponite has been identified in one observation within a crater. These individual minerals are identified and distinguished by features at 1.38-1.42, ???1.91, and 2.17-2.41 ??m. There are two main phyllosilicate units in the Mawrth Vallis region. The lowermost unit is nontronite bearing, unconformably overlain by an Al-phyllosilicate unit containing montmorillonite plus hydrated silica, with a thin layer of kaolinite plus hydrated silica at the top of the unit. These two units are draped by a spectrally unremarkable capping unit. Smectites generally form in neutral to alkaline environments, while kaolinite and hydrated silica typically form in slightly acidic conditions; thus, the observed phyllosilicates may reflect a change in aqueous chemistry. Spectra retrieved near the boundary between the nontronite and Al-phyllosilicate units exhibit a strong positive slope from 1 to 2 ??m, likely from a ferrous component within the rock. This ferrous component indicates either rapid deposition in an oxidizing environment or reducing conditions. Formation of each of the phyllosilicate minerals identified requires liquid water, thus indicating a regional wet period in the Noachian when these units formed. The two main phyllosilicate units may be extensive layers of altered volcanic ash. Other potential formational processes include sediment deposition into a marine or lacustrine basin or pedogenesis. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

  4. An improved gravity model for Mars: Goddard Mars Model 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, D. E.; Lerch, F. J.; Nerem, R. S.; Zuber, M. T.; Patel, G. B.; Fricke, S. K.; Lemoine, F. G.

    1993-01-01

    Doppler tracking data of three orbiting spacecraft have been reanalyzed to develop a new gravitational field model for the planet Mars, Goddard Mars Model 1 (GMM-1). This model employs nearly all available data, consisting of approximately 1100 days of S band tracking data collected by NASA's Deep Space Network from the Mariner 9 and Viking 1 and Viking 2 spacecraft, in seven different orbits, between 1971 and 1979. GMM-1 is complete to spherical harmonic degree and order 50, which corresponds to a half-wavelength spatial resolution of 200-300 km where the data permit. GMM-1 represents satellite orbits with considerably better accuracy than previous Mars gravity models and shows greater resolution of identifiable geological structures. The notable improvement in GMM-1 over previous models is a consequence of several factors: improved computational capabilities, the use of otpimum weighting and least squares collocation solution techniques which stabilized the behavior of the solution at high degree and order, and the use of longer satellite arcs than employed in previous solutions that were made possible by improved force and measurement models. The inclusion of X band tracking data from the 379-km altitude, nnear-polar orbiting Mars Observer spacecraft should provide a significant improvement over GMM-1, particularly at high latitudes where current data poorly resolve the gravitational signature of the planet.

  5. Characteristics, distribution, origin, and significance of opaline silica observed by the Spirit rover in Gusev crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruff, S.W.; Farmer, J.D.; Calvin, W.M.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Johnson, J. R.; Morris, R.V.; Rice, M.S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, J.F.; Christensen, P.R.; Squyres, S. W.

    2011-01-01

    The presence of outcrops and soil (regolith) rich in opaline silica (???65-92 wt % SiO2) in association with volcanic materials adjacent to the "Home Plate" feature in Gusev crater is evidence for hydrothermal conditions. The Spirit rover has supplied a diverse set of observations that are used here to better understand the formation of silica and the activity, abundance, and fate of water in the first hydrothermal system to be explored in situ on Mars. We apply spectral, chemical, morphological, textural, and stratigraphic observations to assess whether the silica was produced by acid sulfate leaching of precursor rocks, by precipitation from silica-rich solutions, or by some combination. The apparent lack of S enrichment and the relatively low oxidation state of the Home Plate silica-rich materials appear inconsistent with the originally proposed Hawaiian analog for fumarolic acid sulfate leaching. The stratiform distribution of the silica-rich outcrops and their porous and brecciated microtextures are consistent with sinter produced by silica precipitation. There is no evidence for crystalline quartz phases among the silica occurrences, an indication of the lack of diagenetic maturation following the production of the amorphous opaline phase. Copyright ?? 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

  6. Soil Diversity and Hydration as Observed by ChemCam at Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meslin, P.-Y.; Gasnault, O.; Forni, O.; Schröder, S.; Cousin, A.; Berger, G.; Clegg, S. M.; Lasue, J.; Maurice, S.; Sautter, V.; Le Mouélic, S.; Wiens, R. C.; Fabre, C.; Goetz, W.; Bish, D.; Mangold, N.; Ehlmann, B.; Lanza, N.; Harri, A.-M.; Anderson, R.; Rampe, E.; McConnochie, T. H.; Pinet, P.; Blaney, D.; Léveillé, R.; Archer, D.; Barraclough, B.; Bender, S.; Blake, D.; Blank, J. G.; Bridges, N.; Clark, B. C.; DeFlores, L.; Delapp, D.; Dromart, G.; Dyar, M. D.; Fisk, M.; Gondet, B.; Grotzinger, J.; Herkenhoff, K.; Johnson, J.; Lacour, J.-L.; Langevin, Y.; Leshin, L.; Lewin, E.; Madsen, M. B.; Melikechi, N.; Mezzacappa, A.; Mischna, M. A.; Moores, J. E.; Newsom, H.; Ollila, A.; Perez, R.; Renno, N.; Sirven, J.-B.; Tokar, R.; de la Torre, M.; d'Uston, L.; Vaniman, D.; Yingst, A.; Kemppinen, Osku; Minitti, Michelle; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Weigle, Gerald; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Stolper, Edward; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Steele, Andrew; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Mauchien, Patrick; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Squyres, Steven; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Schieber, Juergen; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Cros, Alain; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Toplis, Mike; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Robert, François; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Treiman, Allan; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Summons, Roger; Goesmann, Fred; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Fassett, Caleb; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Conrad, Pamela; Dworkin, Jason P.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Harpold, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Mahaffy, Paul; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Trainer, Melissa; Meyer, Michael; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Brinza, David; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Webster, Christopher R.; Yen, Albert; Cucinotta, Francis; Jones, John H.; Ming, Douglas; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Nolan, Thomas; Radziemski, Leon; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Lewis, Kevin; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Bullock, Mark; Ehresmann, Bent; Hamilton, Victoria; Hassler, Donald; Peterson, Joseph; Rafkin, Scot; Zeitlin, Cary; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Wolff, Michael; McLennan, Scott; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Kim, Myung-Hee; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Gellert, Ralf; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Owen, Tobias; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; Boehm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Bridges, John C.; Benna, Mehdi; Franz, Heather; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Atreya, Sushil; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Wong, Michael; Pepin, Robert; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey

    2013-09-01

    The ChemCam instrument, which provides insight into martian soil chemistry at the submillimeter scale, identified two principal soil types along the Curiosity rover traverse: a fine-grained mafic type and a locally derived, coarse-grained felsic type. The mafic soil component is representative of widespread martian soils and is similar in composition to the martian dust. It possesses a ubiquitous hydrogen signature in ChemCam spectra, corresponding to the hydration of the amorphous phases found in the soil by the CheMin instrument. This hydration likely accounts for an important fraction of the global hydration of the surface seen by previous orbital measurements. ChemCam analyses did not reveal any significant exchange of water vapor between the regolith and the atmosphere. These observations provide constraints on the nature of the amorphous phases and their hydration.

  7. Soil diversity and hydration as observed by ChemCam at Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meslin, P.-Y.; Gasnault, O.; Forni, O.; Schroder, S.; Cousin, A.; Berger, G.; Clegg, S.M.; Lasue, J.; Maurice, S.; Sautter, V.; Le Mouélic, S.; Wiens, R.C.; Fabre, C.; Goetz, W.; Bish, D.L.; Mangold, N.; Ehlmann, B.; Lanza, N.; Harri, A.-M.; Anderson, Ryan Bradley; Rampe, E.; McConnochie, T.H.; Pinet, P.; Blaney, D.; ,; Archer, D.; Barraclough, B.; Bender, S.; Blake, D.; Blank, J.G.; Bridges, N.; Clark, B. C.; DeFlores, L.; Delapp, D.; Dromart, G.; Dyar, M.D.; Fisk, M. R.; Gondet, B.; Grotzinger, J.; Herkenhoff, K.; Johnson, J.; Lacour, J.-L.; Langevin, Y.; Leshin, L.; Lewin, E.; Madsen, M.B.; Melikechi, N.; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Mischna, M.A.; Moores, J.E.; Newsom, H.; Ollila, A.; ,; Renno, N.; Sirven, J.B.; Tokar, R.; de la Torre, M.; d'Uston, L.; Vaniman, D.; Yingst, A.

    2013-01-01

    The ChemCam instrument, which provides insight into martian soil chemistry at the submillimeter scale, identified two principal soil types along the Curiosity rover traverse: a fine-grained mafic type and a locally derived, coarse-grained felsic type. The mafic soil component is representative of widespread martian soils and is similar in composition to the martian dust. It possesses a ubiquitous hydrogen signature in ChemCam spectra, corresponding to the hydration of the amorphous phases found in the soil by the CheMin instrument. This hydration likely accounts for an important fraction of the global hydration of the surface seen by previous orbital measurements. ChemCam analyses did not reveal any significant exchange of water vapor between the regolith and the atmosphere. These observations provide constraints on the nature of the amorphous phases and their hydration.

  8. Recession of the Northern polar cap from the PFS Mars Express observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zasova, L. V.; Formisano, V.; Moroz, V. I.; Giuranna, M.; Grassi, D.; Hansen, G.; Ignatiev, N. I.; Maturilli, A.; Pfs Team

    Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) has two spectral channels, devoted to the thermal and solar reflected spectral range investigations. The first observations by PFS of the Northern hemisphere ,which includes the North pole, occurred at Ls= 342 (northern winter). Surface temperature alone the orbit shows that the CO2 ice polar cap, where the surface temperature is found around 150K and below, is extended down to about 62 N. The spectra at latitudes above 80 N are obtained at polar darkness and at latitudes below 80 at illumination by the low Sun. Retrieved temperature profiles of the atmosphere at darkness show that temperature of the atmosphere is low enough to allow the CO2 condensation up to about 25 km. Between 70 and 80 latitude the upper levels of the atmosphere are heated by the Sun, but condensation of the CO2 may occur in the near surface layer below 5 km. The water ice clouds exist at lower latitudes with maximum opacity at the edge of the polar cap. More detailed investigation of the data obtained in winter as well as of the measurements in the northern spring will be presented.

  9. U.S. Geological Survey Water science strategy--observing, understanding, predicting, and delivering water science to the nation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evenson, Eric J.; Orndorff, Randall C.; Blome, Charles D.; Böhlke, John Karl; Hershberger, Paul K.; Langenheim, V.E.; McCabe, Gregory J.; Morlock, Scott E.; Reeves, Howard W.; Verdin, James P.; Weyers, Holly S.; Wood, Tamara M.

    2013-01-01

    This report expands the Water Science Strategy that began with the USGS Science Strategy, “Facing Tomorrow’s Challenges—U.S. Geological Survey Science in the Decade 2007–2017” (U.S. Geological Survey, 2007). This report looks at the relevant issues facing society and develops a strategy built around observing, understanding, predicting, and delivering water science for the next 5 to 10 years by building new capabilities, tools, and delivery systems to meet the Nation’s water-resource needs. This report begins by presenting the vision of water science for the USGS and the societal issues that are influenced by, and in turn influence, the water resources of our Nation. The essence of the Water Science Strategy is built on the concept of “water availability,” defined as spatial and temporal distribution of water quantity and quality, as related to human and ecosystem needs, as affected by human and natural influences. The report also describes the core capabilities of the USGS in water science—the strengths, partnerships, and science integrity that the USGS has built over its 134-year history. Nine priority actions are presented in the report, which combine and elevate the numerous specific strategic actions listed throughout the report. Priority actions were developed as a means of providing the audience of this report with a list for focused attention, even if resources and time limit the ability of managers to address all of the strategic actions in the report.

  10. Multipoint observations of coronal mass ejection and solar energetic particle events on Mars and Earth during November 2001

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Falkenberg, Thea Vilstrup; Vennerstrøm, Susanne; Brain, D. A.

    2011-01-01

    and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) data to study ICMEs and SEPs at Earth, we present a detailed study of three CMEs and flares in late November 2001. In this period, Mars trailed Earth by 56 degrees solar longitude so that the two planets occupied interplanetary magnetic field lines...... not only ICME events but also SEP events at Mars, with good results providing a consistent picture of the events when combined with near-Earth data....

  11. Mars astronomy: observations concerning Ares myth. (Italian Title: L'astronomia di Marte: osservazioni celate nel mito di Ares)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colona, P.

    2017-12-01

    We show that the myth of Ares defeated by the giants Aloads is a description of how the planet Mars appears in the sky during its synodic revolution. This criptoscientific myth reported by Homer holds enough astronomical information to make sound this archaeoastronomical interpretation.The tale accounts for the length of the semiperiod of the Martian revolution and presents the notion that Mercury is the only planet which is always visible when Mars recovers after the solar conjunction.

  12. Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) Efforts and Observations at the Rocknest Eolian Sand Shadow in Curiosity's Gale Crater Field Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edgett, K. S.; Yingst, R. A.; Minitti, M. E.; Goetz, W.; Kah, L. C.; Kennedy, M. R.; Lipkaman, L. J.; Jensen, E. H.; Anderson, R. C.; Beegle, L. W.; hide

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission is focused on assessing the past or present habitability of Mars, through interrogation of environment and environmental records at the Curiosity rover field site in Gale crater. The MSL team has two methods available to collect, process and deliver samples to onboard analytical laboratories, the Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument (CheMin) and the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite. One approach obtains samples by drilling into a rock, the other uses a scoop to collect loose regolith fines. Scooping was planned to be first method performed on Mars because materials could be readily scooped multiple times and used to remove any remaining, minute terrestrial contaminants from the sample processing system, the Collection and Handling for In-Situ Martian Rock Analysis (CHIMRA). Because of this cleaning effort, the ideal first material to be scooped would consist of fine to very fine sand, like the interior of the Serpent Dune studied by the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit team in 2004 [1]. The MSL team selected a linear eolian deposit in the lee of a group of cobbles they named Rocknest (Fig. 1) as likely to be similar to Serpent Dune. Following the definitions in Chapter 13 of Bagnold [2], the deposit is termed a sand shadow. The scooping campaign occurred over approximately 6 weeks in October and November 2012. To support these activities, the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) acquired images for engineering support/assessment and scientific inquiry.

  13. Analysis of Solar Wind Precipitation on Mars Using MAVEN/SWIA Observations of Spacecraft-Scattered Ions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lue, C.; Halekas, J. S.

    2017-12-01

    Particle sensors on the MAVEN spacecraft (SWIA, SWEA, STATIC) observe precipitating solar wind ions during MAVEN's periapsis passes in the Martian atmosphere (at 120-250 km altitude). The signature is observed as positive and negative particles at the solar wind energy, traveling away from the Sun. The observations can be explained by the solar wind penetrating the Martian magnetic barrier in the form of energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) due to charge-exchange with the Martian hydrogen corona, and then being reionized in positive or negative form upon impact with the atmosphere (1). These findings have elucidated solar wind precipitation dynamics at Mars, and can also be used to monitor the solar wind even when MAVEN is at periapsis (2). In the present study, we focus on a SWIA instrument background signal that has been interpreted as spacecraft/instrument-scattered ions (2). We aim to model and subtract the scattered ion signal from the observations including those of reionized solar wind. We also aim to use the scattered ion signal to track hydrogen ENAs impacting the spacecraft above the reionization altitude. We characterize the energy spectrum and directional scattering function for solar wind scattering off the SWIA aperture structure, the radome and the spacecraft body. We find a broad scattered-ion energy spectrum up to the solar wind energy, displaying increased energy loss and reduced flux with increasing scattering angle, allowing correlations with the solar wind direction, energy, and flux. We develop models that can be used to predict the scattered signal based on the direct solar wind observations or to infer the solar wind properties based on the observed scattered signal. We then investigate deviations to the models when the spacecraft is in the Martian atmosphere and evaluate the plausibility of that these are caused by ENAs. We also perform SIMION modeling of the scattering process and the resulting signal detection by SWIA, to study the results from

  14. Advances in planetary geology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1987-06-01

    The surface of Mars displays a broad range of channel and valley features. There is as great a range in morphology as in scale. Some of the features of Martian geography are examined. Geomorphic mapping, crater counts on selected surfaces, and a detailed study of drainage basins are used to trace the geologic evolution of the Margaritifer Sinus Quandrangle. The layered deposits in the Valles Marineris are described in detail and the geologic processes that could have led to their formation are analyzed

  15. Terrestrial Analogs to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farr, T. G.; Arcone, S.; Arvidson, R. W.; Baker, V.; Barlow, N. G.; Beaty, D.; Bell, M. S.; Blankenship, D. D.; Bridges, N.; Briggs, G.; Bulmer, M.; Carsey, F.; Clifford, S. M.; Craddock, R. A.; Dickerson, P. W.; Duxbury, N.; Galford, G. L.; Garvin, J.; Grant, J.; Green, J. R.; Gregg, T. K. P.; Guinness, E.; Hansen, V. L.; Hecht, M. H.; Holt, J.; Howard, A.; Keszthelyi, L. P.; Lee, P.; Lanagan, P. D.; Lentz, R. C. F.; Leverington, D. W.; Marinangeli, L.; Moersch, J. E.; Morris-Smith, P. A.; Mouginis-Mark, P.; Olhoeft, G. R.; Ori, G. G.; Paillou, P.; Reilly, J. F., II; Rice, J. W., Jr.; Robinson, C. A.; Sheridan, M.; Snook, K.; Thomson, B. J.; Watson, K.; Williams, K.; Yoshikawa, K.

    2002-08-01

    It is well recognized that interpretations of Mars must begin with the Earth as a reference. The most successful comparisons have focused on understanding geologic processes on the Earth well enough to extrapolate to Mars' environment. Several facets of terrestrial analog studies have been pursued and are continuing. These studies include field workshops, characterization of terrestrial analog sites, instrument tests, laboratory measurements (including analysis of Martian meteorites), and computer and laboratory modeling. The combination of all these activities allows scientists to constrain the processes operating in specific terrestrial environments and extrapolate how similar processes could affect Mars. The Terrestrial Analogs for Mars Community Panel has considered the following two key questions: (1) How do terrestrial analog studies tie in to the Mars Exploration Payload Assessment Group science questions about life, past climate, and geologic evolution of Mars, and (2) How can future instrumentation be used to address these questions. The panel has considered the issues of data collection, value of field workshops, data archiving, laboratory measurements and modeling, human exploration issues, association with other areas of solar system exploration, and education and public outreach activities.

  16. Mars: Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moroz, V.; Murdin, P.

    2001-07-01

    The atmosphere of MARS is much thinner than the terrestrial one. However, even the simplest visual telescopic observations show a set of atmospheric events such as seasonal exchange of material between polar caps, temporal appearance of clouds and changes of visibility of dark regions on the disk of the planet. In 1947 the prominent CO2 bands in the near-infrared part of the Martian spectrum were...

  17. Visible/near-infrared spectral diversity from in situ observations of the Bagnold Dune Field sands in Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Achilles, Cherie; Bell, James F.; Bender, Steve; Cloutis, Edward; Ehlmann, Bethany; Fraeman, Abigail; Gasnault, Olivier; Hamilton, Victoria E.; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Maurice, Sylvestre; Pinet, Patrick; Thompson, Lucy; Wellington, Danika; Wiens, Roger C.

    2017-12-01

    As part of the Bagnold Dune campaign conducted by Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity, visible/near-infrared reflectance spectra of dune sands were acquired using Mast Camera (Mastcam) multispectral imaging (445-1013 nm) and Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) passive point spectroscopy (400-840 nm). By comparing spectra from pristine and rover-disturbed ripple crests and troughs within the dune field, and through analysis of sieved grain size fractions, constraints on mineral segregation from grain sorting could be determined. In general, the dune areas exhibited low relative reflectance, a weak 530 nm absorption band, an absorption band near 620 nm, and a spectral downturn after 685 nm consistent with olivine-bearing sands. The finest grain size fractions occurred within ripple troughs and in the subsurface and typically exhibited the strongest 530 nm bands, highest relative reflectances, and weakest red/near-infrared ratios, consistent with a combination of crystalline and amorphous ferric materials. Coarser-grained samples were the darkest and bluest and exhibited weaker 530 nm bands, lower relative reflectances, and stronger downturns in the near-infrared, consistent with greater proportions of mafic minerals such as olivine and pyroxene. These grains were typically segregated along ripple crests and among the upper surfaces of grain flows in disturbed sands. Sieved dune sands exhibited progressive decreases in reflectance with increasing grain size, as observed in laboratory spectra of olivine size separates. The continuum of spectral features observed between the coarse- and fine-grained dune sands suggests that mafic grains, ferric materials, and air fall dust mix in variable proportions depending on aeolian activity and grain sorting.

  18. Wet Mars, Dry Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fillingim, M. O.; Brain, D. A.; Peticolas, L. M.; Yan, D.; Fricke, K. W.; Thrall, L.

    2012-12-01

    The magnetic fields of the large terrestrial planets, Venus, Earth, and Mars, are all vastly different from each other. These differences can tell us a lot about the interior structure, interior history, and even give us clues to the atmospheric history of these planets. This poster highlights the third in a series of presentations that target school-age audiences with the overall goal of helping the audience visualize planetary magnetic field and understand how they can impact the climatic evolution of a planet. Our first presentation, "Goldilocks and the Three Planets," targeted to elementary school age audiences, focuses on the differences in the atmospheres of Venus, Earth, and Mars and the causes of the differences. The second presentation, "Lost on Mars (and Venus)," geared toward a middle school age audience, highlights the differences in the magnetic fields of these planets and what we can learn from these differences. Finally, in the third presentation, "Wet Mars, Dry Mars," targeted to high school age audiences and the focus of this poster, the emphasis is on the long term climatic affects of the presence or absence of a magnetic field using the contrasts between Earth and Mars. These presentations are given using visually engaging spherical displays in conjunction with hands-on activities and scientifically accurate 3D models of planetary magnetic fields. We will summarize the content of our presentations, discuss our lessons learned from evaluations, and show (pictures of) our hands-on activities and 3D models.

  19. Early Mars: A Warm Wet Niche for Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Everett K.; McKay, David S.; Thomas-Keprta, Kathie L.; Clemett, Simon J.

    2010-01-01

    Exploration of Mars has begun to unveil the history of the planet. Combinations of remote sensing, in situ compositional measurements and photographic observations have shown Mars had a dynamic and active geologic evolution. Mars geologic evolution had conditions that were suitable for supporting life. A habitable planet must have water, carbon and energy sources along with a dynamic geologic past. Mars meets all of these requirements. The first 600 Ma of Martian history were ripe for life to develop because of the abundance of: (i) Water-as shown by carved canyons and oceans or lakes with the early presence of near surface water shown by precipitated carbonates in ALH84001, well-dated at approx.3.9 Ga, (ii) Energy from the original accretional processes, a molten core which generated a strong magnetic field leaving a permanent record in the early crust, active volcanism continuing throughout Martian history, and continuing impact processes, (iii) Carbon, water and a likely thicker atmosphere from extensive volcanic outgassing (i.e. H2O, CO2, CH4, CO, O2, N2, H2S, SO2, etc.) and (iv) crustal tectonics as revealed by faulting and possible plate movement reflected by the magnetic patterns in the crust [1]. The question arises: "Why would life not develop from these favorable conditions on Mars in its first 600 Ma?" During this period, environmental near-surface conditions on Mars were more favorable to life than at any later time. Standing bodies of water, precipitation and flowing surface water, and possibly abundant hydrothermal energy would favor the formation of early life. (Even if life developed elsewhere on Earth, Venus, or on other bodies-it was transported to Mars where surface conditions were suitable for life to evolve)

  20. Upgrades to the Mars Initial Reference Ionosphere (MIRI) Model Due to Observations from MAVEN, MEX and MRO.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narvaez, C.; Mendillo, M.; Trovato, J.

    2017-12-01

    A semi-empirical model of the maximum electron density (Nmax) of the martian ionosphere [MIRI-mark-1](1) was derived from an initial set radar observations by the MEX/MARSIS instrument. To extend the model to full electron density profiles, normalized shapes of Ne(h) from a theoretical model(2) were calibrated by MIRI's Nmax. Subsequent topside ionosphere observations from MAVEN indicated that topside shapes from MEX/MARSIS(3) offered improved morphology. The MEX topside shapes were then merged to the bottomside shapes from the theoretical model. Using a larger set of MEX/MARSIS observations (07/31/2005 - 05/24/2015), a new specification of Nmax as a function of solar zenith angle and solar flux is now used to calibrate the normalized Ne(h) profiles. The MIRI-mark-2 model includes the integral with height of Ne(h) to form total electron content (TEC) values. Validation of the MIRI TEC was accomplished using an independent set of TEC derived from the SHARAD(4) experiment on MRO. (1) M. Mendillo, A. Marusiak, P. Withers, D. Morgan and D. Gurnett, A New Semi-empirical Model of the Peak Electron Density of the Martian Ionosphere, Geophysical Research Letters, 40, 1-5, doi:10.1002/2013GL057631, 2013. (2) Mayyasi, M. and M. Mendillo (2015), Why the Viking descent probes found only one ionospheric layer at Mars, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 7359-7365, doi:10.1002/2015GL065575 (3) Němec, F., D. Morgan, D. Gurnett, and D. Andrews (2016), Empirical model of the Martian dayside ionosphere: Effects of crustal magnetic fields and solar ionizing flux at higher altitudes, J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 121, 1760-1771, doi:10.1002/2015/A022060.(4) Campbell, B., and T. Watters (2016), Phase compensation of MARSIS subsurface sounding and estimation of ionospheric properties: New insights from SHARAD results, J.Geophys. Res. Planets, 121, 180-193, doi:10.1002/2015JE004917.

  1. First results of the observations of trace gases in the Martian atmosphere by the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer onboard the Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titov, D. V.; Ignatiev, N.; Formisano, V.; Grassi, D.; Giuranna, M.; Maturilli, A.; Piccioni, G.; Moroz, V. I.; Lellouch, E.; Encrenaz, T.; Pfs Team

    High spectral resolution observations of Mars by the PFS/Mars Express provide new insight into the atmospheric composition. Spectral features of atmospheric CO2 and its isotopes at 15, 4.3, 2.7, 1.4 μ m, CO at 4.7 and 2.35 μ m, and H2O at 40, 2.56, and 1.38 μ m as well as solar spectral features are clearly identified in the PFS spectra. HDO spectral details at 3.7 μ m were also tentatively detected. The paper will present qualitative and quantitative analysis of the PFS spectra in the regions of spectral bands of trace gases. Abundance of minor constituents will be determined using complete radiative transfer modeling including possible non-LTE effects. We will also present results of search for other minor species with emphasis on the limb observations that provide higher air mass factor.

  2. Mars At Opposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-01-01

    These NASA Hubble Space Telescope views provide the most detailed complete global coverage of the red planet Mars ever seen from Earth. The pictures were taken on February 25, 1995, when Mars was at a distance of 65 million miles (103 million km).To the surprise of researchers, Mars is cloudier than seen in previous years. This means the planet is cooler and drier, because water vapor in the atmosphere freezes out to form ice-crystal clouds. Hubble resolves Martian surface features with a level of detail only exceeded by planetary probes, such as impact craters and other features as small as 30 miles (50 kilometers) across.[Tharsis region] - A crescent-shaped cloud just right of center identifies the immense shield volcano Olympus Mons, which is 340 miles (550 km) across at its base. Warm afternoon air pushed up over the summit forms ice-crystal clouds downwind from the volcano. Farther to the east (right) a line of clouds forms over a row of three extinct volcanoes which are from north to south: Ascraeus Mons, Pavonis Mons, Arsia Mons. It's part of an unusual, recurring 'W'-shaped cloud formation that once mystified earlier ground-based observers.[Valles Marineris region] - The 16 mile-high volcano Ascraeus Mons pokes through the cloud deck along the western (left) limb of the planet. Other interesting geologic features include (lower left) Valles Marineris, an immense rift valley the length of the continental United States. Near the image center lies the Chryse basin made up of cratered and chaotic terrain. The oval-looking Argyre impact basin (bottom) appears white due to clouds or frost.[Syrtis Major region] - The dark 'shark fin' feature left of center is Syrtis Major. Below it the giant impact basin Hellas. Clouds cover several great volcanos in the Elysium region near the eastern (right) limb. As clearly seen in the Hubble images, past dust storms in Mars' southern hemisphere have scoured the plains of fine light dust and transported the dust northward. This

  3. Thermal inertia and surface heterogeneity on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putzig, Nathaniel E.

    Thermal inertia derived from temperature observations is critical for understanding surface geology and assessing potential landing sites on Mars. Derivation methods generally assume uniform surface properties for any given observation. Consequently, horizontal heterogeneity and near-surface layering may yield apparent thermal inertia that varies with time of day and season. To evaluate the effects of horizontal heterogeneity, I modeled the thermal behavior of surfaces containing idealized material mixtures (dust, sand, duricrust, and rocks) and differing slope facets. These surfaces exhibit diurnal and seasonal variability in apparent thermal inertia of several 100 tiu, 1 even for components with moderately contrasting thermal properties. To isolate surface effects on the derived thermal inertia of Mars, I mapped inter- annual and seasonal changes in albedo and atmospheric dust opacity, accounting for their effects in a modified derivation algorithm. Global analysis of three Mars years of MGS-TES 2 data reveals diurnal and seasonal variations of ~200 tiu in the mid-latitudes and 600 tiu or greater in the polar regions. Correlation of TES results and modeled apparent thermal inertia of heterogeneous surfaces indicates pervasive surface heterogeneity on Mars. At TES resolution, the near-surface thermal response is broadly dominated by layering and is consistent with the presence of duricrusts over fines in the mid-latitudes and dry soils over ground ice in the polar regions. Horizontal surface mixtures also play a role and may dominate at higher resolution. In general, thermal inertia obtained from single observations or annually averaged maps may misrepresent surface properties. In lieu of a robust heterogeneous- surface derivation technique, repeat coverage can be used together with forward-modeling results to constrain the near-surface heterogeneity of Mars. 1 tiu == J m -2 K -1 s - 2 Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer

  4. Development of Life on Early Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Everett K.; McKay, David S.; Thomas-Keprta, Kathie L.; Clemett, Simon J.; Wentworth, Susan J.

    2009-01-01

    Exploration of Mars has begun to unveil the history of the planet. Combinations of remote sensing, in situ compositional measurements and photographic observations have shown Mars had a dynamic and active geologic evolution. Mars geologic evolution encompassed conditions that were suitable for supporting life. A habitable planet must have water, carbon and energy sources along with a dynamic geologic past. Mars meets all of these requirements. The first 600 My of Martian history were ripe for life to develop because of the abundance of (i) Water- as shown by carved canyons and oceans or lakes with the early presence of near surface water shown by precipitated carbonates in ALH84001, well-dated at 3.9 Gy, (ii) Energy from the original accretional processes, a molten core which generated a strong magnetic field leaving a permanent record in the early crust, active volcanism continuing throughout Martian history, and continuing impact processes, (iii) Carbon, water and a likely thicker atmosphere from extensive volcanic outgassing (i.e. H20, CO2, CH4, CO, O2, N2, H2S, SO2, etc.) and (iv) crustal tectonics as revealed by faulting and possible plate movement reflected by the magnetic pattern in the crust [1]. The question arises: "Why would life not develop from these favorable conditions on Mars in its first 600 My?" During this period, environmental near-surface conditions on Mars were more favorable to life than at any later time. Standing bodies of water, precipitation and flowing surface water, and possibly abundant hydrothermal energy would favor the formation of early life. (Even if life developed elsewhere on Earth, Venus, or on other bodies-it was transported to Mars where surface conditions were suitable for life to evolve). The commonly stated requirement that life would need hundreds of millions of year to get started is only an assumption; we know of no evidence that requires such a long interval for the development of life, if the proper habitable

  5. Retrieval of Surface Lambert Albedos and Aerosols Optical Depths Using OMEGA Near-IR EPF Observations of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincendon, M.; Langevin, Y.; Poulet, F.; Bibring, J.-P.; Gondet, B.

    2007-03-01

    We have analyzed five EPF sequences acquired by OMEGA/Mars Express in the near-IR over ice-free and ice-covered surfaces to retrieve simultaneously the Lambert albedo of the surface and the optical depth of aerosols.

  6. Old Geology and New Geology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Released 28 May 2003Mangala Vallis one of the large outflow channels that channeled large quantities of water into the northern lowlands, long ago on geological timescales. This valley is one of the few in the southern hemisphere, as well as one of the few west of the Tharsis bulge. A closer look at the channel shows more recent weathering of the old water channel: the walls of the channel show small, dark slope streaks that form in dusty areas; and much of the surrounding terrain has subtle linear markings trending from the upper left to the lower right, which are probably features sculpted and streamlined by the wind. Geology still shapes the surface of Mars today, but its methods over the eons have changed.Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -6, Longitude 209.6 East (150.4 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

  7. History of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lewis, J.S.

    1988-01-01

    The origin and early history of Mars and the relationship between Mars and the other planets are reviewed. The solar system formation and planetary differentiation are examined using data from planetary missions. Different views of Mars are presented, showing how ideas about the planet have changed as the amount of available observational data has increased. Viking aerography and surface characterization are discussed, including the nature of specific atmospheric components and the implications of surface phenomena. Models for the planetary formation and accretion processes are considered. The value of future missions to Mars is stressed

  8. Pathways to 1.5 °C and 2 °C warming based on observational and geological constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodwin, Philip; Katavouta, Anna; Roussenov, Vassil M.; Foster, Gavin L.; Rohling, Eelco J.; Williams, Richard G.

    2018-02-01

    To restrict global warming to below the agreed targets requires limiting carbon emissions, the principal driver of anthropogenic warming. However, there is significant uncertainty in projecting the amount of carbon that can be emitted, in part due to the limited number of Earth system model simulations and their discrepancies with present-day observations. Here we demonstrate a novel approach to reduce the uncertainty of climate projections; using theory and geological evidence we generate a very large ensemble (3 × 104) of projections that closely match records for nine key climate metrics, which include warming and ocean heat content. Our analysis narrows the uncertainty in surface-warming projections and reduces the range in equilibrium climate sensitivity. We find that a warming target of 1.5 °C above the pre-industrial level requires the total emitted carbon from the start of year 2017 to be less than 195-205 PgC (in over 66% of the simulations), whereas a warming target of 2 °C is only likely if the emitted carbon remains less than 395-455 PgC. At the current emission rates, these warming targets are reached in 17-18 years and 35-41 years, respectively, so that there is a limited window to develop a more carbon-efficient future.

  9. Mars @ ASDC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carraro, Francesco

    "Mars @ ASDC" is a project born with the goal of using the new web technologies to assist researches involved in the study of Mars. This project employs Mars map and javascript APIs provided by Google to visualize data acquired by space missions on the planet. So far, visualization of tracks acquired by MARSIS and regions observed by VIRTIS-Rosetta has been implemented. The main reason for the creation of this kind of tool is the difficulty in handling hundreds or thousands of acquisitions, like the ones from MARSIS, and the consequent difficulty in finding observations related to a particular region. This led to the development of a tool which allows to search for acquisitions either by defining the region of interest through a set of geometrical parameters or by manually selecting the region on the map through a few mouse clicks The system allows the visualization of tracks (acquired by MARSIS) or regions (acquired by VIRTIS-Rosetta) which intersect the user defined region. MARSIS tracks can be visualized both in Mercator and polar projections while the regions observed by VIRTIS can presently be visualized only in Mercator projection. The Mercator projection is the standard map provided by Google. The polar projections are provided by NASA and have been developed to be used in combination with APIs provided by Google The whole project has been developed following the "open source" philosophy: the client-side code which handles the functioning of the web page is written in javascript; the server-side code which executes the searches for tracks or regions is written in PHP and the DB which undergoes the system is MySQL.

  10. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center-fiscal year 2010 annual report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Janice S.

    2011-01-01

    The Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center is a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) facility focused on providing science and imagery to better understand our Earth. The work of the Center is shaped by the earth sciences, the missions of our stakeholders, and implemented through strong program and project management, and application of state-of-the-art information technologies. Fundamentally, EROS contributes to the understanding of a changing Earth through 'research to operations' activities that include developing, implementing, and operating remote-sensing-based terrestrial monitoring capabilities needed to address interdisciplinary science and applications objectives at all levels-both nationally and internationally. The Center's programs and projects continually strive to meet, and where possible exceed, the changing needs of the USGS, the Department of the Interior, our Nation, and international constituents. The Center's multidisciplinary staff uses their unique expertise in remote sensing science and technologies to conduct basic and applied research, data acquisition, systems engineering, information access and management, and archive preservation to address the Nation's most critical needs. Of particular note is the role of EROS as the primary provider of Landsat data, the longest comprehensive global land Earth observation record ever collected. This report is intended to provide an overview of the scientific and engineering achievements and illustrate the range and scope of the activities and accomplishments at EROS throughout fiscal year (FY) 2010. Additional information concerning the scientific, engineering, and operational achievements can be obtained from the scientific papers and other documents published by EROS staff or by visiting our web site at http://eros.usgs.gov. We welcome comments and follow-up questions on any aspect of this Annual Report and invite any of our customers or partners to contact us at their convenience. To

  11. Applications of Surface Penetrating Radar for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, H.; Li, C.; Ran, S.; Feng, J.; Zuo, W.

    2015-12-01

    Surface Penetrating Radar (SPR) is a geophysical method that uses electromagnetic field probe the interior structure and lithological variations of a lossy dielectric materials, it performs quite well in dry, icy and shallow-soil environments. The first radar sounding of the subsurface of planet was carried out by Apollo Lunar Sounder Experiment (ALSE) of the Apollo 17 in 1972. ALSE provided very precise information about the moon's topography and revealed structures beneath the surface in both Mare Crisium and Mare Serenitatis. Russian Mars'92 was the first Mars exploration mission that tried to use SPR to explore martian surface, subsurface and ionosphere. Although Mars'96 launch failed in 1996, Russia(Mars'98, cancelled in 1998; Phobos-Grunt, launch failed in 2011), ESA(Mars Express, succeeded in 2003; Netlander, cancelled in 2003; ExoMars 2018) and NASA(MRO, succeeded in 2005; MARS 2020) have been making great effects to send SPR to Mars, trying to search for the existence of groundwater and life in the past 20 years. So far, no Ground Penetrating Radar(GPR) has yet provided in situ observations on the surface of Mars. In December 2013, China's CE-3 lunar rover (Yuto) equipped with a GPR made the first direct measurement of the structure and depth of the lunar soil, and investigation of the lunar crust structure along the rover path. China's Mars Exploration Program also plans to carry the orbiting radar sounder and rover GPR to characterize the nature of subsurface water or ices and the layered structure of shallow subsurface of Mars. SPR can provide diversity of applications for Mars exploration , that are: to map the distribution of solid and liquid water in the upper portions of the Mars' crust; to characterize the subsurface geologic environment; to investigate the planet's subsurface to better understand the evolution and habitability of Mars; to perform the martain ionosphere sounding. Based on SPR's history and achievements, combined with the

  12. The MARS2013 Mars analog mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groemer, Gernot; Soucek, Alexander; Frischauf, Norbert; Stumptner, Willibald; Ragonig, Christoph; Sams, Sebastian; Bartenstein, Thomas; Häuplik-Meusburger, Sandra; Petrova, Polina; Evetts, Simon; Sivenesan, Chan; Bothe, Claudia; Boyd, Andrea; Dinkelaker, Aline; Dissertori, Markus; Fasching, David; Fischer, Monika; Föger, Daniel; Foresta, Luca; Fritsch, Lukas; Fuchs, Harald; Gautsch, Christoph; Gerard, Stephan; Goetzloff, Linda; Gołebiowska, Izabella; Gorur, Paavan; Groemer, Gerhard; Groll, Petra; Haider, Christian; Haider, Olivia; Hauth, Eva; Hauth, Stefan; Hettrich, Sebastian; Jais, Wolfgang; Jones, Natalie; Taj-Eddine, Kamal; Karl, Alexander; Kauerhoff, Tilo; Khan, Muhammad Shadab; Kjeldsen, Andreas; Klauck, Jan; Losiak, Anna; Luger, Markus; Luger, Thomas; Luger, Ulrich; McArthur, Jane; Moser, Linda; Neuner, Julia; Orgel, Csilla; Ori, Gian Gabriele; Paternesi, Roberta; Peschier, Jarno; Pfeil, Isabella; Prock, Silvia; Radinger, Josef; Ramirez, Barbara; Ramo, Wissam; Rampey, Mike; Sams, Arnold; Sams, Elisabeth; Sandu, Oana; Sans, Alejandra; Sansone, Petra; Scheer, Daniela; Schildhammer, Daniel; Scornet, Quentin; Sejkora, Nina; Stadler, Andrea; Stummer, Florian; Taraba, Michael; Tlustos, Reinhard; Toferer, Ernst; Turetschek, Thomas; Winter, Egon; Zanella-Kux, Katja

    2014-05-01

    We report on the MARS2013 mission, a 4-week Mars analog field test in the northern Sahara. Nineteen experiments were conducted by a field crew in Morocco under simulated martian surface exploration conditions, supervised by a Mission Support Center in Innsbruck, Austria. A Remote Science Support team analyzed field data in near real time, providing planning input for the management of a complex system of field assets; two advanced space suit simulators, four robotic vehicles, an emergency shelter, and a stationary sensor platform in a realistic work flow were coordinated by a Flight Control Team. A dedicated flight planning group, external control centers for rover tele-operations, and a biomedical monitoring team supported the field operations. A 10 min satellite communication delay and other limitations pertinent to human planetary surface activities were introduced. The fields of research for the experiments were geology, human factors, astrobiology, robotics, tele-science, exploration, and operations research. This paper provides an overview of the geological context and environmental conditions of the test site and the mission architecture, in particular the communication infrastructure emulating the signal travel time between Earth and Mars. We report on the operational work flows and the experiments conducted, including a deployable shelter prototype for multiple-day extravehicular activities and contingency situations.

  13. Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of Planetary Geologic Mappers, San Antonio, TX, 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bleamaster, Leslie F., III (Editor); Tanaka, Kenneth L.; Kelley, Michael S.

    2009-01-01

    Topics covered include: Geologic Mapping of the Beta-Atla-Themis (BAT) Region of Venus: A Progress Report; Geologic Map of the Snegurochka Planitia Quadrangle (V-1): Implications for Tectonic and Volcanic History of the North Polar Region of Venus; Preliminary Geological Map of the Fortuna Tessera (V-2) Quadrangle, Venus; Geological Map of the Fredegonde (V-57) Quadrangle, Venus; Geological Mapping of the Lada Terra (V-56) Quadrangle, Venus; Geologic Mapping of V-19; Lunar Geologic Mapping: A Preliminary Map of a Portion of the LQ-10 ("Marius") Quadrangle; Geologic Mapping of the Lunar South Pole, Quadrangle LQ-30: Volcanic History and Stratigraphy of Schr dinger Basin; Geologic Mapping along the Arabia Terra Dichotomy Boundary: Mawrth Vallis and Nili Fossae, Mars; Geologic Mapping Investigations of the Northwest Rim of Hellas Basin, Mars; Geologic Mapping of the Meridiani Region of Mars; Geology of a Portion of the Martian Highlands: MTMs -20002, -20007, -25002 and -25007; Geologic Mapping of Holden Crater and the Uzboi-Ladon-Morava Outflow System; Mapping Tyrrhena Patera and Hesperia Planum, Mars; Geologic Mapping of Athabaca Valles; Geologic Mapping of MTM -30247, -35247 and -40247 Quadrangles, Reull Vallis Region, Mars Topography of the Martian Impact Crater Tooting; Mars Structural and Stratigraphic Mapping along the Coprates Rise; Geology of Libya Montes and the Interbasin Plains of Northern Tyrrhena Terra, Mars: Project Introduction and First Year Work Plan; Geology of the Southern Utopia Planitia Highland-Lowland Boundary Plain: Second Year Results and Third Year Plan; Mars Global Geologic Mapping: About Half Way Done; New Geologic Map of the Scandia Region of Mars; Geologic Mapping of the Medusae Fossae Formation on Mars and the Northern Lowland Plains of Venus; Volcanism on Io: Insights from Global Geologic Mapping; and Planetary Geologic Mapping Handbook - 2009.

  14. Geological and environmental observations in the Sunchales Creek and Tonco River , Don Otto uranium mine, Salta Province

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gorustovich, S.; Guidi, F.; Bárbaro, N.; Nievas, H.; Tomellini, G.

    2013-01-01

    Results of geological and environmental observations made by professionals of the Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica (CNEA) down streams Don Otto uranium mine on the Sunchales creek, from Los Guanacos strait down to the Tonco river mouth, and from river mouth down to narrow pass named Salto Grande, are presented in this report. La Yesera, Las Curtiembres and Los Blanquitos Formations of the Pirgua Subgroup, and Lecho and Yacoraite Formations of the Balbuena Subgroup crops out in that area (Salta Group, Cretaceous- Middle Eocene). Water stream analyses have given uranium contents between 890 μg/L and 1,100 μg/L, and uranium in stream sediments between 4 μg/g and 14 μg/g; radimetric anomalias up to 1,500 c/s in discoloured facies of the Las Curtiembres Formation, and 2,000 c/s in dark pelitic sediments of the Yacoraite Formation. A new zone with uranium traces in Curtiembres Formation belonging to the Pirgua Subgroup has been identified in the Alemanía cretaceous basin, which is stratigraphically similar to Cajoncillo, Las Abritas and El Fraile deposits. Those traces in addition to the other ones localized in the upper third of the Yacoraite Formation would have been originated by the geochemical uranium anomalies in waters and stream sediments by uranium leaching of rocks. The geochemical uranium anomalies in water and sediments are not a consequence of the antropic activity of the uranium mining carried out in Don Otto mine (1961-1982). (authors) [es

  15. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center-Fiscal Year 2009 Annual Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Janice S.

    2010-01-01

    The Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center is a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) facility focused on providing science and imagery to better understand our Earth. As part of the USGS Geography Discipline, EROS contributes to the Land Remote Sensing (LRS) Program, the Geographic Analysis and Monitoring (GAM) Program, and the National Geospatial Program (NGP), as well as our Federal partners and cooperators. The work of the Center is shaped by the Earth sciences, the missions of our stakeholders, and implemented through strong program and project management and application of state-of-the-art information technologies. Fundamentally, EROS contributes to the understanding of a changing Earth through 'research to operations' activities that include developing, implementing, and operating remote sensing based terrestrial monitoring capabilities needed to address interdisciplinary science and applications objectives at all levels-both nationally and internationally. The Center's programs and projects continually strive to meet and/or exceed the changing needs of the USGS, the Department of the Interior, our Nation, and international constituents. The Center's multidisciplinary staff uses their unique expertise in remote sensing science and technologies to conduct basic and applied research, data acquisition, systems engineering, information access and management, and archive preservation to address the Nation's most critical needs. Of particular note is the role of EROS as the primary provider of Landsat data, the longest comprehensive global land Earth observation record ever collected. This report is intended to provide an overview of the scientific and engineering achievements and illustrate the range and scope of the activities and accomplishments at EROS throughout fiscal year (FY) 2009. Additional information concerning the scientific, engineering, and operational achievements can be obtained from the scientific papers and other documents published by

  16. Geomorphology and Geology of the Southwestern Margaritifer Sinus and Argyre Regions of Mars. Part 2: Crater Size-frequency Distribution Curves and Geomorphic Unit Ages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, T. J.; Pieri, D. C.

    1985-01-01

    In assessing the relative ages of the geomorphic/geologic units, crater counts of the entire unit or nearly the entire unit were made and summed in order to get a more accurate value than obtainable by counts of isolated sections of each unit. Cumulative size-frequency counts show some interesting relationships. Most of the units show two distinct crater populations with a flattening out of the distribution curve at and below 10 km diameter craters. Above this crater size the curves for the different units diverge most notably. In general, the variance may reflect the relative ages of these units. At times, however, in the larger crater size range, these curves can overlap and cross on another. Also the error bars at these larger sizes are broader (and thus more suspect), since counts of larger craters show more scatter, whereas the unit areas remain constant. Occasional clusters of relatively large craters within a given unit, particularly one of limited areal extent, can affect the curve so that the unit might seem to be older than units which it overlies or cuts.

  17. The Topography of Mars: Understanding the Surface of Mars Through the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derby, C. A.; Neumann, G. A.; Sakimoto, S. E.

    2001-12-01

    The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter has been orbiting Mars since 1997 and has measured the topography of Mars with a meter of vertical accuracy. This new information has improved our understanding of both the surface and the interior of Mars. The topographic globe and the labeled topographic map of Mars illustrate these new data in a format that can be used in a classroom setting. The map is color shaded to show differences in elevation on Mars, presenting Mars with a different perspective than traditional geological and geographic maps. Through the differences in color, students can see Mars as a three-dimensional surface and will be able to recognize features that are invisible in imagery. The accompanying lesson plans are designed for middle school science students and can be used both to teach information about Mars as a planet and Mars in comparison to Earth, fitting both the solar system unit and the Earth science unit in a middle school curriculum. The lessons are referenced to the National Benchmark standards for students in grades 6-8 and cover topics such as Mars exploration, the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter, resolution and powers of 10, gravity, craters, seismic waves and the interior structure of a planet, isostasy, and volcanoes. Each lesson is written in the 5 E format and includes a student content activity and an extension showing current applications of Mars and MOLA data. These activities can be found at http://ltpwww.gsfc.nasa.gov/education/resources.html. Funding for this project was provided by the Maryland Space Grant Consortium and the MOLA Science Team, Goddard Space Flight Center.

  18. Geologic studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wayland, T.E.; Rood, A.

    1983-01-01

    The modern Great Divide Basin is the end product of natural forces influenced by the Green River lake system, Laramide tectonism, and intermittent volcanic events. It ranks as one of the most complex structural and stratigtaphic features within the Tertiary basins of Wyoming. Portions of the Great Divide Basin and adjoining areas in Wyoming have been investigated by applying detailed and region exploration methods to known uranium deposits located within the Red Desert portions of the basin. Geologic field investigations conducted by Bendix Field Engineering Corporaton (Bendix) were restricted to reconnaissance observations made during infrequent visits to the project area by various Bendix personnel. Locations of the most comprehensive field activities are shown in Figure II-1. The principal source fo data for geologic studies of the Red Desert project area has been information and materials furnished by industry. Several hundred holes have been drilled by various groups to delineate the uranium deposits. Results from Bendix-drilled holes at selected locations within the project area are summarized in Table II-1. Additional details and gross subsurface characteristics are illustrated in cross sections; pertinent geologic features are illustrated in plan maps. Related details of continental sedimentation that pertain to the Wyoming Basins generally, and the project area specificially, are discussed in subsections of this Geologic Studies section

  19. Mars Public Mapping Project: Public Participation in Science Research; Providing Opportunities for Kids of All Ages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, L. D.; Valderrama Graff, P.; Bandfield, J. L.; Christensen, P. R.; Klug, S. L.; Deva, B.; Capages, C.

    2007-12-01

    The Mars Public Mapping Project is a web-based education and public outreach tool developed by the Mars Space Flight Facility at Arizona State University. This tool allows the general public to identify and map geologic features on Mars, utilizing Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) visible images, allowing public participation in authentic scientific research. In addition, participants are able to rate each image (based on a 1 to 5 star scale) to help build a catalog of some of the more appealing and interesting martian surface features. Once participants have identified observable features in an image, they are able to view a map of the global distribution of the many geologic features they just identified. This automatic feedback, through a global distribution map, allows participants to see how their answers compare to the answers of other participants. Participants check boxes "yes, no, or not sure" for each feature that is listed on the Mars Public Mapping Project web page, including surface geologic features such as gullies, sand dunes, dust devil tracks, wind streaks, lava flows, several types of craters, and layers. Each type of feature has a quick and easily accessible description and example image. When a participant moves their mouse over each example thumbnail image, a window pops up with a picture and a description of the feature. This provides a form of "on the job training" for the participants that can vary with their background level. For users who are more comfortable with Mars geology, there is also an advanced feature identification section accessible by a drop down menu. This includes additional features that may be identified, such as streamlined islands, valley networks, chaotic terrain, yardangs, and dark slope streaks. The Mars Public Mapping Project achieves several goals: 1) It engages the public in a manner that encourages active participation in scientific research and learning about geologic features and processes. 2) It helps to

  20. Use of Web 2.0 Technologies for Public Outreach on a Simulated Mars Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrone, Kristine; Shiro, Brian; Palaia, Joseph E., IV

    2009-01-01

    Recent advances in social media and internet communications have revolutionized the ways people interact and disseminate information. Astronauts are already taking advantage of these tools by blogging and tweeting from space, and almost all NASA missions now have presences on the major social networking sites. One priotity for future human explorers on Mars will be communicating their experiences to the people back on Earth. During July 2009, a 6-member crew of volunteers carried out a simulated Mars mission at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS). The Mars Society built the mock Mars habitat in 2000-01 to help develop key knowledge and inspire the public for human Mars exploration. It is located on Devon island about 1600 km from the North Pole within the Arctic Circle. The structure is situated on the rim of Haughton Crater in an environment geologically and biologically analogous to Mars. Living in a habitat, conducting EVAs wearing spacesuits, and observing communication delays with "Earth,"the crew endured restrictions similar to those that will be faced by future human Mars explorers. Throughout the expedition, crewmembers posted daily blog entries, reports, photos, videos, and updates to their website and social media outlets Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Picasa Web Albums. During the sixteen EVAs of thier field science research campaign, FMARS crewmembers collected GPS track information and took geotagged photos using GPS-enabled cameras. They combined their traverse GPS tracks with photo location information into KML/KMZ files that website visitors can view in Google Earth.

  1. Geohazards affecting UNESCO WHL sites in the UK observed from geological data and satellite InSAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cigna, Francesca; Tapete, Deodato; Lee, Kathryn

    2016-08-01

    Geohazards pose significant threats to cultural and natural heritage worldwide. In the UK, only 1 out of 29 UNESCO World Heritage List (WHL) sites has been inscribed on the list of World Heritage in Danger, whilst it is widely accepted that many more could be affected by geohazards. In this paper we set out the foundations of a methodological approach to analyse geological, geohazard and remote sensing data available at the British Geological Survey to retrieve an overview of geohazards affecting the UK WHL sites. The Castles and Town Walls (constructed in the time of King Edward I) in Gwynedd in north Wales are used as test sites to showcase the methodology for geohazard assessment at the scale of individual property also to account for situations of varied geology and local topography across multiproperty WHL sites. How such baseline geohazard assessment can be combined with space-borne radar interferometry (InSAR) data is showcased for the four UNESCO WHL sites located in Greater London. Our analysis feeds into the innovative contribution that the JPI-CH project PROTHEGO `PROTection of European cultural HEritage from GeOhazards' (www.prothego.eu) is making towards mapping geohazards in the 400+ WHL sites of Europe by exploiting non-invasive remote sensing methods and surveying technologies.

  2. SGTR assessment using MARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raines, J.C.; Dawson, S.M.; Deitke, B.; Henry, R.E.

    1996-01-01

    During the course of a plant accident, a consistent understanding of the plant response is vital to support an accident manager's decision making process. One tool that can provide assistance to the plant staff in assessing conditions in the plant during accident conditions is the MAAP Accident Response System (MARS) software. During an accident, MARS utilizes the on-line data from the plant instrumentation to initialize the Modular Accident Analysis Program (MAAP) code. Once initialized, MARS tracks and characterizes the plant behavior through the use of integrated logic modules. These logic modules provide the user with important information about the status of systems and the possible cause of the accident. The MARS logic modules evaluate relevant available plant instrumentation and the observations of the operating staff using fuzzy logic. The fuzzy logic is applied to provide a transition between areas where one is absolutely sure that a situation has not occurred to a condition where one is absolutely certain that a situation has occurred. One example of the use of logic modules in MARS is illustrated by that used to assess if a steam generator tube rupture (SGTR) event has occurred. Each piece of relevant plant data is evaluated to determine if it is consistent with the symptoms of a SGTR. Each of the evaluations for the individual plant instruments and the operating staff observations are assembled to determine an overall confidence which characterizes the likelihood that a SGTR is occurring. Additional MARS logic modules are used to determine confidence levels for other types of accident events. The conclusions arrived at by each individual logic module are expressed as confidence levels. The logic module confidence levels can be graphically displayed using the MARS Graphical Users Interface (GUI), to indicate the confidence level MARS has assessed for each accident type. The GUI shows the identification of the possible accident types, but is not limited

  3. Hydrothermal systems on Mars: an assessment of present evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, J. D.

    1996-01-01

    Hydrothermal processes have been suggested to explain a number of observations for Mars, including D/H ratios of water extracted from Martian meteorites, as a means for removing CO2 from the Martian atmosphere and sequestering it in the crust as carbonates, and as a possible origin for iron oxide-rich spectral units on the floors of some rifted basins (chasmata). There are numerous examples of Martian channels formed by discharges of subsurface water near potential magmatic heat sources, and hydrothermal processes have also been proposed as a mechanism for aquifer recharge needed to sustain long term erosion of sapping channels. The following geological settings have been identified as targets for ancient hydrothermal systems on Mars: channels located along the margins of impact crater melt sheets and on the slopes of ancient volcanoes; chaotic and fretted terranes where shallow subsurface heat sources are thought to have interacted with ground ice; and the floors of calderas and rifted basins (e.g. chasmata). On Earth, such geological environments are often a locus for hydrothermal mineralization. But we presently lack the mineralogical information needed for a definitive evaluation of hypotheses. A preferred tool for identifying minerals by remote sensing methods on Earth is high spatial resolution, hyperspectral, near-infrared spectroscopy, a technique that has been extensively developed by mineral explorationists. Future efforts to explore Mars for ancient hydrothermal systems would benefit from the application of methods developed by the mining industry to look for similar deposits on Earth. But Earth-based exploration models must be adapted to account for the large differences in the climatic and geological history of Mars. For example, it is likely that the early surface environment of Mars was cool, perhaps consistently below freezing, with the shallow portions of hydrothermal systems being dominated by magma-cryosphere interactions. Given the smaller

  4. Mars Express - ESA sets ambitious goals for the first European mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-05-01

    Mars has always fascinated human beings. No other planet has been visited so many times by spacecraft. And still, it has not been easy to unveil its secrets. Martian mysteries seem to have increased in quantity and complexity with every mission. When the first spacecraft were sent - the Mariner series in 1960s - the public was expecting an Earth ‘twin’, a green, inhabited planet full of oceans. Mariner shattered this dream by showing a barren surface. This was followed by the Viking probes which searched for life unsuccessfully in 1976. Mars appeared dry, cold and uninhabited: the Earth’s opposite. Now, two decades later, modern spacecraft have changed that view, but they have also returned more questions. Current data show that Mars was probably much warmer in the past. Scientists now think that Mars had oceans, so it could have been a suitable place for life in the past. “We do not know what happened to the planet in the past. Which process turned Mars into the dry, cold world we see today?” says Agustin Chicarro, ESA’s Mars Express project scientist. “With Mars Express, we will find out. Above all, we aim to obtain a complete global view of the planet - its history, its geology, how it has evolved. Real planetology!” Mars Express will reach the Red Planet by the end of December 2003, after a trip of just over six months. Six days before injection into its final orbit, Mars Express will eject the lander, Beagle 2, named after the ship on which Charles Darwin found inspiration to formulate his theory of evolution. The Mars Express orbiter will observe the planet and its atmosphere from a near-polar orbit, and will remain in operation for at least a whole Martian year (687 Earth days). Beagle 2 will land in an equatorial region that was probably flooded in the past, and where traces of life may have been preserved. The Mars Express orbiter carries seven advanced experiments, in addition to the Beagle 2 lander. The orbiter’s instruments have been

  5. Environment of Mars, 1988

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaplan, D.I.

    1988-10-01

    A compilation of scientific knowledge about the planet Mars is provided. Information is divided into three categories: atmospheric data, surface data, and astrodynamic data. The discussion of atmospheric data includes the presentation of nine different models of the Mars atmosphere. Also discussed are Martian atmospheric constituents, winds, clouds, and solar irradiance. The great dust storms of Mars are presented. The section on Mars surface data provides an in-depth examination of the physical and chemical properties observed at the two Viking landing sites. Bulk densities, dielectric constants, and thermal inertias across the planet are then described and related back to those specific features found at the Viking landing sites. The astrodynamic materials provide the astronomical constants, time scales, and reference coordinate frames necessary to perform flightpath analysis, navigation design, and science observation design

  6. An improved gravity model for Mars: Goddard Mars Model-1 (GMM-1)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, D. E.; Lerch, F. J.; Nerem, R. S.; Zuber, M. T.; Patel, G. B.; Fricke, S. K.; Lemoine, F. G.

    1993-01-01

    Doppler tracking data of three orbiting spacecraft have been reanalyzed to develop a new gravitational field model for the planet Mars, GMM-1 (Goddard Mars Model-1). This model employs nearly all available data, consisting of approximately 1100 days of S-bank tracking data collected by NASA's Deep Space Network from the Mariner 9, and Viking 1 and Viking 2 spacecraft, in seven different orbits, between 1971 and 1979. GMM-1 is complete to spherical harmonic degree and order 50, which corresponds to a half-wavelength spatial resolution of 200-300 km where the data permit. GMM-1 represents satellite orbits with considerably better accuracy than previous Mars gravity models and shows greater resolution of identifiable geological structures. The notable improvement in GMM-1 over previous models is a consequence of several factors: improved computational capabilities, the use of optimum weighting and least-squares collocation solution techniques which stabilized the behavior of the solution at high degree and order, and the use of longer satellite arcs than employed in previous solutions that were made possible by improved force and measurement models. The inclusion of X-band tracking data from the 379-km altitude, near-polar orbiting Mars Observer spacecraft should provide a significant improvement over GMM-1, particularly at high latitudes where current data poorly resolves the gravitational signature of the planet.

  7. Mars bevares

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hendricks, Vincent Fella; Hendricks, Elbert

    2009-01-01

    2009 er femåret for Mission Mars. I den anledning opridser de to kronikører, far og søn, hvorfor man bør lade planer om en bemandet tur til Mars forblive i skrivebordsskuffen......2009 er femåret for Mission Mars. I den anledning opridser de to kronikører, far og søn, hvorfor man bør lade planer om en bemandet tur til Mars forblive i skrivebordsskuffen...

  8. A bibliography of research conducted by the Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Office, U.S. Geological Survey : 1975-1982

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowman, Helen L.

    1984-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey's Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Program was established in 1967 by Secretarial order to plan and develop techniques for collecting and analyzing remotely sensed data, and to apply these techniques to the resource inventory and management responsibilities of the Department of the Interior. U.S. Geological Survey scientists, realizing the potential benefits of synoptic views of the Earth, were among the first members of America's scientific community to press for the launch of civilian Earth-surface observation satellites. Under the leadership of Director William T. Pecora, U.S. Geological Survey initiatives greatly influenced the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) development of the Landsat program.As part of the Landsat program, an agreement between NASA and the Geological Survey was signed to provide Landsat archiving and data production capabilities at the EROS Data Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This partnership with NASA began in 1972 and continued until Presidential Directive 54 designated the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the Department of Commerce as the manager of U.S. civil operational land remote-sensing activities. NOAA has managed the Landsat program since Fiscal Year 1983, and EROS continues to process, archive, reproduce, and distribute Landsat data under a Memorandum of Understanding between NOAA and the Geological Survey. Archives at the EROS Data Center include over 2 million worldwide Landsat scenes and over 5 million aerial photographs, primarily of U.S. sites. Since the launch of Landsat 1, global imaging of the Earth's surface has become an operational tool for resource exploration and land management. As technology evolved, so did the EROS Program mission. Research and applications efforts began at the EROS Headquarters Office in the Washington metropolitan area in 1966; at the EROS Data Center in 1971; and at the EROS Field Office in Anchorage

  9. Formation and Evolution of Lakshmi Planum (V-7), Venus: Assessment of Models using Observations from Geological Mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, M. A.; Head, James W.

    2008-01-01

    Lakshmi Planum is a high-standing plateau (3.5-4.5 km above MPR) surrounded by the highest mountain ranges on Venus. Lakshmi represents a unique type of elevated region different from dome-shaped and rifted rises and tessera-bearing crustal plateaus. The unique characteristics of Lakshmi suggest that it formed by an unusual combination of processes and played an important role in Venus geologic history. Lakshmi was studied with Venera-15/16 and Magellan data, resulting in two classes of models, divergent and convergent, to explain its unusual topographic and morphologic characteristics. Divergent models explain Lakshmi as a site of mantle upwelling due to rising and subsequent collapse of a mantle diapir; such models explain emplacement of a lava plateau inside Lakshmi and, in some circumstances, formation of the mountain ranges. The convergent models consider Lakshmi as a locus of mantle downwelling, convergence, underthrusting, and possible subduction. Key features in these models are the mountain ranges, high topography of Lakshmi interior, and the large volcanic centers in the plateau center. These divergent and convergent models entail principally different mechanisms of formation and suggest different geodynamic regimes on Venus. Almost all models make either explicit or implicit predictions about the type and sequence of major events during formation and evolution of Lakshmi and thus detailed geological mapping can be used to test them. Here we present the results of such geological mapping (the V-7 quadrangle, 50-75degN, 300-360degE; scale 1:5M) that allows testing the proposed models for Lakshmi.

  10. Long-term observations programme on the geological environment of a radioactive waste repository in clayey or related formations, implications on the various phases of the project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Manfroy, P.; Raynal, M.; Bonne, A.

    1993-01-01

    The process of emplacing radioactive waste in deep clayey or related formations involves numerous interdependent actions, the common objective of which is to guarantee optimum isolation of the waste for the durations required. Among these actions, observations on the geological environment will have to extend over a very long period of time, from site characterization to repository closure. All the far-field and near-field observations will constitute the basis and confirmation of the models intended to describe the phenomena which take place in the repository and its surrounding host formation and will have to be taken into account in the repository closure procedures. 6 refs

  11. Habitability & Astrobiology Research in Mars Terrestrial Analogues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard

    2014-05-01

    We performed a series of field research campaigns (ILEWG EuroMoonMars) in the extreme Utah desert relevant to Mars environments, and in order to help in the interpretation of Mars missions measurements from orbit (MEX, MRO) or from the surface (MER, MSL), or Moon geochemistry (SMART-1, LRO). We shall give an update on the sample analysis in the context of habitability and astrobiology. Methods & Results: In the frame of ILEWG EuroMoonMars campaigns (2009 to 2013) we deployed at Mars Desert Research station, near Hanksville Utah, a suite of instruments and techniques [A, 1, 2, 9-11] including sample collection, context imaging from remote to local and microscale, drilling, spectrometers and life sensors. We analyzed how geological and geochemical evolution affected local parameters (mineralogy, organics content, environment variations) and the habitability and signature of organics and biota. Among the important findings are the diversity in the composition of soil samples even when collected in close proximity, the low abundances of detectable PAHs and amino acids and the presence of biota of all three domains of life with significant heterogeneity. An extraordinary variety of putative extremophiles was observed [3,4,9]. A dominant factor seems to be soil porosity and lower clay-sized particle content [6-8]. A protocol was developed for sterile sampling, contamination issues, and the diagnostics of biodiversity via PCR and DGGE analysis in soils and rocks samples [10, 11]. We compare the 2009 campaign results [1-9] to new measurements from 2010-2013 campaigns [10-12] relevant to: comparison between remote sensing and in-situ measurements; the study of minerals; the detection of organics and signs of life. Keywords: field analogue research, astrobiology, habitability, life detection, Earth-Moon-Mars, organics References [A] Foing, Stoker & Ehrenfreund (Editors, 2011) "Astrobiology field Research in Moon/Mars Analogue Environments", Special Issue of International

  12. The Role of Geologic Mapping in NASA PDSI Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, D. A.; Skinner, J. A.; Radebaugh, J.

    2017-12-01

    Geologic mapping is an investigative process designed to derive the geologic history of planetary objects at local, regional, hemispheric or global scales. Geologic maps are critical products that aid future exploration by robotic spacecraft or human missions, support resource exploration, and provide context for and help guide scientific discovery. Creation of these tools, however, can be challenging in that, relative to their terrestrial counterparts, non-terrestrial planetary geologic maps lack expansive field-based observations. They rely, instead, on integrating diverse data types wth a range of spatial scales and areal coverage. These facilitate establishment of geomorphic and geologic context but are generally limited with respect to identifying outcrop-scale textural details and resolving temporal and spatial changes in depositional environments. As a result, planetary maps should be prepared with clearly defined contact and unit descriptions as well as a range of potential interpretations. Today geologic maps can be made from images obtained during the traverses of the Mars rovers, and for every new planetary object visited by NASA orbital or flyby spacecraft (e.g., Vesta, Ceres, Titan, Enceladus, Pluto). As Solar System Exploration develops and as NASA prepares to send astronauts back to the Moon and on to Mars, the importance of geologic mapping will increase. In this presentation, we will discuss the past role of geologic mapping in NASA's planetary science activities and our thoughts on the role geologic mapping will have in exploration in the coming decades. Challenges that planetary mapping must address include, among others: 1) determine the geologic framework of all Solar System bodies through the systematic development of geologic maps at appropriate scales, 2) develop digital Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based mapping techniques and standards to assist with communicating map information to the scientific community and public, 3) develop

  13. Conditions on Early Mars Might Have Fostered Rapid and Early Development of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Everett K.; McKay, David S.; Thomas-Keprta, Kathie L.; Clemett, Simon J.; Wentworth, Susan J.

    2007-01-01

    The exploration of Mars during the past decades has begun to unveil the history of the planet. The combinations of remote sensing, in situ geochemical compositional measurements and photographic observations from both above and on the surface have shown Mars to have a dynamic and active geologic evolution. Mars geologic evolution clearly had conditions that were suitable for supporting life. For a planet to be able to be habitable, it must have water, carbon sources, energy sources and a dynamic geologic past. Mars meets all of these requirements. The first 600 My of Martian history were ripe for life to develop because of the abundance of (i) Water-carved canyons and oceans or lakes with the early presence of near surface water shown by precipitated carbonates in ALH84001 well-dated at approx.3.9 Gy., (ii) Energy from the original accretional processes, a molten core which generated a strong magnetic field leaving a permanent record in the early crust, early active volcanism continuing throughout Martian history, and, and continuing impact processes, (iii) Carbon and water from possibly extensive volcanic outgassing (i.e. H2O, CO2, CH4, CO, O2, N2, H2S, SO2, etc.) and (iv) some crustal tectonics as revealed by faulting and possible plate movement reflected by the magnetic pattern in the crust. The question arises: "Why would life not evolve from these favorable conditions on early Mars in its first 600 My?" During this period, it seems likely that environmental near-surface conditions on Mars were more favorable to life than at any later time. Standing bodies of water, precipitation and flowing surface water, and possibly abundant hydrothermal energy would all favor the formation of early life. Even if life developed elsewhere (on Earth, Venus, or on other solar systems) and was transported to Mars, the surface conditions were likely very hospitable for that introduced life to multiply and evolve.

  14. Microtremor Array Measurement Survey and Strong Ground Motion Observation Activities of The MarDiM (SATREPS) Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozgur Citak, Seckin; Karagoz, Ozlem; Chimoto, Kosuke; Ozel, Oguz; Yamanaka, Hiroaki; Aksahin, Bengi; Arslan, Safa; Hatayama, Ken; Ohori, Michihiro; Hori, Muneo

    2015-04-01

    Since 1939, devastating earthquakes with magnitude greater than seven ruptured North Anatolian Fault (NAF) westward, starting from 1939 Erzincan (Ms=7.9) at the eastern Turkey and including the latest 1999 Izmit-Golcuk (Ms=7.4) and the Duzce (Ms=7.2) earthquakes in the eastern Marmara region, Turkey. On the other hand, the west of the Sea of Marmara an Mw7.4 earthquake ruptured the NAF' s Ganos segment in 1912. The only un-ruptured segments of the NAF in the last century are within the Sea of Marmara, and are identified as a "seismic gap" zone that its rupture may cause a devastating earthquake. In order to unravel the seismic risks of the Marmara region a comprehensive multidisciplinary research project The MarDiM project "Earthquake And Tsunami Disaster Mitigation in The Marmara Region and Disaster Education in Turkey", has already been started since 2003. The project is conducted in the framework of "Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS)" sponsored by Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). One of the main research field of the project is "Seismic characterization and damage prediction" which aims to improve the prediction accuracy of the estimation of the damages induced by strong ground motions and tsunamis based on reliable source parameters, detailed deep and shallow velocity structure and building data. As for detailed deep and shallow velocity structure microtremor array measurement surveys were conducted in Zeytinburnu district of Istanbul and Tekirdag province at about 81 sites on October 2013 and September 2014. Also in September 2014, 11 accelerometer units were installed mainly in public buildings in both Zeytinburnu and Tekirdag area and are currently in operation. Each accelerometer unit compose of a Network Sensor (CV-374A2) by Tokyo Sokushin, post processing PC for data storage and power supply unit. The Network Sensor (CV-374A2) consist of three servo

  15. Microtremor Array Measurement Survey and Strong Ground Motion observation activities of The SATREPS, MarDiM project -Part 2-

    Science.gov (United States)

    Citak, Seckin; Karagoz, Ozlem; Chimoto, Kosuke; Ozel, Oguz; Yamanaka, Hiroaki; Arslan, Safa; Aksahin, Bengi; Hatayama, Ken; Ohori, Michihiro; Hori, Muneo

    2016-04-01

    Since 1939, devastating earthquakes with magnitude greater than seven ruptured North Anatolian Fault (NAF) westward, starting from 1939 Erzincan (Ms=7.9) at the eastern Turkey and including the latest 1999 Izmit-Golcuk (Ms=7.4) and the Duzce (Ms=7.2) earthquakes in the eastern Marmara region, Turkey. On the other hand, the west of the Sea of Marmara an Mw7.4 earthquake ruptured the NAF' s Ganos segment in 1912. The only un-ruptured segments of the NAF in the last century are within the Sea of Marmara, and are identified as a "seismic gap" zone that its rupture may cause a devastating earthquake. In order to unravel the seismic risks of the Marmara region a comprehensive multidisciplinary research project The MarDiM project "Earthquake And Tsunami Disaster Mitigation in The Marmara Region and Disaster Education in Turkey", has already been started since 2003. The project is conducted in the framework of "Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS)" sponsored by Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). One of the main research field of the project is "Seismic characterization and damage prediction" which aims to improve the prediction accuracy of the estimation of the damages induced by strong ground motions and tsunamis based on reliable source parameters, detailed deep and shallow velocity structure and building data. As for detailed deep and shallow velocity structure microtremor array measurement surveys were conducted in Zeytinburnu district of Istanbul, Tekirdag, Canakkale and Edirne provinces at about 109 sites on October 2013, September 2014 and 2015. Also in September 2014, 11 accelerometer units were installed mainly in public buildings in both Zeytinburnu and Tekirdag area and are currently in operation. Each accelerometer unit compose of a Network Sensor (CV-374A) by Tokyo Sokushin, post processing PC for data storage and power supply unit. The Network Sensor (CV-374

  16. Microtremor Array Measurement Survey and Strong Ground Motion observation activities of The SATREPS, MarDiM project -Part 3-

    Science.gov (United States)

    Citak, Seckin; Safa Arslan, Mehmet; Karagoz, Ozlem; Chimoto, Kosuke; Ozel, Oguz; Yamanaka, Hiroaki; Behiye Aksahin, Bengi; Hatayama, Ken; Sahin, Abdurrahman; Ohori, Michihiro; Safak, Erdal; Hori, Muneo

    2017-04-01

    Since 1939, devastating earthquakes with magnitude greater than seven ruptured North Anatolian Fault (NAF) westward, starting from 1939 Erzincan (Ms=7.9) at the eastern Turkey and including the latest 1999 Izmit-Golcuk (Ms=7.4) and the Duzce (Ms=7.2) earthquakes in the eastern Marmara region, Turkey. On the other hand, the west of the Sea of Marmara an Mw7.4 earthquake ruptured the NAF' s Ganos segment in 1912. The only un-ruptured segments of the NAF in the last century are within the Sea of Marmara, and are identified as a "seismic gap" zone that its rupture may cause a devastating earthquake. In order to unravel the seismic risks of the Marmara region a comprehensive multidisciplinary research project The MarDiM project "Earthquake And Tsunami Disaster Mitigation in The Marmara Region and Disaster Education in Turkey", has already been started since 2003. The project is conducted in the framework of "Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS)" sponsored by Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). One of the main research field of the project is "Seismic characterization and damage prediction" which aims to improve the prediction accuracy of the estimation of the damages induced by strong ground motions and tsunamis based on reliable source parameters, detailed deep and shallow velocity structure and building data. As for detailed deep and shallow velocity structure microtremor array measurement surveys were conducted in Zeytinburnu district of Istanbul, Tekirdag, Canakkale and Edirne provinces at about 140 sites on October 2013, September 2014, 2015 and 2016. Also in September 2014, 11 accelerometer units were installed mainly in public buildings in both Zeytinburnu and Tekirdag area and are currently in operation. Each accelerometer unit compose of a Network Sensor (CV-374A) by Tokyo Sokushin, post processing PC for data storage and power supply unit. The Network Sensor

  17. Mineralogical, chemical, organic and microbial properties of subsurface soil cores from Mars Desert Research Station (Utah, USA): Phyllosilicate and sulfate analogues to Mars mission landing sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol R.; Clarke, Jonathan; Direito, Susana O. L.; Blake, David; Martin, Kevin R.; Zavaleta, Jhony; Foing, Bernard

    2011-07-01

    We collected and analysed soil cores from four geologic units surrounding Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Utah, USA, including Mancos Shale, Dakota Sandstone, Morrison formation (Brushy Basin member) and Summerville formation. The area is an important geochemical and morphological analogue to terrains on Mars. Soils were analysed for mineralogy by a Terra X-ray diffractometer (XRD), a field version of the CheMin instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission (2012 landing). Soluble ion chemistry, total organic content and identity and distribution of microbial populations were also determined. The Terra data reveal that Mancos and Morrison soils are rich in phyllosilicates similar to those observed on Mars from orbital measurements (montmorillonite, nontronite and illite). Evaporite minerals observed include gypsum, thenardite, polyhalite and calcite. Soil chemical analysis shows sulfate the dominant anion in all soils and SO4>>CO3, as on Mars. The cation pattern Na>Ca>Mg is seen in all soils except for the Summerville where Ca>Na. In all soils, SO4 correlates with Na, suggesting sodium sulfates are the dominant phase. Oxidizable organics are low in all soils and range from a high of 0.7% in the Mancos samples to undetectable at a detection limit of 0.1% in the Morrison soils. Minerals rich in chromium and vanadium were identified in Morrison soils that result from diagenetic replacement of organic compounds. Depositional environment, geologic history and mineralogy all affect the ability to preserve and detect organic compounds. Subsurface biosphere populations were revealed to contain organisms from all three domains (Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya) with cell density between 3.0×106 and 1.8×107 cells ml-1 at the deepest depth. These measurements are analogous to data that could be obtained on future robotic or human Mars missions and results are relevant to the MSL mission that will investigate phyllosilicates on Mars.

  18. Mesozoic Coleopteran Faunas from Argentina: Geological Context, Diversity, Taphonomic Observations, and Comparison with Other Fossil Insect Records

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Belén Lara

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The order Coleoptera is the most diversified group of the Class Insecta and is the largest group of the Animal Kingdom. This contribution reviews the Mesozoic insects and especially the coleopteran records from Argentina, based on bibliographical and unpublished materials (86 described species, 526 collected specimens. The material came from different geological units from the late Middle Triassic to the Late Triassic (Bermejo, Cuyo, and Malargüe basins to the Middle-Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous (Deseado Massif, Cañadón Asfalto, and San Luís Basin. The coleopteran record is composed of 29 described species with 262 collected specimens (isolated elytra mainly represented by Triassic species and only four specimens recorded in Jurassic units, all of them currently unpublished. These fossil coleopterans provide fundamental information about the evolution of insects in the Southern Hemisphere and confirm the Triassic Argentinean insect deposits to be among the most important in the world.

  19. Daily temperature variations on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ditteon, R.

    1982-01-01

    It is noted that for approximately 32% of the Martian surface area no values of thermal inertia or albedo can fit the thermal observations. These temperature anomalies do not correlate with elevation, geologic units, morphology, or atmospheric dust content. All regions having a Lambert albedo less than 0.18 can be well fit with the standard thermal model, but all areas with albedo greater than 0.28 are anomalous. A strong inverse correlation is seen between the magnitude of the anomaly and the thermal inertia. This correlation is seen as indicating that some surface property is responsible for the anomaly. In the anomalous region the temperatures are observed to be warmer in the morning and cooler late in the afternoon and to decrease more slowly during the night than the Viking model temperatures. It is believed that of all the physical processes likely to occur on Mars but not included in the Viking thermal model, only a layered soil can explain the observations. A possible explanation of the layering deduced from the infrared thermal mapper observations is a layer of aeolian deposited dust about one thermal skin depth thick (1 to 4 cm), covering a duricrust.

  20. A new model for Mars atmospheric dust based upon analysis of ultraviolet through infrared observations from Mariner 9, Viking, and Phobos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clancy, R. T.; Lee, S. W.; Gladstone, G. R.; McMillan, W. W.; Rousch, T.

    1995-01-01

    We propose key modifications to the Toon et al. (1977) model of the particle size distribution and composition of Mars atmospheric dust, based on a variety of spacecraft and wavelength observations of the dust. A much broader (r(sub eff)variance-0.8 micron), smaller particle size (r(sub mode)-0.02 microns) distribution coupled with a "palagonite-like" composition is argued to fit the complete ultraviolet-to-30-micron absorption properties of the dust better than the montmorillonite-basalt r(sub eff)variance= 0.4 micron, r(sub mode)= 0.40 micron dust model of Toon et al. Mariner 9 (infrared interferometer spectrometer) IRIS spectra of high atmospheric dust opacities during the 1971 - 1972 Mars global dust storm are analyzed in terms of the Toon et al. dust model, and a Hawaiian palagonite sample with two different size distribution models incorporating smaller dust particle sizes. Viking Infrared Thermal Mapper (IRTM) emission-phase-function (EPF) observations at 9 microns are analyzed to retrieve 9-micron dust opacities coincident with solar band dust opacities obtained from the same EPF sequences. These EPF dust opacities provide an independent measurement of the visible/9-microns extinction opacity ratio (> or equal to 2) for Mars atmospheric dust, which is consistent with a previous measurement by Martin (1986). Model values for the visible/9-microns opacity ratio and the ultraviolet and visible single-scattering albedos are calculated for the palagonite model with the smaller particle size distributions and compared to the same properties for the Toon et al. model of dust. The montmorillonite model of the dust is found to fit the detailed shape of the dust 9-micron absorption well. However, it predicts structured, deep absorptions at 20 microns which are not observed and requires a separate ultraviolet-visible absorbing component to match the observed behavior of the dust in this wavelength region. The modeled palagonite does not match the 8- to 9-micron

  1. Effects of mass transfer between Martian satellites on surface geology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-21

    suspected. Published by Elsevier Inc.1. Introduction Several features about the surface geology on the moons of Mars remain poorly understood. The grooves on...Deimos may have an effect on Phobos’ geology ; we shall attempt to estimate the magnitude of that effect in Section 4. For impacts with Mars, Phobos or...global surface geology , particularly in the 100+ Ma since the last Voltaire-sized impact. Therefore we believe it unlikely that the red veneer of

  2. Aespoe HRL - Geoscientific evaluation 1997/3. Results from pre-investigation and detailed site characterization. Comparison of predictions and observations. Geology and mechanical stability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stanfors, R.; Olsson, Paer; Stille, H.

    1997-05-01

    Prior to excavation of the laboratory in 1990 predictions were made for the excavation phase. The predictions concern five key issues: Geology, groundwater flow, groundwater chemistry, transport of solutes, and mechanical stability. Comparisons between predictions and observations were made during excavation in order to verify the reliability of the pre-investigations. This report presents a comparison between the geological and mechanical stability predictions and observations and an evaluation of data and investigation methods used for the 700-2874 m section of the tunnel. The report is specially highlighting the following conclusions: It is possible to localize major fracture zones during the pre-investigation at shallow (<200 m) depths; A number of minor fracture zones striking NNW-NNE were predicted to be hydraulically important and penetrate the southern area. A number of narrow fracture zone indications - 0.1-1 m wide - striking WNW-NE were mapped in the tunnel and pre-grouted sections confirm hydraulic conductors; It has not been possible to confirm the gently dipping zone EW-5, which was predicted as 'possible', with data from the tunnel; Predictions of the amount of different rock types were generally reliable as regards the major rocks, but the prediction of the distribution in space were poor as regards the minor rock types; The prediction of rock stress orientation corresponds well to the outcome; The prediction of rock quality for the tunnel, while applying the RMR-system, shows good correspondence to the observations made in the tunnel

  3. Lunar and Planetary Geology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basilevsky, Alexander T.

    2018-05-01

    Lunar and planetary geology can be described using examples such as the geology of Earth (as the reference case) and geologies of the Earth's satellite the Moon; the planets Mercury, Mars and Venus; the satellite of Saturn Enceladus; the small stony asteroid Eros; and the nucleus of the comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Each body considered is illustrated by its global view, with information given as to its position in the solar system, size, surface, environment including gravity acceleration and properties of its atmosphere if it is present, typical landforms and processes forming them, materials composing these landforms, information on internal structure of the body, stages of its geologic evolution in the form of stratigraphic scale, and estimates of the absolute ages of the stratigraphic units. Information about one body may be applied to another body and this, in particular, has led to the discovery of the existence of heavy "meteoritic" bombardment in the early history of the solar system, which should also significantly affect Earth. It has been shown that volcanism and large-scale tectonics may have not only been an internal source of energy in the form of radiogenic decay of potassium, uranium and thorium, but also an external source in the form of gravity tugging caused by attractions of the neighboring bodies. The knowledge gained by lunar and planetary geology is important for planning and managing space missions and for the practical exploration of other bodies of the solar system and establishing manned outposts on them.

  4. Mars Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    First of NASA's Discovery missions. Launched in December 1996 and arrived at Mars on 4 July 1997. Mainly intended as a technology demonstration mission. Used airbags to cushion the landing on Mars. The Carl Sagan Memorial station returned images of an ancient flood plain in Ares Vallis. The 10 kg Sojourner rover used an x-ray spectrometer to study the composition of rocks and travelled about 100 ...

  5. Exploring Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breuil, Stéphanie

    2016-04-01

    Mars is our neighbour planet and has always fascinated humans as it has been seen as a potential abode for life. Knowledge about Mars is huge and was constructed step by step through numerous missions. It could be difficult to describe these missions, the associated technology, the results, the questions they raise, that's why an activity is proposed, that directly interests students. Their production is presented in the poster. Step 1: The main Mars feature and the first Mars explorations using telescope are presented to students. It should be really interesting to present "Mars Canals" from Percival Lowell as it should also warn students against flawed interpretation. Moreover, this study has raised the big question about extra-terrestrial life on Mars for the first time. Using Google Mars is then a good way to show the huge knowledge we have on the planet and to introduce modern missions. Step 2: Students have to choose and describe one of the Mars mission from ESA and NASA. They should work in pairs. Web sites from ESA and NASA are available and the teacher makes sure the main missions will be studied. Step 3: Students have to collect different pieces of information about the mission - When? Which technology? What were the main results? What type of questions does it raise? They prepare an oral presentation in the form they want (role play, academic presentation, using a poster, PowerPoint). They also have to produce playing cards about the mission that could be put on a timeline. Step 4: As a conclusion, the different cards concerning different missions are mixed. Groups of students receive cards and they have to put them on a timeline as fast as possible. It is also possible to play the game "timeline".

  6. Compaction and sedimentary basin analysis on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabasova, Leila R.; Kite, Edwin S.

    2018-03-01

    Many of the sedimentary basins of Mars show patterns of faults and off-horizontal layers that, if correctly understood, could serve as a key to basin history. Sediment compaction is a possible cause of these patterns. We quantified the possible role of differential sediment compaction for two Martian sedimentary basins: the sediment fill of Gunjur crater (which shows concentric graben), and the sediment fill of Gale crater (which shows outward-dipping layers). We assume that basement topography for these craters is similar to the present-day topography of complex craters that lack sediment infill. For Gunjur, we find that differential compaction produces maximum strains consistent with the locations of observed graben. For Gale, we were able to approximately reproduce the observed layer orientations measured from orbiter image-based digital terrain models, but only with a >3 km-thick donut-shaped past overburden. It is not immediately obvious what geologic processes could produce this shape.

  7. Seismotectonics of the Armutlu peninsula (Marmara Sea, NW Turkey) from geological field observation and regional moment tensor inversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinscher, J.; Krüger, F.; Woith, H.; Lühr, B. G.; Hintersberger, E.; Irmak, T. S.; Baris, S.

    2013-11-01

    The Armutlu peninsula, located in the eastern Marmara Sea, coincides with the western end of the rupture of the 17 August 1999, İzmit MW 7.6 earthquake which is the penultimate event of an apparently westward migrating series of strong and disastrous earthquakes along the NAFZ during the past century. We present new seismotectonic data of this key region in order to evaluate previous seismotectonic models and their implications for seismic hazard assessment in the eastern Marmara Sea. Long term kinematics were investigated by performing paleo strain reconstruction from geological field investigations by morphotectonic and kinematic analysis of exposed brittle faults. Short term kinematics were investigated by inverting for the moment tensor of 13 small to moderate recent earthquakes using surface wave amplitude spectra. Our results confirm previous models interpreting the eastern Marmara Sea Region as an active transtensional pull-apart environment associated with significant NNE-SSW extension and vertical displacement. At the northern peninsula, long term deformation pattern did not change significantly since Pliocene times contradicting regional tectonic models which postulate a newly formed single dextral strike slip fault in the Marmara Sea Region. This area is interpreted as a horsetail splay fault structure associated with a major normal fault segment that we call the Waterfall Fault. Apart from the Waterfall Fault, the stress strain relation appears complex associated with a complicated internal fault geometry, strain partitioning, and reactivation of pre-existing plane structures. At the southern peninsula, recent deformation indicates active pull-apart tectonics constituted by NE-SW trending dextral strike slip faults. Earthquakes generated by stress release along large rupture zones seem to be less probable at the northern, but more probable at the southern peninsula. Additionally, regional seismicity appears predominantly driven by plate boundary

  8. Mars for Earthlings: an analog approach to Mars in undergraduate education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Marjorie; Kahmann-Robinson, Julia

    2014-01-01

    Mars for Earthlings (MFE) is a terrestrial Earth analog pedagogical approach to teaching undergraduate geology, planetary science, and astrobiology. MFE utilizes Earth analogs to teach Mars planetary concepts, with a foundational backbone in Earth science principles. The field of planetary science is rapidly changing with new technologies and higher-resolution data sets. Thus, it is increasingly important to understand geological concepts and processes for interpreting Mars data. MFE curriculum is topically driven to facilitate easy integration of content into new or existing courses. The Earth-Mars systems approach explores planetary origins, Mars missions, rocks and minerals, active driving forces/tectonics, surface sculpting processes, astrobiology, future explorations, and hot topics in an inquiry-driven environment. Curriculum leverages heavily upon multimedia resources, software programs such as Google Mars and JMARS, as well as NASA mission data such as THEMIS, HiRISE, CRISM, and rover images. Two years of MFE class evaluation data suggest that science literacy and general interest in Mars geology and astrobiology topics increased after participation in the MFE curriculum. Students also used newly developed skills to create a Mars mission team presentation. The MFE curriculum, learning modules, and resources are available online at http://serc.carleton.edu/marsforearthlings/index.html.

  9. Examining Mars with SPICE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acton, Charles H.; Bachman, Nathaniel J.; Bytof, Jeff A.; Semenov, Boris V.; Taber, William; Turner, F. Scott; Wright, Edward D.

    1999-01-01

    The International Mars Conference highlights the wealth of scientific data now and soon to be acquired from an international armada of Mars-bound robotic spacecraft. Underlying the planning and interpretation of these scientific observations around and upon Mars are ancillary data and associated software needed to deal with trajectories or locations, instrument pointing, timing and Mars cartographic models. The NASA planetary community has adopted the SPICE system of ancillary data standards and allied tools to fill the need for consistent, reliable access to these basic data and a near limitless range of derived parameters. After substantial rapid growth in its formative years, the SPICE system continues to evolve today to meet new needs and improve ease of use. Adaptations to handle landers and rovers were prototyped on the Mars pathfinder mission and will next be used on Mars '01-'05. Incorporation of new methods to readily handle non-inertial reference frames has vastly extended the capability and simplified many computations. A translation of the SPICE Toolkit software suite to the C language has just been announced. To further support cartographic calculations associated with Mars exploration the SPICE developers at JPL have recently been asked by NASA to work with cartographers to develop standards and allied software for storing and accessing control net and shape model data sets; these will be highly integrated with existing SPICE components. NASA specifically supports the widest possible utilization of SPICE capabilities throughout the international space science community. With NASA backing the Russian Space Agency and Russian Academy of Science adopted the SPICE standards for the Mars 96 mission. The SPICE ephemeris component will shortly become the international standard for agencies using the Deep Space Network. U.S. and European scientists hope that ESA will employ SPICE standards on the Mars Express mission. SPICE is an open set of standards, and

  10. Phanerozoic burial and exhumation history of southernmost Norway estimated from apatite fission-track analysis data and geological observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Japsen, Peter; Green, Paul F.; Bonow, Johan M.; Chalmers, James A.; Rasmussen, Erik S.

    2016-04-01

    fourth event that is not detected by the AFTA data. Fossen, Mangerud, Hesthammer, Bugge, Gabrielsen 1997: The Bjorøy Formation: a newly discovered occurrence of Jurassic sediments in the Bergen Arc System. Norsk Geologisk Tidsskrift 77. Fredin, Zwingmann, Knies, Sørlie, Gandal, Lie, Müller, Vogt, 2014: Saprolites on- and offshore Norway: New constraints on formation processes and age. Nordic Geological Winter Meeting, Lund, Sweden. Japsen, Green, Bonow, Erlström 2015: Episodic burial and exhumation of the southern Baltic Shield: Epeirogenic uplifts during and after break-up of Pangea. Gondwana Research, in press. Lidmar-Bergström, Bonow, Japsen 2013: Stratigraphic landscape analysis and geomorphological paradigms: Scandinavia as an example of Phanerozoic uplift and subsidence. Global and Planetary Change 100. Rohrman, van der Beek, Andriessen, Cloetingh 1995: Meso-Cenozoic morphotectonic evolution of southern Norway: Neogene domal uplift inferred from apatite fission track thermochronology. Tectonics 14.

  11. Low Upper Limit to Methane Abundance on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Christopher R.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Flesch, Gregory J.; Farley, Kenneth A.; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Minitti, Michelle; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Grotzinger, John; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Stolper, Edward; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Steele, Andrew; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Elvira, Javier Gómez; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Soler, Javier Martín; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Squyres, Steven; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Maurice, Sylvestre; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; Cousin, Agnès; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Treiman, Allan; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Summons, Roger; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Conrad, Pamela; Dworkin, Jason P.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Harpold, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Mahaffy, Paul; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Trainer, Melissa; Meyer, Michael; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Brinza, David; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Webster, Christopher R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Cucinotta, Francis; Jones, John H.; Ming, Douglas; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Vaniman, David; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, Aileen; Lewis, Kevin; Leshin, Laurie; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Bullock, Mark; Ehresmann, Bent; Hamilton, Victoria; Hassler, Donald; Peterson, Joseph; Rafkin, Scot; Zeitlin, Cary; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; McLennan, Scott; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Kim, Myung-Hee; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Gellert, Ralf; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Owen, Tobias; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; Boehm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Franz, Heather; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Atreya, Sushil; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Wong, Michael; Pepin, Robert; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2013-10-01

    By analogy with Earth, methane in the Martian atmosphere is a potential signature of ongoing or past biological activity. During the past decade, Earth-based telescopic observations reported “plumes” of methane of tens of parts per billion by volume (ppbv), and those from Mars orbit showed localized patches, prompting speculation of sources from subsurface bacteria or nonbiological sources. From in situ measurements made with the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) on Curiosity using a distinctive spectral pattern specific to methane, we report no detection of atmospheric methane with a measured value of 0.18 ± 0.67 ppbv corresponding to an upper limit of only 1.3 ppbv (95% confidence level), which reduces the probability of current methanogenic microbial activity on Mars and limits the recent contribution from extraplanetary and geologic sources.

  12. Early Mars Climate Modeling and the Faint Young Sun Paradox.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, Robert M.

    2015-01-01

    Today Mars is a cold, dry, desert planet. Liquid water is not stable on its surface. There are no lakes, seas, or oceans, and precipitation falls as snowfall. Yet early in its history during the Noachian epoch, there is geological and mineralogical evidence that liquid water from rainfall flowed on its surface creating drainage systems, lakes, and - possibly - seas and oceans. More recent observations by Curiosity in Gale crater hint that such conditions may have persited into the Hesperian. The implication is that early Mars had a wamer climate than it does today as a result of a thicker atmosphere with a more powerful greenhouse effect capable of producing an active hydrological cycle with rainfall, runoff, and evaporation. Since Mariner 9 began accumulating such evidence, researchers have been trying to understand what kind of a climate system could have created greenhouse conditions favorable for liquid water. Unfortunately, the problem is not yet solved.

  13. Aespoe HRL - Geoscientific evaluation 1997/3. Results from pre-investigation and detailed site characterization. Comparison of predictions and observations. Geology and mechanical stability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stanfors, R. [RS Consulting, Lund (Sweden); Olsson, Paer [Skanska AB Stockholm (Sweden); Stille, H. [Royal Inst. of Tech., Stockholm (Sweden)

    1997-05-01

    Prior to excavation of the laboratory in 1990 predictions were made for the excavation phase. The predictions concern five key issues: Geology, groundwater flow, groundwater chemistry, transport of solutes, and mechanical stability. Comparisons between predictions and observations were made during excavation in order to verify the reliability of the pre-investigations. This report presents a comparison between the geological and mechanical stability predictions and observations and an evaluation of data and investigation methods used for the 700-2874 m section of the tunnel. The report is specially highlighting the following conclusions: It is possible to localize major fracture zones during the pre-investigation at shallow (<200 m) depths; A number of minor fracture zones striking NNW-NNE were predicted to be hydraulically important and penetrate the southern area. A number of narrow fracture zone indications - 0.1-1 m wide - striking WNW-NE were mapped in the tunnel and pre-grouted sections confirm hydraulic conductors; It has not been possible to confirm the gently dipping zone EW-5, which was predicted as `possible`, with data from the tunnel; Predictions of the amount of different rock types were generally reliable as regards the major rocks, but the prediction of the distribution in space were poor as regards the minor rock types; The prediction of rock stress orientation corresponds well to the outcome; The prediction of rock quality for the tunnel, while applying the RMR-system, shows good correspondence to the observations made in the tunnel. 59 refs, 51 figs, 21 tabs.

  14. Astrobiology Field Research in Moon/Mars Analogue Environments: Preface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, B. H.; Stoker, C.; Ehrenfreund, P.

    2011-01-01

    Extreme environments on Earth often provide similar terrain conditions to landing/operation sites on Moon and Mars. Several field campaigns (EuroGeoMars2009 and DOMMEX/ILEWG EuroMoonMars from November 2009 to March 2010) were conducted at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah. Some of the key astrobiology results are presented in this special issue on Astrobiology field research in Moon/Mars analogue environments relevant to investigate the link between geology, minerals, organics and biota. Preliminary results from a multidisciplinary field campaign at Rio Tinto in Spain are presented.

  15. 'Mars-shine'

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] 'Mars-shine' Composite NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit continues to take advantage of favorable solar power conditions to conduct occasional nighttime astronomical observations from the summit region of 'Husband Hill.' Spirit has been observing the martian moons Phobos and Deimos to learn more about their orbits and surface properties. This has included observing eclipses. On Earth, a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's orbit takes it exactly between the Sun and Earth, casting parts of Earth into shadow. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth is exactly between the Sun and the Moon, casting the Moon into shadow and often giving it a ghostly orange-reddish color. This color is created by sunlight reflected through Earth's atmosphere into the shadowed region. The primary difference between terrestrial and martian eclipses is that Mars' moons are too small to completely block the Sun from view during solar eclipses. Recently, Spirit observed a 'lunar' eclipse on Mars. Phobos, the larger of the two martian moons, was photographed while slipping into the shadow of Mars. Jim Bell, the astronomer in charge of the rover's panoramic camera (Pancam), suggested calling it a 'Phobal' eclipse rather than a lunar eclipse as a way of identifying which of the dozens of moons in our solar system was being cast into shadow. With the help of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's navigation team, the Pancam team planned instructions to Spirit for acquiring the views shown here of Phobos as it entered into a lunar eclipse on the evening of the rover's 639th martian day, or sol (Oct. 20, 2005) on Mars. This image is a time-lapse composite of eight Pancam images of Phobos moving across the martian sky. The entire eclipse lasted more than 26 minutes, but Spirit was able to observe only in the first 15 minutes. During the time closest to the shadow crossing, Spirit's cameras were programmed to take images every 10 seconds. In the first three

  16. Tale of Terrestrial Orgins: Hypothesis for Water on the Primordial Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Cole; Williams, Darren M.

    2018-06-01

    It is clear from evidence obtained by Martian orbiters and rovers that the surface of Mars once had flowing water approximately 3.8 Gyr ago. At this time, however, the Sun was approximately 30% less luminous – indicating the Martian surface should not have had a temperature appropriate to explain the existence of liquid water. We investigate a potential solution to this Faint Young Sun Paradox of Mars. We show that Mars could have once been in a circumplanetary orbit about Venus where it would have had a surface temperature conducive to support liquid water given a less luminous Sun. We then model how Mars could have tidally evolved away from Venus until it eventually escaped and migrated to its present orbit. We show that, given the right initial conditions, Mars tends toward an orbit in the vicinity of its present orbit (1.52AU) after escaping Venus and that the rest of the solar system is changed insignificantly from its present configuration. Furthermore, we are working to show that the timescale of the tidal evolution is ~ 108 to 109 years -- long enough to explain the observed geological evidence of water on Mars.

  17. Mud Volcanoes as Exploration Targets on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Carlton C.; Oehler, Dorothy Z.

    2010-01-01

    Tens of thousands of high-albedo mounds occur across the southern part of the Acidalia impact basin on Mars. These structures have geologic, physical, mineralogic, and morphologic characteristics consistent with an origin from a sedimentary process similar to terrestrial mud volcanism. The potential for mud volcanism in the Northern Plains of Mars has been recognized for some time, with candidate mud volcanoes reported from Utopia, Isidis, northern Borealis, Scandia, and the Chryse-Acidalia region. We have proposed that the profusion of mounds in Acidalia is a consequence of this basin's unique geologic setting as the depocenter for the tune fraction of sediments delivered by the outflow channels from the highlands.

  18. Accretion and primary differentiation of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Drake, M.J.

    1988-01-01

    In collecting samples from Mars to address questions such as whether Mars accreted homogeneously or heterogeneously, how Mars segregated into a metallic core and silicate mantle, and whether Mars outgassed catastrophically coincident with accretion or more serenely on a longer timescale, we must be guided by our experience in addressing these questions for the Earth, Moon, and igneous meteorite parent bodies. A key measurement to be made on any sample returned from Mars is its oxygen isotopic composition. A single measurement will suffice to bind the SNC meteorites to Mars or demonstrate that they cannot be samples of that planet. A positive identification of Mars as the SNC parent planet will permit all that has been learned from the SNC meteorites to be applied to Mars with confidence. A negative result will perhaps be more exciting in forcing us to look for another object that has been geologically active in the recent past. If the oxygen isotopic composition of Earth and Mars are established to be distinct, accretion theory must provide for different compositions for two planets now separated by only 0.5 AU

  19. Seeking Signs of Life on Mars: The Importance of Sedimentary Suites as Part of Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    iMOST Team; Mangold, N.; McLennan, S. M.; Czaja, A. D.; Ori, G. G.; Tosca, N. J.; Altieri, F.; Amelin, Y.; Ammannito, E.; Anand, M.; Beaty, D. W.; Benning, L. G.; Bishop, J. L.; Borg, L. E.; Boucher, D.; Brucato, J. R.; Busemann, H.; Campbell, K. A.; Carrier, B. L.; Debaille, V.; Des Marais, D. J.; Dixon, M.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Farmer, J. D.; Fernandez-Remolar, D. C.; Fogarty, J.; Glavin, D. P.; Goreva, Y. S.; Grady, M. M.; Hallis, L. J.; Harrington, A. D.; Hausrath, E. M.; Herd, C. D. K.; Horgan, B.; Humayun, M.; Kleine, T.; Kleinhenz, J.; Mackelprang, R.; Mayhew, L. E.; McCubbin, F. M.; McCoy, J. T.; McSween, H. Y.; Moser, D. E.; Moynier, F.; Mustard, J. F.; Niles, P. B.; Raulin, F.; Rettberg, P.; Rucker, M. A.; Schmitz, N.; Sefton-Nash, E.; Sephton, M. A.; Shaheen, R.; Shuster, D. L.; Siljestrom, S.; Smith, C. L.; Spry, J. A.; Steele, A.; Swindle, T. D.; ten Kate, I. L.; Usui, T.; Van Kranendonk, M. J.; Wadhwa, M.; Weiss, B. P.; Werner, S. C.; Westall, F.; Wheeler, R. M.; Zipfel, J.; Zorzano, M. P.

    2018-04-01

    Sedimentary, and especially lacustrine, depositional environments are high-priority geological/astrobiological settings for Mars Sample Return. We review the detailed investigations, measurements, and sample types required to evaluate such settings.

  20. Comparing orbiter and rover image-based mapping of an ancient sedimentary environment, Aeolis Palus, Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stack, Kathryn M.; Edwards, Christopher; Grotzinger, J. P.; Gupta, S.; Sumner, D.; Edgar, Lauren; Fraeman, A.; Jacob, S.; LeDeit, L.; Lewis, K.W.; Rice, M.S.; Rubin, D.; Calef, F.; Edgett, K.; Williams, R.M.E.; Williford, K.H.

    2016-01-01

    This study provides the first systematic comparison of orbital facies maps with detailed ground-based geology observations from the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover to examine the validity of geologic interpretations derived from orbital image data. Orbital facies maps were constructed for the Darwin, Cooperstown, and Kimberley waypoints visited by the Curiosity rover using High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images. These maps, which represent the most detailed orbital analysis of these areas to date, were compared with rover image-based geologic maps and stratigraphic columns derived from Curiosity’s Mast Camera (Mastcam) and Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI). Results show that bedrock outcrops can generally be distinguished from unconsolidated surficial deposits in high-resolution orbital images and that orbital facies mapping can be used to recognize geologic contacts between well-exposed bedrock units. However, process-based interpretations derived from orbital image mapping are difficult to infer without known regional context or observable paleogeomorphic indicators, and layer-cake models of stratigraphy derived from orbital maps oversimplify depositional relationships as revealed from a rover perspective. This study also shows that fine-scale orbital image-based mapping of current and future Mars landing sites is essential for optimizing the efficiency and science return of rover surface operations.

  1. Near surface bulk density estimates of NEAs from radar observations and permittivity measurements of powdered geologic material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hickson, Dylan; Boivin, Alexandre; Daly, Michael G.; Ghent, Rebecca; Nolan, Michael C.; Tait, Kimberly; Cunje, Alister; Tsai, Chun An

    2018-05-01

    The variations in near-surface properties and regolith structure of asteroids are currently not well constrained by remote sensing techniques. Radar is a useful tool for such determinations of Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) as the power of the reflected signal from the surface is dependent on the bulk density, ρbd, and dielectric permittivity. In this study, high precision complex permittivity measurements of powdered aluminum oxide and dunite samples are used to characterize the change in the real part of the permittivity with the bulk density of the sample. In this work, we use silica aerogel for the first time to increase the void space in the samples (and decrease the bulk density) without significantly altering the electrical properties. We fit various mixing equations to the experimental results. The Looyenga-Landau-Lifshitz mixing formula has the best fit and the Lichtenecker mixing formula, which is typically used to approximate planetary regolith, does not model the results well. We find that the Looyenga-Landau-Lifshitz formula adequately matches Lunar regolith permittivity measurements, and we incorporate it into an existing model for obtaining asteroid regolith bulk density from radar returns which is then used to estimate the bulk density in the near surface of NEA's (101955) Bennu and (25143) Itokawa. Constraints on the material properties appropriate for either asteroid give average estimates of ρbd = 1.27 ± 0.33g/cm3 for Bennu and ρbd = 1.68 ± 0.53g/cm3 for Itokawa. We conclude that our data suggest that the Looyenga-Landau-Lifshitz mixing model, in tandem with an appropriate radar scattering model, is the best method for estimating bulk densities of regoliths from radar observations of airless bodies.

  2. Postseismic afterslip 30 years after the 1978 Tabas-e-Golshan (Iran) earthquake: observations and implications for the geological evolution of thrust belts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Copley, Alex

    2014-05-01

    This paper presents InSAR observations of postseismic afterslip occurring up to 30 yr after the Mw7.3 1978 Tabas-e-Golshan thrust-faulting earthquake in eastern Iran. Comparison of the surface motion from 1996 to 1999 with that from 2003 to 2010, along with information provided by the Quaternary-averaged slip rates of faults in the region, suggests that the imaged slip is transient and decaying through time. Models of the surface deformation field imply slip on faults dipping at 55 ± 10°, reaching from the surface to depths of 4-5 km, and slipping at 5 ± 1 mm yr-1. These faults outcrop on the margins of low anticlinal hills composed of actively uplifting Neogene deposits. When compared with the previously studied main shock focal parameters (slip on a plane dipping at 16 ± 5° with a centroid depth of ˜9 km), and the aftershock distribution (a band at ˜6-14 km), the InSAR results imply postseismic slip on a high-angle thrust ramp connecting the surface anticlines to the coseismic low-angle fault plane at depth. In one location, both a thrust ramp and also a backthrust are postseismically active. The InSAR observations demonstrate the role of postseismic afterslip in the growth of these commonly observed thrust belt geometries, and highlight that deformation throughout the seismic cycle can contribute to the geological evolution of regions of active faulting.

  3. Geologic Time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, William L.

    One of a series of general interest publications on science topics, the booklet provides those interested in geologic time with an introduction to the subject. Separate sections discuss the relative time scale, major divisions in geologic time, index fossils used as guides for telling the age of rocks, the atomic scale, and the age of the earth.…

  4. Human factor observations of the Biosphere 2, 1991-1993, closed life support human experiment and its application to a long-term manned mission to Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alling, Abigail; Nelson, Mark; Silverstone, Sally; Van Thillo, Mark

    2002-01-01

    Human factors are a key component to the success of long-term space missions such as those necessitated by the human exploration of Mars and the development of bioregenerative and eventually self-sufficient life support systems for permanent space outposts. Observations by participants living inside the 1991-1993 Biosphere 2 closed system experiment provide the following insights. (1) Crew members should be involved in the design and construction of their life support systems to gain maximum knowledge about the systems. (2) Individuals living in closed life support systems should expect a process of physiological and psychological adaptation to their new environment. (3) Far from simply being a workplace, the participants in such extended missions will discover the importance of creating a cohesive and satisfying life style. (4) The crew will be dependent on the use of varied crops to create satisfying cuisine, a social life with sufficient outlets of expression such as art and music, and to have down-time from purely task-driven work. (5) The success of the Biosphere 2 first 2-year mission suggests that crews with high cultural diversity, high commitment to task, and work democracy principles for individual responsibility may increase the probability of both mission success and personal satisfaction. (6) Remaining challenges are many, including the need for far more comprehensive real-time modeling and information systems (a "cybersphere") operating to provide real-time data necessary for decision-making in a complex life support system. (7) And, the aim will be to create a noosphere, or sphere of intelligence, where the people and their living systems are in sustainable balance.

  5. Geology of the Alarcón Rise Based on 1-m Resolution Bathymetry and ROV Observations and Sampling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clague, D. A.; Caress, D. W.; Lundsten, L.; Martin, J. F.; Paduan, J. B.; Portner, R. A.; Bowles, J. A.; Castillo, P. R.; Dreyer, B. M.; Guardado-France, R.; Nieves-Cardoso, C.; Rivera-Huerta, H.; Santa Rosa-del Rio, M.; Spelz-Madero, R.

    2012-12-01

    Alarcón Rise is a ~50 km-long segment of the northernmost East Pacific Rise, bounded on the north and south by the Pescadero and Tamayo Fracture Zones. In April 2012, the MBARI AUV D. Allan B. completed a 1.5-3.1-km wide bathymetric map along the neovolcanic zone between the two fracture zones during 10 surveys. A single AUV survey was also completed on Alarcón Seamount, a near-ridge seamount with 4 offset calderas. Bathymetric data have 1 m lateral and 0.2 m vertical resolution. The maps guided 8 dives of the ROV Doc Ricketts on the ridge and 1 on the seamount. The morphology of the rise changes dramatically along strike and includes an inflated zone, centered ~14 km from the southern end, paved by a young sheet flow erupted from an 8-km-long en echelon fissure system. A young flat-topped volcano and an older shield volcano occur near the center of the ridge segment. Areas nearer the fracture zones are mainly pillow mounds and ridges, some strongly cut by faults and fissures, but others have few structural disruptions. More than 150 of the 194 lava samples recovered from the neovolcanic zone are aphyric to plagioclase-phyric to ultraphyric N-MORB with glass MgO ranging up to 8.5%. The basal cm from 87 short cores contain common limu o Pele and adequate foramifers to provide minimum radiocarbon ages for the underlying lava flows. A rugged lava dome of rhyolite (based on glass compositions) is surrounded by large pillow flows of dacite, centered ~8 km from the north end of the Rise. Pillow flows are steeply uptilted for 2-3 km north and south of the dome, possibly reflecting intrusion of viscous rhyolitic dikes along strike. Near the southern end of this deformed zone, an andesite flow crops out in a fault scarp. Mapping data also reveal the presence of about 110 apparent hydrothermal chimney structures as tall as 18 m, scattered along roughly the central half of the Rise. Subsequent ROV dives observed 70 of these structures and found active venting at 22 of them

  6. Europa: Initial Galileo Geological Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greeley, R.; Sullivan, R.; Klemaszewski, J.; Homan, K.; Head, J. W.; Pappalardo, R.T.; Veverka, J.; Clark, B.E.; Johnson, T.V.; Klaasen, K.P.; Belton, M.; Moore, J.; Asphaug, E.; Carr, M.H.; Neukum, G.; Denk, T.; Chapman, C.R.; Pilcher, C.B.; Geissler, P.E.; Greenberg, R.; Tufts, R.

    1998-01-01

    Images of Europa from the Galileo spacecraft show a surface with a complex history involving tectonic deformation, impact cratering, and possible emplacement of ice-rich materials and perhaps liquids on the surface. Differences in impact crater distributions suggest that some areas have been resurfaced more recently than others; Europa could experience current cryovolcanic and tectonic activity. Global-scale patterns of tectonic features suggest deformation resulting from non-synchronous rotation of Europa around Jupiter. Some regions of the lithosphere have been fractured, with icy plates separated and rotated into new positions. The dimensions of these plates suggest that the depth to liquid or mobile ice was only a few kilometers at the time of disruption. Some surfaces have also been upwarped, possibly by diapirs, cryomagmatic intrusions, or convective upwelling. In some places, this deformation has led to the development of chaotic terrain in which surface material has collapsed and/or been eroded. ?? 1998 Academic Press.

  7. Subsurface characterization by the ground penetrating radar WISDOM/ExoMars 2020

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hervé, Y.; Ciarletti, V.; Le Gall, A. A.; Oudart, N.; Loizeau, D.; Guiffaut, C.; Dorizon, S.

    2017-12-01

    The main objective of the ExoMars 2020 mission is to search for signs of past and/or present life on Mars. Toward this goal, a rover was designed to investigate the shallow subsurface which is the most likely place where signs of life may be preserved, beneath the hostile surface of Mars. The rover of the ExoMars 2020 mission has on board a polarimetric ground penetrating radar called WISDOM (Water Ice Subsurface Deposits Observation on Mars). Thanks to its large frequency bandwidth of 2.5 GHz, WISDOM is able to probe down to a depth of approximately 3 m on sedimentary rock with a vertical resolution of a few centimeters.The main scientific objectives of WISDOM are to characterize the shallow subsurface of Mars, to help understand the local geological context and to identify the most promising location for drilling. The WISDOM team is currently working on the preparation of the scientific return of the ExoMars 2020 mission. In particular, tools are developed to interpret WISDOM experimental data and, more specifically, to extract information from the radar signatures of expected buried reflectors. Insights into the composition of the ground (through the retrieval of its permittivity) and the geological context of the site can be inferred from the radar signature of buried rocks since the shape and the density of rocks in the subsurface is related to the geological processes that have shaped and placed them there (impact, fluvial processes, volcanism). This paper presents results obtained by automatic detection of structures of interest on a radargram, especially radar signature of buried rocks. The algorithm we developed uses a neural network to identify the position of buried rocks/blocs and then a Hough transform to characterize each signature and to estimate the local permittivity of the medium. Firstly, we will test the performances of the algorithm on simulated data constructed with a 3D FDTD code. This code allows us to simulate radar operation in realistic

  8. Fundamentals of Structural Geology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, David D.; Fletcher, Raymond C.

    2005-09-01

    Fundamentals of Structural Geology provides a new framework for the investigation of geological structures by integrating field mapping and mechanical analysis. Assuming a basic knowledge of physical geology, introductory calculus and physics, it emphasizes the observational data, modern mapping technology, principles of continuum mechanics, and the mathematical and computational skills, necessary to quantitatively map, describe, model, and explain deformation in Earth's lithosphere. By starting from the fundamental conservation laws of mass and momentum, the constitutive laws of material behavior, and the kinematic relationships for strain and rate of deformation, the authors demonstrate the relevance of solid and fluid mechanics to structural geology. This book offers a modern quantitative approach to structural geology for advanced students and researchers in structural geology and tectonics. It is supported by a website hosting images from the book, additional colour images, student exercises and MATLAB scripts. Solutions to the exercises are available to instructors. The book integrates field mapping using modern technology with the analysis of structures based on a complete mechanics MATLAB is used to visualize physical fields and analytical results and MATLAB scripts can be downloaded from the website to recreate textbook graphics and enable students to explore their choice of parameters and boundary conditions The supplementary website hosts color images of outcrop photographs used in the text, supplementary color images, and images of textbook figures for classroom presentations The textbook website also includes student exercises designed to instill the fundamental relationships, and to encourage the visualization of the evolution of geological structures; solutions are available to instructors

  9. On the in situ aqueous alteration of soils on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amundson, Ronald; Ewing, Stephanie; Dietrich, William; Sutter, Brad; Owen, Justine; Chadwick, Oliver; Nishiizumi, Kunihiko; Walvoord, Michelle; McKay, Christopher

    2008-08-01

    Early (>3 Gy) wetter climate conditions on Mars have been proposed, and it is thus likely that pedogenic processes have occurred there at some point in the past. Soil and rock chemistry of the Martian landing sites were evaluated to test the hypothesis that in situ aqueous alteration and downward movement of solutes have been among the processes that have transformed these portions of the Mars regolith. A geochemical mass balance shows that Martian soils at three landing sites have lost significant quantities of major rock-forming elements and have gained elements that are likely present as soluble ions. The loss of elements is interpreted to have occurred during an earlier stage(s) of weathering that may have been accompanied by the downward transport of weathering products, and the salts are interpreted to be emplaced later in a drier Mars history. Chemical differences exist among the sites, indicating regional differences in soil composition. Shallow soil profile excavations at Gusev crater are consistent with late stage downward migration of salts, implying the presence of small amounts of liquid water even in relatively recent Martian history. While the mechanisms for chemical weathering and salt additions on Mars remain unclear, the soil chemistry appears to record a decline in leaching efficiency. A deep sedimentary exposure at Endurance crater contains complex depth profiles of SO 4, Cl, and Br, trends generally consistent with downward aqueous transport accompanied by drying. While no model for the origin of Martian soils can be fully constrained with the currently available data, a pedogenic origin is consistent with observed Martian geology and geochemistry, and provides a testable hypothesis that can be evaluated with present and future data from the Mars surface.

  10. MARS-OZ - A Design for a Simulated Mars Base in the Australian Outback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willson, D.; Clarke, J. D. A.; Murphy, G.

    Mars Society Australia has developed the design of a simulated Mars base, MARS-OZ, for deployment in outback Australia. MARS-OZ will provide a platform for a diverse range of Mars analogue research in Australia. The simulated base consists of two mobile modules whose dimensions and shape approximate those of horizontally landed bent biconic spacecraft described in an earlier paper. The modules are designed to support field engineering, robotics, architectural, geological, biological and human factors research at varying levels of simulation fidelity. Non-Mars related research can also be accommodated, for example general field geology and biology, and engineering research associated with sustainable, low impact architecture. Crews of up to eight can be accommodated. In addition to its research function, the base also will serve as a centre of space education and outreach activities. The prime site for the MARS-OZ simulated base is located in the northern Flinders Ranges near Arkaroola in South Australia. This region contains many features that provide useful scientific analogues to known or possible past and present conditions on Mars from both a geological and biological perspective. The features will provide a wealth of study opportunities for crews. The very diverse terrain and regolith materials will provide ideal opportunities to field trial a range of equipment, sensors and exploration strategies. If needed, the prime site can be secured from casual visitors, allowing research into human interaction in isolation. Despite its relative isolation, the site is readily accessible by road and air from major Australian centres. This paper provides description of the configuration, design and construction of the proposed facility, its interior layout, equipment and systems fitouts, a detailed cost estimate, and its deployment. We estimate that the deployment of MARS-OZ could occur within nine months of securing funding.

  11. Onboard autonomous mineral detectors for Mars rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilmore, M. S.; Bornstein, B.; Castano, R.; Merrill, M.; Greenwood, J.

    2005-12-01

    Mars rovers and orbiters currently collect far more data than can be downlinked to Earth, which reduces mission science return; this problem will be exacerbated by future rovers of enhanced capabilities and lifetimes. We are developing onboard intelligence sufficient to extract geologically meaningful data from spectrometer measurements of soil and rock samples, and thus to guide the selection, measurement and return of these data from significant targets at Mars. Here we report on techniques to construct mineral detectors capable of running on current and future rover and orbital hardware. We focus on carbonate and sulfate minerals which are of particular geologic importance because they can signal the presence of water and possibly life. Sulfates have also been discovered at the Eagle and Endurance craters in Meridiani Planum by the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity and at other regions on Mars by the OMEGA instrument aboard Mars Express. We have developed highly accurate artificial neural network (ANN) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) based detectors capable of identifying calcite (CaCO3) and jarosite (KFe3(SO4)2(OH)6) in the visible/NIR (350-2500 nm) spectra of both laboratory specimens and rocks in Mars analogue field environments. To train the detectors, we used a generative model to create 1000s of linear mixtures of library end-member spectra in geologically realistic percentages. We have also augmented the model to include nonlinear mixing based on Hapke's models of bidirectional reflectance spectroscopy. Both detectors perform well on the spectra of real rocks that contain intimate mixtures of minerals, rocks in natural field environments, calcite covered by Mars analogue dust, and AVIRIS hyperspectral cubes. We will discuss the comparison of ANN and SVM classifiers for this task, technical challenges (weathering rinds, atmospheric compositions, and computational complexity), and plans for integration of these detectors into both the Coupled Layer

  12. Destination: Geology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Louise

    2016-04-01

    "While we teach, we learn" (Roman philosopher Seneca) One of the most beneficial ways to remember a theory or concept is to explain it to someone else. The offer of fieldwork and visits to exciting destinations is arguably the easiest way to spark a students' interest in any subject. Geology at A-Level (age 16-18) in the United Kingdom incorporates significant elements of field studies into the curriculum with many students choosing the subject on this basis and it being a key factor in consolidating student knowledge and understanding. Geology maintains a healthy annual enrollment with interest in the subject increasing in recent years. However, it is important for educators not to loose sight of the importance of recruitment and retention of students. Recent flexibility in the subject content of the UK curriculum in secondary schools has provided an opportunity to teach the basic principles of the subject to our younger students and fieldwork provides a valuable opportunity to engage with these students in the promotion of the subject. Promotion of the subject is typically devolved to senior students at Hessle High School and Sixth Form College, drawing on their personal experiences to engage younger students. Prospective students are excited to learn from a guest speaker, so why not use our most senior students to engage and promote the subject rather than their normal subject teacher? A-Level geology students embarking on fieldwork abroad, understand their additional responsibility to promote the subject and share their understanding of the field visit. They will typically produce a series of lessons and activities for younger students using their newly acquired knowledge. Senior students also present to whole year groups in seminars, sharing knowledge of the location's geology and raising awareness of the exciting destinations offered by geology. Geology fieldwork is always planned, organised and led by the member of staff to keep costs low, with recent visits

  13. Network science landers for Mars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harri, A.M.; Marsal, O.; Lognonne, P.

    1999-01-01

    by the Mars Express Orbiter that is expected to be functional during the NetLander Mission's operational phase. Communication between the landers and the Earth would take place via a data relay onboard the Mars Express Orbiter. (C) 1999 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.......The NetLander Mission will deploy four landers to the Martian surface. Each lander includes a network science payload with instrumentation for studying the interior of Mars, the atmosphere and the subsurface, as well as the ionospheric structure and geodesy. The NetLander Mission is the first......, ionospheric, geodetic measurements and ground penetrating radar mapping supported by panoramic images. The payloads also include entry phase measurements of the atmospheric vertical structure. The scientific data could be combined with simultaneous observations of the atmosphere and surface of Mars...

  14. Magnetic storms on Mars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vennerstrøm, Susanne

    2011-01-01

    and typical time profile of such periods is investigated and compared to solar wind measurements at Earth. Typical durations of the events are 20–40h, and there is a tendency for large events to last longer, but a large spread in duration and intensity are found. The large and medium intensity events at Mars......Based on data from the Mars Global Surveyor magnetometer we examine periods of significantly enhanced magnetic disturbances in the martian space environment. Using almost seven years of observations during the maximum and early declining phase of the previous solar cycle the occurrence pattern...... are found to occur predominantly in association with interplanetary sector boundaries, with solar wind dynamic pressure enhancements being the most likely interplanetary driver. In addition it is found that, on time scales of months to several years, the dominant cause of global variability of the magnetic...

  15. Geological Development of the Izu-Bonin Forearc Since the Eocene Based on Biostratigraphic, Rock Magnetic, and Sediment Provenance Observations from IODP Expedition 352 Drill Cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petronotis, K. E.; Robertson, A.; Kutterolf, S.; Avery, A.; Baxter, A.; Schindlbeck, J. C.; Wang, K. L.; Acton, G.

    2016-12-01

    International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 352 recovered early Oligocene to recent sediments above Eocene igneous basement at 4 sites in the Izu-Bonin Forearc. The sites were selected to investigate the forearc region since subduction initiation in the Eocene, with Sites U1439 and U1442 being cored into the upper trench slope and Sites U1440 and U1441 into the lower trench slope. Postcruise studies of biostratigraphy, sediment chemistry, tephra composition and chronology and magnetic properties, along with observations from prior coring help constrain the regional geological development. Volcanic activity in the area, as inferred from its influence on sediment composition, has varied between long periods of activity and quiescence. Combined whole-rock sediment chemistry and tephra compositions suggest that during the Oligocene to earliest Miocene ( 30-22 Ma) tuffaceous input of predominantly dacitic composition was mainly derived from the intra-oceanic Izu-Bonin Arc. The early Miocene interval ( 22-15 Ma) lacks tuffaceous input, as supported by rock magnetic data. During this period, the forearc subsided beneath the carbonate compensation depth (CCD), as evidenced by radiolarian-bearing mud and metal-rich silty clay. This was followed by input of tephra with bimodal felsic and mafic compositions from the Izu-Bonin Arc from 15 to 5 Ma. Middle Miocene to Quaternary time was characterized by increased carbonate preservation, coupled with abundant, predominantly felsic tephra input, which is chemically indicative of a Japan continental arc source (Honshu), with additional chemically distinctive input from the Izu-Bonin Arc. Extending back to 32 Ma, tephra layers can be correlated between the upper-slope sites, extrapolated to the less well-dated lower-slope sites, and further correlated with onland Japanese tephra (Kutterolf et al., 2016; Goldschmidt Conference). Overall, the new results provide an improved understanding of the regional tectonic evolution.

  16. The New Mars Synthesis: A New Concept Of Mars Geo-Chemical History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandenburg, J. E.

    2005-02-01

    A new concept of Mars climatic and geo-chemical evolution is proposed, called the NMS (New Mars Synthesis) drawing on the full spectrum of available Mars data. The proposed synthesis is that Mars and Earth, having begun with similar surface conditions, did not strongly diverge from their similar paths 4.0 Billion years ago, in the Early Noachian, instead, under the NMS, they diverged much more recently in geologic time, in the Early Amazonian. Under the NMS, biology strongly affected the geo-chemical evolution of Mars, and allowed a stable and persistent greenhouse by producing a large oxygen component in the atmosphere. The NMS assumes Mars held biology form early on, has been geologically active throughout its history, that it had a northern paleo-ocean, that it has high, approximately, 4xLunar, cratering rates and that its climate changed recently in geologic time from being basically terrestrial to its present conditions. The proposed mechanism for the stability of the Mars greenhouse was a large oxygen component in the atmosphere that created acidic and highly oxidized conditions that prevented formation of Carbonates, and the thermal and gas buffering of the paleo-ocean. The greenhouse was thus biologically and hydrologically stabilized. The greenhouse was terminated by a large atmospheric cooling event in the Early Amazonian that killed the biosphere and froze the ocean stabilizing the greenhouse. This cooling event was probably caused by the formation of the Lyot impact basin. Given the long duration of this terrestrial biosphere in this NMS, the possible appearance of fossils in some rover images is not to be unexpected and the colonization of Mars by humanity may be aided extensive fossil biomass to use as raw material.

  17. Mars Recent Climate Change Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, Robert M.; Owen, Sandra J.

    2012-11-01

    Mars Recent Climate Change Workshop NASA/Ames Research Center May 15-17, 2012 Climate change on Mars has been a subject of great interest to planetary scientists since the 1970's when orbiting spacecraft first discovered fluvial landforms on its ancient surfaces and layered terrains in its polar regions. By far most of the attention has been directed toward understanding how "Early Mars" (i.e., Mars >~3.5 Gya) could have produced environmental conditions favorable for the flow of liquid water on its surface. Unfortunately, in spite of the considerable body of work performed on this subject, no clear consensus has emerged on the nature of the early Martian climate system because of the difficulty in distinguishing between competing ideas given the ambiguities in the available geological, mineralogical, and isotopic records. For several reasons, however, the situation is more tractable for "Recent Mars" (i.e., Mars during past 20 My or so). First, the geologic record is better preserved and evidence for climate change on this time scale has been building since the rejuvenation of the Mars Exploration Program in the late 1990's. The increasing coverage of the planet from orbit and the surface, coupled with accurate measurements of surface topography, increasing spatial resolution of imaging cameras, improved spectral resolution of infrared sensors, and the ability to probe the subsurface with radar, gamma rays, and neutron spectroscopy, has not only improved the characterization of previously known climate features such as polar layered terrains and glacier-related landforms, but has also revealed the existence of many new features related to recent climate change such as polygons, gullies, concentric crater fill, and a latitude dependent mantle. Second, the likely cause of climate change - spin axis/orbital variations - is more pronounced on Mars compared to Earth. Spin axis/orbital variations alter the seasonal and latitudinal distribution of sunlight, which can

  18. Apparent thermal inertia and the surface heterogeneity of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putzig, Nathaniel E.; Mellon, Michael T.

    2007-11-01

    Thermal inertia derivation techniques generally assume that surface properties are uniform at horizontal scales below the footprint of the observing instrument and to depths of several decimeters. Consequently, surfaces with horizontal or vertical heterogeneity may yield apparent thermal inertia which varies with time of day and season. To investigate these temporal variations, we processed three Mars years of Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer observations and produced global nightside and dayside seasonal maps of apparent thermal inertia. These maps show broad regions with diurnal and seasonal differences up to 200 J m -2 K -1s -1/2 at mid-latitudes (60° S to 60° N) and 600 J m -2 K -1s -1/2 or greater in the polar regions. We compared the seasonal mapping results with modeled apparent thermal inertia and created new maps of surface heterogeneity at 5° resolution, delineating regions that have thermal characteristics consistent with horizontal mixtures or layers of two materials. The thermal behavior of most regions on Mars appears to be dominated by layering, with upper layers of higher thermal inertia (e.g., duricrusts or desert pavements over fines) prevailing in mid-latitudes and upper layers of lower thermal inertia (e.g., dust-covered rock, soils with an ice table at shallow depths) prevailing in polar regions. Less common are regions dominated by horizontal mixtures, such as those containing differing proportions of rocks, sand, dust, and duricrust or surfaces with divergent local slopes. Other regions show thermal behavior that is more complex and not well-represented by two-component surface models. These results have important implications for Mars surface geology, climate modeling, landing-site selection, and other endeavors that employ thermal inertia as a tool for characterizing surface properties.

  19. A Geology Sampling System for Small Bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naids, Adam J.; Hood, Anthony D.; Abell, Paul; Graff, Trevor; Buffington, Jesse

    2016-01-01

    Human exploration of microgravity bodies is being investigated as a precursor to a Mars surface mission. Asteroids, comets, dwarf planets, and the moons of Mars all fall into this microgravity category and some are being discussed as potential mission targets. Obtaining geological samples for return to Earth will be a major objective for any mission to a small body. Currently, the knowledge base for geology sampling in microgravity is in its infancy. Humans interacting with non-engineered surfaces in microgravity environment pose unique challenges. In preparation for such missions a team at the NASA Johnson Space Center has been working to gain experience on how to safely obtain numerous sample types in such an environment. This paper describes the type of samples the science community is interested in, highlights notable prototype work, and discusses an integrated geology sampling solution.

  20. A Geology Sampling System for Microgravity Bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hood, Anthony; Naids, Adam

    2016-01-01

    Human exploration of microgravity bodies is being investigated as a precursor to a Mars surface mission. Asteroids, comets, dwarf planets, and the moons of Mars all fall into this microgravity category and some are been discussed as potential mission targets. Obtaining geological samples for return to Earth will be a major objective for any mission to a microgravity body. Currently the knowledge base for geology sampling in microgravity is in its infancy. Humans interacting with non-engineered surfaces in microgravity environment pose unique challenges. In preparation for such missions a team at the NASA Johnson Space Center has been working to gain experience on how to safely obtain numerous sample types in such an environment. This paper describes the type of samples the science community is interested in, highlights notable prototype work, and discusses an integrated geology sampling solution.

  1. The 1990 MB: The first Mars Trojan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowell, Edward

    1991-01-01

    Asteroid 1990 MB was discovered during the course of the Mars and Earth-crossing Asteroid and Comet Survey. An orbit based on a 9-day arc and the asteroid's location near Mars L5 longitude led to speculation that it might be in 1:1 resonance with Mars, analogous to the Trojan asteroids of Jupiter. Subsequent observations strengthened the possibility, and later calculations confirmed it. The most recent orbit shows that the asteroid's semimajor axis is very similar to that of Mars.

  2. Robotics and automation in Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourke, Roger D.; Sturms, Francis M., Jr.; Golombek, Matthew P.; Gamber, R. T.

    1992-01-01

    A new approach to the exploration of Mars is examined which relies on the use of smaller and simpler vehicles. The new strategy involves the following principles: limiting science objectives to retrieval of rock samples from several different but geologically homogeneous areas; making use of emerging microspacecraft technologies to significantly reduce the mass of hardware elements; simplifying missions to the absolutely essential elements; and managing risk through the employment of many identical independent pieces some of which may fail. The emerging technologies and their applications to robotic Mars missions are discussed.

  3. Exploring Regolith Depth and Cycling on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fassett, C.; Needham, D. H.; Watters, W. A.; Hundal, C.

    2017-12-01

    Regolith or loose sediment is ubiquitous on the surface of Mars, but our understanding of how this fragmental layer forms and evolves with time is limited. In particular, how regolith thickness varies spatially on Mars is not well known. A common perspective is to start from the canonical model for lunar regolith, which is not unreasonable, given that both Mars and the Moon are heavily cratered surfaces. However, this lunar-like paradigm is not supported by observations of Mars from recent missions. On Mars, bedrock exposures are more common and bedrock is generally closer to the surface than on the Moon, and the processes modifying the regolith differ substantially on the two bodies. Moreover, boulders on the Moon have much shorter lifetimes than on Mars, so boulders are much less common on the lunar surface. The sediment transport processes infilling craters differs dramatically on these two bodies as well. On Mars, fine-grained sediment is efficiently transported (advectively) by wind and trapped in craters rapidly after they form. Lateral transport of lunar regolith is comparatively inefficient and dominated by slow impact-driven (diffusive) transport of regolith. The goal of this contribution is to discuss observational constraints on Mars' regolith depth, and to place observations into a model for Mars landform evolution and regolith cycle. Our operating hypothesis is that the inter-crater surface on Mars is comparatively starved of fine-grained sediment (compared to the Moon), because transport and trapping of fines in craters out-competes physical weathering. Moreover, thick sedimentary bodies on Mars often get (weakly) cemented and lithified due to interactions with fluids, even in the most recent, Amazonian epoch. This is consistent with what is observed at the MER and MSL landing sites and what is known from the SNC meteorites.

  4. Mesoscale raised rim depressions (MRRDs) on Earth: A review of the characteristics, processes, and spatial distributions of analogs for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burr, D.M.; Bruno, B.C.; Lanagan, P.D.; Glaze, L.S.; Jaeger, W.L.; Soare, R.J.; Wan, Bun Tseung J.-M.; Skinner, J.A.; Baloga, S.M.

    2009-01-01

    Fields of mesoscale raised rim depressions (MRRDs) of various origins are found on Earth and Mars. Examples include rootless cones, mud volcanoes, collapsed pingos, rimmed kettle holes, and basaltic ring structures. Correct identification of MRRDs on Mars is valuable because different MRRD types have different geologic and/or climatic implications and are often associated with volcanism and/or water, which may provide locales for biotic or prebiotic activity. In order to facilitate correct identification of fields of MRRDs on Mars and their implications, this work provides a review of common terrestrial MRRD types that occur in fields. In this review, MRRDs by formation mechanism, including hydrovolcanic (phreatomagmatic cones, basaltic ring structures), sedimentological (mud volcanoes), and ice-related (pingos, volatile ice-block forms) mechanisms. For each broad mechanism, we present a comparative synopsis of (i) morphology and observations, (ii) physical formation processes, and (iii) published hypothesized locations on Mars. Because the morphology for MRRDs may be ambiguous, an additional tool is provided for distinguishing fields of MRRDs by origin on Mars, namely, spatial distribution analyses for MRRDs within fields on Earth. We find that MRRDs have both distinguishing and similar characteristics, and observation that applies both to their mesoscale morphology and to their spatial distribution statistics. Thus, this review provides tools for distinguishing between various MRRDs, while highlighting the utility of the multiple working hypotheses approach. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Moon-Mars Analogue Mission (EuroMoonMars 1 at the Mars Desert Research Station)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lia Schlacht, Irene; Voute, Sara; Irwin, Stacy; Foing, Bernard H.; Stoker, Carol R.; Westenberg, Artemis

    The Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) is situated in an analogue habitat-based Martian environment, designed for missions to determine the knowledge and equipment necessary for successful future planetary exploration. For this purpose, a crew of six people worked and lived together in a closed-system environment. They performed habitability experiments within the dwelling and conducted Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVAs) for two weeks (20 Feb to 6 Mar 2010) and were guided externally by mission support, called "Earth" within the simulation. Crew 91, an international, mixed-gender, and multidisciplinary group, has completed several studies during the first mission of the EuroMoonMars campaign. The crew is composed of an Italian designer and human factors specialist, a Dutch geologist, an American physicist, and three French aerospace engineering students from Ecole de l'Air, all with ages between 21 and 31. Each crewmember worked on personal research and fulfilled a unique role within the group: commander, executive officer, engineer, health and safety officer, scientist, and journalist. The expedition focused on human factors, performance, communication, health and safety pro-tocols, and EVA procedures. The engineers' projects aimed to improve rover manoeuvrability, far-field communication, and data exchanges between the base and the rover or astronaut. The crew physicist evaluated dust control methods inside and outside the habitat. The geologist tested planetary geological sampling procedures. The crew designer investigated performance and overall habitability in the context of the Mars Habitability Experiment from the Extreme-Design group. During the mission the crew also participated in the Food Study and in the Ethospace study, managed by external groups. The poster will present crew dynamics, scientific results and daily schedule from a Human Factors perspective. Main co-sponsors and collaborators: ILEWG, ESA ESTEC, NASA Ames, Ecole de l'Air, SKOR, Extreme

  6. The Electrostatic Environments of Mars: Atmospheric Discharges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Carlos I.; Mackey, Paul J.; Johansen, Michael R.; Hogue, Michael D.; Phillips, James, III; Cox, Rachel E.

    2016-01-01

    The electrostatic environment on Mars is controlled by its ever present atmospheric dust. Dust devils and dust storms tribocharge this dust. Theoretical studies predict that lightning and/or glow discharges should be present on Mars, but none have been directly observed. Experiments are planned to shed light on this issue.

  7. Mars Analog Rio Tinto Experiment (MARTE): An Experimental Demonstration of Key Technologies for Searching for Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol

    2004-01-01

    The discovery of near surface ground ice by the Mars Odyssey mission and the abundant evidence for recent Gulley features observed by the Mars Global Surveyor mission support longstanding theoretical arguments for subsurface liquid water on Mars. Thus, implementing the Mars program goal to search for life points to drilling on Mars to reach liquid water, collecting samples and analyzing them with instrumentation to detect in situ organisms and biomarker compounds. Searching for life in the subsurface of Mars will require drilling, sample extraction and handling, and new technologies to find and identify biomarker compounds and search for living organisms.

  8. MUSIC - Multifunctional stereo imaging camera system for wide angle and high resolution stereo and color observations on the Mars-94 mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oertel, D.; Jahn, H.; Sandau, R.; Walter, I.; Driescher, H.

    1990-10-01

    Objectives of the multifunctional stereo imaging camera (MUSIC) system to be deployed on the Soviet Mars-94 mission are outlined. A high-resolution stereo camera (HRSC) and wide-angle opto-electronic stereo scanner (WAOSS) are combined in terms of hardware, software, technology aspects, and solutions. Both HRSC and WAOSS are push-button instruments containing a single optical system and focal plates with several parallel CCD line sensors. Emphasis is placed on the MUSIC system's stereo capability, its design, mass memory, and data compression. A 1-Gbit memory is divided into two parts: 80 percent for HRSC and 20 percent for WAOSS, while the selected on-line compression strategy is based on macropixel coding and real-time transform coding.

  9. Mid-Latitude versus Polar-Latitude Transitional Impact Craters: Geometric Properties from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Observations and Viking Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matias, A.; Garvin, J. B.; Sakimoto, S. E. H.

    1998-01-01

    One intriguing aspect of martian impact crater morphology is the change of crater cavity and ejecta characteristics from the mid-latitudes to the polar regions. This is thought to reflect differences in target properties such as an increasing presence of ice in the polar regions. Previous image-based efforts concerning martian crater morphology has documented some aspects of this, but has been hampered by the lack of adequate topography data. Recent Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) topographic profiles provide a quantitative perspective for interpreting the detailed morphologies of martian crater cavities and ejecta morphology. This study is a preliminary effort to quantify the latitude-dependent differences in morphology with the goal of identifying target-dependent and crater modification effects from the combined of images and MOLA topography. We combine the available MOLA profiles and the corresponding Viking Mars Digital Image Mosaics (MDIMS), and high resolution Viking Orbiter images to focus on two transitional craters; one on the mid-latitudes, and one in the North Polar region. One MOLA pass (MGS Orbit 34) traverses the center of a 15.9 km diameter fresh complex crater located at 12.8degN 83.8degE on the Hesperian ridge plains unit (Hvr). Viking images, as well as MOLA data, show that this crater has well developed wall terraces and a central peak with 429 m of relative relief. Three MOLA passes have been acquired for a second impact crater, which is located at 69.5degN 41degE on the Vastitas Borealis Formation. This fresh rampart crater lacks terraces and central peak structures and it has a depth af 579 m. Correlation between images and MOLA topographic profiles allows us to construct basic facies maps of the craters. Eight main units were identified, four of which are common on both craters.

  10. The humanation of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, L. W.

    Early developments related to human excursions to Mars are examined, taking into account plans considered by von Braun, and the 'ambitious goal of a manned flight to Mars by the end of the century', proposed at the launch of Apollo 11. In response to public reaction, plans for manned flights to Mars in the immediate future were given up, and unmanned reconnaissance of Mars was continued. An investigation is conducted concerning the advantages of manned exploration of Mars in comparison to a study by unmanned space probes, and arguments regarding a justification for interplanetary flight to Mars are discussed. Attention is given to the possibility to consider Mars as a 'back-up' planet for preserving earth life, an international Mars expedition as a world peace project, the role of Mars in connection with resource utilization considerations, and questions of exploration ethics.

  11. Mars Thermal Inertia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-01-01

    This image shows the global thermal inertia of the Martian surface as measured by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) instrument on the Mars Global Surveyor. The data were acquired during the first 5000 orbits of the MGS mapping mission. The pattern of inertia variations observed by TES agrees well with the thermal inertia maps made by the Viking Infrared Thermal Mapper experiment, but the TES data shown here are at significantly higher spatial resolution (15 km versus 60 km).The TES instrument was built by Santa Barbara Remote Sensing and is operated by Philip R. Christensen, of Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

  12. NEOCAM: Near Earth Object Chemical Analysis Mission: Bridging the Gulf between Telescopic Observations and the Chemical and Mineralogical Compositions of Asteroids or Diogenes A: Diagnostic Observation of the Geology of Near Earth Spectrally-Classified Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuth, Joseph A.

    2009-01-01

    Studies of meteorites have yielded a wealth of scientific information based on highly detailed chemical and isotopic studies possible only in sophisticated terrestrial laboratories. Telescopic studies have revealed an enormous (greater than 10(exp 5)) number of physical objects ranging in size from a few tens of meters to several hundred kilometers, orbiting not only in the traditional asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter but also throughout the inner solar system. Many of the largest asteroids are classed into taxonomic groups based on their observed spectral properties and are designated as C, D. X, S or V types (as well as a wide range in sub-types). These objects are certainly the sources far the meteorites in our laboratories, but which asteroids are the sources for which meteorites? Spectral classes are nominally correlated to the chemical composition and physical characteristics of the asteroid itself based on studies of the spectral changes induced in meteorites due to exposure to a simulated space environment. While laboratory studies have produced some notable successes (e.g. the identification of the asteroid Vesta as the source of the H, E and D meteorite classes), it is unlikely that we have samples of each asteroidal spectral type in our meteorite collection. The correlation of spectral type and composition for many objects will therefore remain uncertain until we can return samples of specific asteroid types to Earth for analyses. The best candidates for sample return are asteroids that already come close to the Earth. Asteroids in orbit near 1 A.U. have been classified into three groups (Aten, Apollo & Amor) based on their orbital characteristics. These Near Earth Objects (NEOs) contain representatives of virtually all spectral types and sub-types of the asteroid population identified to date. Because of their close proximity to Earth, NEOs are prime targets for asteroid missions such as the NEAR-Shoemaker NASA Discovery Mission to Eros and the

  13. Habitability on Early Mars and the Search for Biosignatures with the ExoMars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westall, Frances; Coates, Andrew J.; Jaumann, Ralf; Korablev, Oleg; Ciarletti, Valérie; Mitrofanov, Igor; Josset, Jean-Luc; De Sanctis, Maria Cristina; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Goesmann, Fred; Steininger, Harald; Brinckerhoff, William; Szopa, Cyril; Raulin, François; Westall, Frances; Edwards, Howell G. M.; Whyte, Lyle G.; Fairén, Alberto G.; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Bridges, John; Hauber, Ernst; Ori, Gian Gabriele; Werner, Stephanie; Loizeau, Damien; Kuzmin, Ruslan O.; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Flahaut, Jessica; Forget, François; Rodionov, Daniel; Korablev, Oleg; Svedhem, Håkan; Sefton-Nash, Elliot; Kminek, Gerhard; Lorenzoni, Leila; Joudrier, Luc; Mikhailov, Viktor; Zashchirinskiy, Alexander; Alexashkin, Sergei; Calantropio, Fabio; Merlo, Andrea; Poulakis, Pantelis; Witasse, Olivier; Bayle, Olivier; Bayón, Silvia; Meierhenrich, Uwe; Carter, John; García-Ruiz, Juan Manuel; Baglioni, Pietro; Haldemann, Albert; Ball, Andrew J.; Debus, André; Lindner, Robert; Haessig, Frédéric; Monteiro, David; Trautner, Roland; Voland, Christoph; Rebeyre, Pierre; Goulty, Duncan; Didot, Frédéric; Durrant, Stephen; Zekri, Eric; Koschny, Detlef; Toni, Andrea; Visentin, Gianfranco; Zwick, Martin; van Winnendael, Michel; Azkarate, Martín; Carreau, Christophe

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The second ExoMars mission will be launched in 2020 to target an ancient location interpreted to have strong potential for past habitability and for preserving physical and chemical biosignatures (as well as abiotic/prebiotic organics). The mission will deliver a lander with instruments for atmospheric and geophysical investigations and a rover tasked with searching for signs of extinct life. The ExoMars rover will be equipped with a drill to collect material from outcrops and at depth down to 2 m. This subsurface sampling capability will provide the best chance yet to gain access to chemical biosignatures. Using the powerful Pasteur payload instruments, the ExoMars science team will conduct a holistic search for traces of life and seek corroborating geological context information. Key Words: Biosignatures—ExoMars—Landing sites—Mars rover—Search for life. Astrobiology 17, 471–510.

  14. The Search for Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumma, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    For centuries, the planet Mars has been regarded as a possible abode for life. Serious searches for the signatures of life began in the 19th century, and continue via telescopic investigations and landed missions. While early work focused on phenomenology and bordered on fantasy, modern scientific inquiry has emphasized the search for chemical signatures of life in the soil and rocks at the planet's surface, and the search for biomarker gases in the atmosphere. Living systems produce more than 90% of Earth's atmospheric methane; the balance is of geochemical origin. The discovery of methane on Mars will be described, along with the ongoing extended search for clues to its origins. The possible origins of Mars methane will be discussed in the context of terrestrial analogue sites where geologic and biologic methane production now occurs - ranging from sub-permafrost zones in the arctic to hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean. Terrestrial organisms that could prosper on Mars today will be mentioned. I will briefly touch upon experiments conducted by landed spacecraft, ranging from the Viking Life Science Experiments in 1976 to the impending Mars Science laboratory, and the Trace Gas Orbiter and ExoMars missions now being developed for flight in the coming decade.

  15. My Changing Perception of Mars: A Whipple Award Lecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malin, M. C.

    2017-12-01

    I have been studying Mars for 46+ years. My initial studies of the planet were mentored by Bruce Murray (my Ph.D. advisor) and Bob Sharp. My 4 years as Bruce's student were the most productive and exciting of my early career, during which I wrote or participated in a dozen published works. My early efforts on Mars, based on Mariner 9 images, culminated in my Ph.D. dissertation, the last paragraph of which, written in 1975, read: "In summary, Mars appears to have had a complex early history, complete with significant atmospheric and some fluid erosion. Just as the polar layered deposits are believed to record the recent history of Mars, so may the ancient layered deposits — the intercrater plains — record the most primitive history of Mars. Detailed studies of Martian stratigraphy in the distant future may be as intellectually rewarding as the studies of terrestrial stratigraphy are today."Welcome to the distant future! During my student years with Murray and Sharp, I concluded that images of significantly higher spatial resolution were needed to unravel the geologic story hinted at in the Mariner 9 data. For 10 years I made the case for aerial photo-like high resolution imaging, to highly skeptical science and engineering communities. With Ed Danielson (of JPL and then Caltech) and a group of young engineers he recruited, we succeeded in convincing advisory groups and a NASA selection board to fly the Mars Observer Camera, that included early 1980's innovations such as a 32-bit microprocessor, a 100 MB solid state memory, gate arrays for instrument control, and a 35 cm aperture telescope with an f/2 primary and a secondary mirror with 8-fold magnification to achieve 3.7 µrad/pixel scale (1.4 m/pxl from 378 km altitude). Although MO failed, the MOC was reflown on MGS and my colleague Ken Edgett and I found evidence for: widespread water-lain sedimentary rock, persistent surficial water flow and ponding in bodies of standing water, gullies that may indicate the

  16. Virtual Astronaut for Scientific Visualization—A Prototype for Santa Maria Crater on Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward A. Guinness

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available To support scientific visualization of multiple-mission data from Mars, the Virtual Astronaut (VA creates an interactive virtual 3D environment built on the Unity3D Game Engine. A prototype study was conducted based on orbital and Opportunity Rover data covering Santa Maria Crater in Meridiani Planum on Mars. The VA at Santa Maria provides dynamic visual representations of the imaging, compositional, and mineralogical information. The VA lets one navigate through the scene and provides geomorphic and geologic contexts for the rover operations. User interactions include in-situ observations visualization, feature measurement, and an animation control of rover drives. This paper covers our approach and implementation of the VA system. A brief summary of the prototype system functions and user feedback is also covered. Based on external review and comments by the science community, the prototype at Santa Maria has proven the VA to be an effective tool for virtual geovisual analysis.

  17. Mars: Stratigraphy of Western Highlands and Polar Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, K. L.; Scott, D. H.; Tuesink, M. F.

    1985-01-01

    Geologic mapping and stratigraphic studies of Mars based on Viking images improved knowledge of the relative age and occurrence of geologic units on a global scale. Densities of geologic units or features during the Noarchian, Hesperian, and Amazonian periods are indicated for the North and South polar regions as well as the equatorial region of Mars. Cumulative counts of crater size frequencies for craters larger than 2 km in diameter on plateau units mapped in the western region of Mars counts indicate that the plateau terrain as a whole was thinly resurfaced during the Hesperian Period, and a large proportion of pre-existing craters less than 10 to 15 km in diameter was buried. The formation of northern plains, subpolar highlands, and both polar regions is also described.

  18. Seismic anisotropy in localized shear zones versus distributed tectonic fabrics: examples from geologic and seismic observations in western North America and the European Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahan, Kevin H.; Schulte-Pelkum, Vera; Condit, Cailey; Leydier, Thomas; Goncalves, Philippe; Raju, Anissha; Brownlee, Sarah; Orlandini, Omero F.

    2017-04-01

    Modern methods for detecting seismic anisotropy offer an array of promising tools for imaging deep crustal deformation but also present challenges, especially with respect to potential biases in both the detection methods themselves as well as in competing processes for localized versus distributed deformation. We address some of these issues from the geophysical perspective by employing azimuthally dependent amplitude and polarity variations in teleseismic receiver functions combined with a compilation of published rock elasticity tensors from middle and deep crustal rocks, and from the geological perspective through studies of shear zone deformation processes. Examples are highlighted at regional and outcrop scales from western North America and the European Alps. First, in regional patterns, strikes of seismically detected fabric from receiver functions in California show a strong alignment with current strike-slip motion between the Pacific and North American plates, with high signal strength near faults and from depths below the brittle-ductile transition suggesting these faults have deep ductile roots. In contrast, despite NE-striking shear zones being the most prominent features portrayed on Proterozoic tectonic maps of the southwestern USA, receiver function anisotropy from the central Rocky Mountain region appears to more prominently reflect broadly distributed Proterozoic fabric domains that preceded late-stage localized shear zones. Possible causes for the discrepancy fall into two categories: those that involve a) bias in seismic sampling and/or b) deformation processes that lead to either weaker anisotropy in the shear zones compared to adjacent domains or to a symmetry that is different from that conventionally assumed. Most of these explanations imply that the seismically sampled domains contain important structural information that is distinct from the shear zones. The second set of examples stem from studies of outcrop-scale shear zones in upper

  19. Planetary geology

    CERN Document Server

    Gasselt, Stephan

    2018-01-01

    This book provides an up-to-date interdisciplinary geoscience-focused overview of solid solar system bodies and their evolution, based on the comparative description of processes acting on them. Planetary research today is a strongly multidisciplinary endeavor with efforts coming from engineering and natural sciences. Key focal areas of study are the solid surfaces found in our Solar System. Some have a direct interaction with the interplanetary medium and others have dynamic atmospheres. In any of those cases, the geological records of those surfaces (and sub-surfaces) are key to understanding the Solar System as a whole: its evolution and the planetary perspective of our own planet. This book has a modular structure and is divided into 4 sections comprising 15 chapters in total. Each section builds upon the previous one but is also self-standing. The sections are:  Methods and tools Processes and Sources  Integration and Geological Syntheses Frontiers The latter covers the far-reaching broad topics of exo...

  20. The Mars water cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, D. W.

    1981-01-01

    A model has been developed to test the hypothesis that the observed seasonal and latitudinal distribution of water on Mars is controlled by the sublimation and condensation of surface ice deposits in the Arctic and Antarctic, and the meridional transport of water vapor. Besides reproducing the observed water vapor distribution, the model correctly reproduces the presence of a large permanent ice cap in the Arctic and not in the Antarctic. No permanent ice reservoirs are predicted in the temperate or equatorial zones. Wintertime ice deposits in the Arctic are shown to be the source of the large water vapor abundances observed in the Arctic summertime, and the moderate water vapor abundances in the northern temperate region. Model calculations suggest that a year without dust storms results in very little change in the water vapor distribution. The current water distribution appears to be the equilibrium distribution for present atmospheric conditions.

  1. Science applications of a multispectral microscopic imager for the astrobiological exploration of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Núñez, Jorge I; Farmer, Jack D; Sellar, R Glenn; Swayze, Gregg A; Blaney, Diana L

    2014-02-01

    Future astrobiological missions to Mars are likely to emphasize the use of rovers with in situ petrologic capabilities for selecting the best samples at a site for in situ analysis with onboard lab instruments or for caching for potential return to Earth. Such observations are central to an understanding of the potential for past habitable conditions at a site and for identifying samples most likely to harbor fossil biosignatures. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI) provides multispectral reflectance images of geological samples at the microscale, where each image pixel is composed of a visible/shortwave infrared spectrum ranging from 0.46 to 1.73 μm. This spectral range enables the discrimination of a wide variety of rock-forming minerals, especially Fe-bearing phases, and the detection of hydrated minerals. The MMI advances beyond the capabilities of current microimagers on Mars by extending the spectral range into the infrared and increasing the number of spectral bands. The design employs multispectral light-emitting diodes and an uncooled indium gallium arsenide focal plane array to achieve a very low mass and high reliability. To better understand and demonstrate the capabilities of the MMI for future surface missions to Mars, we analyzed samples from Mars-relevant analog environments with the MMI. Results indicate that the MMI images faithfully resolve the fine-scale microtextural features of samples and provide important information to help constrain mineral composition. The use of spectral endmember mapping reveals the distribution of Fe-bearing minerals (including silicates and oxides) with high fidelity, along with the presence of hydrated minerals. MMI-based petrogenetic interpretations compare favorably with laboratory-based analyses, revealing the value of the MMI for future in situ rover-mediated astrobiological exploration of Mars. Mars-Microscopic imager-Multispectral imaging-Spectroscopy-Habitability-Arm instrument.

  2. Thermophysical properties of the MER and Beagle II landing site regions on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakosky, Bruce M.; Hynek, Brian M.; Pelkey, Shannon M.; Mellon, Michael T.; Martínez-Alonso, Sara; Putzig, Nathaniel E.; Murphy, Nate; Christensen, Philip R.

    2006-08-01

    We analyzed remote-sensing observations of the Isidis Basin, Gusev Crater, and Meridiani Planum landing sites for Beagle II, MER-A Spirit, and MER-B Opportunity spacecraft, respectively. We emphasized the thermophysical properties using daytime and nighttime radiance measurements from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Thermal Emission Spectrometer and Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) and thermal inertias derived from nighttime data sets. THEMIS visible images, MGS Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) narrow-angle images, and MGS Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data are incorporated as well. Additionally, the remote-sensing data were compared with ground-truth at the MER sites. The Isidis Basin surface layer has been shaped by aeolian processes and erosion by slope winds coming off of the southern highlands and funneling through notches between massifs. In the Gusev region, surface materials of contrasting thermophysical properties have been interpreted as rocks or bedrock, duricrust, and dust deposits; these are consistent with a complex geological history dominated by volcanic and aeolian processes. At Meridiani Planum the many layers having different thermophysical and erosional properties suggest periodic deposition of differing sedimentological facies possibly related to clast size, grain orientation and packing, or mineralogy.

  3. Volcano-ice interaction as a microbial habitat on Earth and Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cousins, Claire R; Crawford, Ian A

    2011-09-01

    Volcano-ice interaction has been a widespread geological process on Earth that continues to occur to the present day. The interaction between volcanic activity and ice can generate substantial quantities of liquid water, together with steep thermal and geochemical gradients typical of hydrothermal systems. Environments available for microbial colonization within glaciovolcanic systems are wide-ranging and include the basaltic lava edifice, subglacial caldera meltwater lakes, glacier caves, and subsurface hydrothermal systems. There is widespread evidence of putative volcano-ice interaction on Mars throughout its history and at a range of latitudes. Therefore, it is possible that life on Mars may have exploited these habitats, much in the same way as has been observed on Earth. The sedimentary and mineralogical deposits resulting from volcano-ice interaction have the potential to preserve evidence of any indigenous microbial populations. These include jökulhlaup (subglacial outflow) sedimentary deposits, hydrothermal mineral deposits, basaltic lava flows, and subglacial lacustrine deposits. Here, we briefly review the evidence for volcano-ice interactions on Mars and discuss the geomicrobiology of volcano-ice habitats on Earth. In addition, we explore the potential for the detection of these environments on Mars and any biosignatures these deposits may contain.

  4. Geologic and hydrologic records of observation wells, test holes, test wells, supply wells, springs, and surface water stations in the Los Alamos area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Purtymun, W.D.

    1995-01-01

    Hundreds of holes have been drilled into the Pajarito Plateau and surrounding test areas of the Los Alamos National Laboratory since the end of World War II. They range in depth from a few feet to more than 14,000 ft. The holes were drilled to provide geologic, hydrologic, and engineering information related to development of a water supply, to provide data on the likelihood or presence of subsurface contamination from hazardous and nuclear materials, and for engineering design for construction. The data contained in this report provide a basis for further investigations into the consequences of our past, present, and future interactions with the environment

  5. The geology of the Falkland Islands

    OpenAIRE

    Aldiss, D.T.; Edwards, E.J.

    1999-01-01

    This report is complementary to the 1:250 000 scale geological map of the Falkland Islands compiled in 1998. The report and map are products of the Falkland Islands Geological Mapping Project (1996-1998). Geological observation and research in the Islands date from 1764. The Islands were visited during two pioneering scientific cruises in the 19th century. Subsequently, many scientists visited en route to the Antarctic or Patagonia. Geological affinities to other parts of the sout...

  6. Implications of Martian Phyllosilicate Formation Conditions to the Early Climate on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, J. L.; Baker, L.; Fairén, A. G.; Michalski, J. R.; Gago-Duport, L.; Velbel, M. A.; Gross, C.; Rampe, E. B.

    2017-12-01

    We propose that short-term warmer and wetter environments, occurring sporadically in a generally cold early Mars, enabled formation of phyllosilicate-rich outcrops on the surface of Mars without requiring long-term warm and wet conditions. We are investigating phyllosilicate formation mechanisms including CO2 and H2O budgets to provide constraints on the early martian climate. We have evaluated the nature and stratigraphy of phyllosilicate-bearing surface units on Mars based on i) phyllosilicate-forming environments on Earth, ii) phyllosilicate reactions in the lab, and iii) modeling experiments involving phyllosilicates and short-range ordered (SRO) materials. The type of phyllosilicates that form on Mars depends on temperature, water/rock ratio, acidity, salinity and available ions. Mg-rich trioctahedral smectite mixtures are more consistent with subsurface formation environments (crustal, hydrothermal or alkaline lakes) up to 400 °C and are not associated with martian surface environments. In contrast, clay profiles dominated by dioctahedral Al/Fe-smectites are typically formed in subaqueous or subaerial surface environments. We propose models describing formation of smectite-rich outcrops and laterally extensive vertical profiles of Fe/Mg-smectites, sulfates, and Al-rich clay assemblages formed in surface environments. Further, the presence of abundant SRO materials without phyllosilicates could mark the end of the last warm and wet episode on Mars supporting smectite formation. Climate Implications for Early Mars: Clay formation reactions proceed extremely slowly at cool temperatures. The thick smectite outcrops observed on Mars through remote sensing would require standing water on Mars for hundreds of millions of years if they formed in waters 10-15 °C. However, warmer temperatures could have enabled faster production of these smectite-rich beds. Sporadic warming episodes to 30-40 °C could have enabled formation of these smectites over only tens or

  7. O2/CO Ignition System for Mars Sample Return Missions, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Returning a geological sample from the surface of Mars will require an ascent propulsion system with a comparatively large velocity change (delta-V) capability due...

  8. Prospecting for Diverse Igneous Rock Types on Mars: PIXL on "Black Beauty" NWA 7533

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Flannery, David T.; Allwood, Abigail; Thompson, David R.; Hodyss, Robert; Clark, Benton C.; Elam, W. Timothy; Hurowitz, Joel A.

    2015-01-01

    Measurements of elemental chemistry are fundamental for exploring geology Almost every mars surface mission has had this capability But previous instruments have not been able to accurately correlate chemistry with texture.

  9. Europe is going to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-06-01

    The Agency's Science Programme Committee (SPC) approved Mars Express after ESA's Council, meeting at ministerial level in Brussels on 11 and 12 May, had agreed the level of the science budget for the next 4 years, just enough to make the mission affordable. "Mars Express is a mission of opportunity and we felt we just had to jump in and do it. We are convinced it will produce first-rate science", says Hans Balsiger, SPC chairman. As well as being a first for Europe in Mars exploration, Mars Express will pioneer new, cheaper ways of doing space science missions. "With a total cost of just 150 million euros, Mars Express will be the cheapest Mars mission ever undertaken", says Roger Bonnet, ESA's Director of Science. Mars Express will be launched in June 2003. When it arrives at the red planet six months later, it will begin to search for water and life. Seven instruments, provided by space research institutes throughout Europe, will make observations from the main spacecraft as it orbits the planet. Just before the spacecraft arrives, it will release a small lander, provided by research institutes in the UK, that will journey on to the surface to look for signs of life. The lander is called Beagle 2 after the ship in which Charles Darwin sailed round the world in search of evidence supporting his theory of evolution. But just as Darwin had to raise the money for his trip, so the search is on for public and private finance for Beagle 2. "Beagle 2 is an extremely important element of the mission", says Bonnet. Europe's space scientists have envisaged a mission to Mars for over fifteen years. But limited funding has prevented previous proposals from going ahead. The positioning of the planets in 2003, however, offers a particularly favourable passage to the red planet - an opportunity not to be missed. Mars Express will be joined by an international flotilla of spacecraft that will also be using this opportunity to work together on scientific questions and pave the way

  10. Chemistry, mineralogy, and grain properties at Namib and High dunes, Bagnold dune field, Gale crater, Mars: A synthesis of Curiosity rover observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehlmann, B L; Edgett, K S; Sutter, B; Achilles, C N; Litvak, M L; Lapotre, M G A; Sullivan, R; Fraeman, A A; Arvidson, R E; Blake, D F; Bridges, N T; Conrad, P G; Cousin, A; Downs, R T; Gabriel, T S J; Gellert, R; Hamilton, V E; Hardgrove, C; Johnson, J R; Kuhn, S; Mahaffy, P R; Maurice, S; McHenry, M; Meslin, P-Y; Ming, D W; Minitti, M E; Morookian, J M; Morris, R V; O'Connell-Cooper, C D; Pinet, P C; Rowland, S K; Schröder, S; Siebach, K L; Stein, N T; Thompson, L M; Vaniman, D T; Vasavada, A R; Wellington, D F; Wiens, R C; Yen, A S

    2017-12-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover performed coordinated measurements to examine the textures and compositions of aeolian sands in the active Bagnold dune field. The Bagnold sands are rounded to subrounded, very fine to medium sized (~45-500 μm) with ≥6 distinct grain colors. In contrast to sands examined by Curiosity in a dust-covered, inactive bedform called Rocknest and soils at other landing sites, Bagnold sands are darker, less red, better sorted, have fewer silt-sized or smaller grains, and show no evidence for cohesion. Nevertheless, Bagnold mineralogy and Rocknest mineralogy are similar with plagioclase, olivine, and pyroxenes in similar proportions comprising >90% of crystalline phases, along with a substantial amorphous component (35% ± 15%). Yet Bagnold and Rocknest bulk chemistry differ. Bagnold sands are Si enriched relative to other soils at Gale crater, and H 2 O, S, and Cl are lower relative to all previously measured Martian soils and most Gale crater rocks. Mg, Ni, Fe, and Mn are enriched in the coarse-sieved fraction of Bagnold sands, corroborated by visible/near-infrared spectra that suggest enrichment of olivine. Collectively, patterns in major element chemistry and volatile release data indicate two distinctive volatile reservoirs in Martian soils: (1) amorphous components in the sand-sized fraction (represented by Bagnold) that are Si-enriched, hydroxylated alteration products and/or H 2 O- or OH-bearing impact or volcanic glasses and (2) amorphous components in the fine fraction (<40 μm; represented by Rocknest and other bright soils) that are Fe, S, and Cl enriched with low Si and adsorbed and structural H 2 O.

  11. Where on Mars Should We Search for Life?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.; Cuzzi, Jeffrey N. (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    There is persuasive evidence that liquid water has been a significant geological processes on Mars. In particular, evidence suggests that one of the major epochs of liquid water on Mars was during and after the late heavy bombardment. During this time life originated on Earth and may have originated on Mars as well. Liquid water per se, independent of models for the temperature or atmospheric pressure, motivate the question of life. Promising sites for searching for evidence of life on Mars include dry lake beds, the ancient cratered terrain, and the South Polar permafrost. Life on Earth in environments that are analogous to those that might have provided the final refuge for life on Mars provide clues to where and how to search for evidence of past life.

  12. Mars Science Laboratory Heatshield Flight Data Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahzari, Milad; White, Todd

    2017-01-01

    NASA Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), which landed the Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars on August 5th, 2012, was the largest and heaviest Mars entry vehicle representing a significant advancement in planetary entry, descent and landing capability. Hypersonic flight performance data was collected using MSLs on-board sensors called Mars Entry, Descent and Landing Instrumentation (MEDLI). This talk will give an overview of MSL entry and a description of MEDLI sensors. Observations from flight data will be examined followed by a discussion of analysis efforts to reconstruct surface heating from heatshields in-depth temperature measurements. Finally, a brief overview of MEDLI2 instrumentation, which will fly on NASAs Mars2020 mission, will be presented with a discussion on how lessons learned from MEDLI data affected the design of MEDLI2 instrumentation.

  13. SHERLOC: An investigation for Mars 2020

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beegle, Luther; Bhartia, Rohit

    2016-04-01

    SHERLOC is a Deep UV (DUV) native fluorescence and resonance Raman spectrometer that was selected as part of the Mars 2020 payload. It is a robotic arm mounted instrument that utilizes a DUV laser to generate characteristic Raman and fluorescence photons from a targeted spot. The DUV laser is co-boresighted to a context imager and integrated into an autofocusing/scanning optical system that allows us to correlate spectral signatures to surface textures, morphology and visible features. Additionally, it has recently been augmented with an imaging system that is a built-to-print version of the MArs Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). Through the use of an internal scanning mirror, autofocusing lens, and a depth of focus of ±500 μm, the 100 μm laser spot can be systematically scanned over a 7x7 mm area with a fine-scale spatial resolution on natural or abraded surfaces and boreholes to a depth of at least 13 mm, without further arm movement. Through the use of the context imager, SHERLOC's data products can be combined with observations made by other instruments on the Mars 2020 payload. By bringing to bear multiple scientific instruments on a single sample, our ability to assess the habitability of ancient environments and search for potential biosignatures preserved within the geologic record will be greatly enhanced, making possible the selection of high-priority samples for caching. The SHERLOC investigation combines two spectral phenomena, fluorescence and pre-resonance/resonance DUV Raman scattering. These spectral features are resolvable when a high-radiance, narrow line-width, laser source illuminates a sample. In fluorescence, the incident photons are absorbed and re-emitted at a longer wavelength. The difference between the excitation and emission wavelength is the difference between the excitation frequency and the lowest electronic state frequency that increases with increasing aromatic structure (i.e., number of

  14. Photometric properties of Mars soils analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pommerol, A.; Thomas, N.; Jost, B.; Beck, P.; Okubo, C.; McEwen, A.S.

    2013-01-01

    We have measured the bidirectional reflectance of analogs of dry, wet, and frozen Martian soils over a wide range of phase angles in the visible spectral range. All samples were produced from two geologic samples: the standard JSC Mars-1 soil simulant and Hawaiian basaltic sand. In a first step, experiments were conducted with the dry samples to investigate the effects of surface texture. Comparisons with results independently obtained by different teams with similar samples showed a satisfying reproducibility of the photometric measurements as well as a noticeable influence of surface textures resulting from different sample preparation procedures. In a second step, water was introduced to produce wet and frozen samples and their photometry investigated. Optical microscope images of the samples provided information about their microtexture. Liquid water, even in relatively low amount, resulted in the disappearance of the backscattering peak and the appearance of a forward-scattering peak whose intensity increases with the amount of water. Specular reflections only appeared when water was present in an amount large enough to allow water to form a film at the surface of the sample. Icy samples showed a wide variability of photometric properties depending on the physical properties of the water ice. We discuss the implications of these measurements in terms of the expected photometric behavior of the Martian surface, from equatorial to circum-polar regions. In particular, we propose some simple photometric criteria to improve the identification of wet and/or icy soils from multiple observations under different geometries.

  15. Photometric data from some photographs of Mars obtained with the Automatic Interplanetary Station 'Mars 3'

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Botvinova, V.V.; Bugaenko, O.I.; Koval, I.K.; Narajeva, M.K.; Selivanov, A.S.

    1974-01-01

    The results of detailed photometric treatment of Mars photographs obtained with the Automatic Interplanetary Station 'Mars 3' in three wavelengths are given. Photometric maps of the Martian surface have been constructed; a thin layer observed near the limb has been investigated. (Auth.)

  16. Geology and bedrock engineering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1985-11-01

    This book deals with geology of Korea which includes summary, geology in central part and southern part in Korea and characteristic of geology structure, limestone like geology property of limestone, engineered property of limestone, and design and construction case in limestone area. It also introduces engineered property of the cenozoic, clay rock and shale, geologic and engineered property of phyllite and stratum.

  17. Mars Drilling Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandell, Humboldt, C., Jr.

    2002-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the current status of work to explore Mars beneath the surface of planet. One of the objective of this work is to enable further exploration of Mars by humans. One of the requirements for this is to find water on Mars. The presences of water is critical for Human Exploration and a permanent presence on Mars. If water is present beneath the surface it is the best chance of finding life on Mars. The presentation includes a timeline showing the robotic missions, those that have already been on Mars, and planned missions, an explanation of why do we want to drill on Mars, and some of the challenges, Also include are reviews of a missions that would drill 200 and 4,000 to 6,000 meters into the Martian bedrock, and a overview description of the drill. There is a view of some places where we have hopes of finding water.

  18. Abstracts of the annual Planetary Geologic Mappers Meeting, June 18-19, 2001, Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Timothy J.; Tanaka, Kenneth L.; Senske, David A.

    2002-01-01

    The annual Planetary Geologic Mappers Meeting serves two purposes. In addition to giving mappers the opportunity to exchange ideas, experiences, victories, and problems with others, presentations are reviewed by the Geologic Mapping Subcommittee (GeMS) to provide input to the Planetary Geology and Geophysics Mapping Program review panel’s consideration of new proposals and progress reports that include mapping tasks. Funded mappers bring both oral presentation materials (slides or viewgraphs) and map products to post for review by GeMS and fellow mappers. Additionally, the annual meetings typically feature optional field trips offering earth analogs and parallels to planetary mapping problems. The 2001 Mappers Meeting, June 18-19, was convened by Tim Parker, Dave Senske, and Ken Tanaka and was hosted by Larry Crumpler and Jayne Aubele of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Oral presentations were given in the Museum’s Honeywell Auditorium, and maps were posted in the Sandia Room. In addition to active mappers, guests included local science teachers who had successfully competed for the right to attend and listen to the reports. It was a unique pleasure for mappers to have the opportunity to interact with and provide information to teachers responding so enthusiastically to the meeting presentation. On Sunday, June 17, Larry and Jayne conducted an optional pre-meeting field trip. The flanks of Rio Grande Rift, east and west of Albuquerque and Valles Caldera north of town presented tectonic, volcanic, and sedimentary examples of the Rift and adjoining areas analogous to observed features on Mars and Venus. The arid but volcanically and tectonically active environment of New Mexico’s rift valley enables focus on features that appear morphologically young and spectacular in satellite images and digital relief models. The theme of the trip was to see what, at orbiter resolution, "obvious" geologic features look like at

  19. Poás volcano in Costa Rica as a hydrothermal analog for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elmaarry, M. R.; Hynek, B. M.

    2017-12-01

    Mars has experienced intensive volcanic and impact activity early in its history, coinciding with a similarly extensive hydrologic activity on a global scale. These activities constitute the main ingredients of hydrothermal activity. Data acquired from the study of Martian meteorites, remote sensing spectral observations, and robotic rovers has shown the surface of Mars to be mineralogically diverse including mineral assemblages that resemble those of analogous hydrothermal systems on Earth. In particular, evidence for extensive acid-sulfate weathering has been observed by the MERs at Gusev and Meridiani, as well as by MSL at Gale crater. Furthermore, there is growing evidence for silicic volcanism on Mars as indicated by the detection of silica-rich mudstone at Gale containing tridymite and cristobalite coupled with spectral observations indicative of felsic rocks in geographically disparate locations on Mars. For that, the Poás volcano in Costa Rica offers a geologic setting that can be analogous to similar environments on Mars. The Poás volcano is a basaltic andesite stratovolcano in central Costa Rica. Its caldera houses a highly acidic lake inside the caldera 130 m below the crater rim. The volcano has been active in recent historical times, and is currently displaying intensive activity since Apr 2017. Unaltered andesitic basalts collected from the 1953-1955 magmatic activity are mainly composed of plagioclase and minor amounts of orthopyroxene and olivine. We collected samples during our fieldwork in March 2017 (few weeks before its eruption) from fumaroles inside the caldera. The fumaroles were emitting gases at 92°C, and the acidic lake minor abundances of hematite, anatase, and amorphous silica. Most of these minerals have been observed on Mars under potentially similar settings. We plan to continue our investigation by carrying out additional analyses and compare to samples collected from earlier campaigns to gain a better understanding of how the

  20. California Geological Survey Geologic Map Index

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — All the individual maps from the Geologic Atlas of California and the Regional Geologic map series have been georeferenced for display in a GIS (and viewable online...

  1. Non-Detection of Methane in the Mars Atmosphere by the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Chris R.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Flesch, Gregory J.; Farley, Kenneth A.

    2014-01-01

    By analogy with Earth, methane in the atmosphere of Mars is a potential signature of ongoing or past biological activity on the planet. During the last decade, Earth-based telescopic and Mars orbit remote sensing instruments have reported significant abundances of methane in the Martian atmosphere ranging from several to tens of parts-per-billion by volume (ppbv). Observations from Earth showed plumes of methane with variations on timescales much faster than expected and inconsistent with localized patches seen from orbit, prompting speculation of sources from sub-surface methanogen bacteria, geological water-rock reactions or infall from comets, micro-meteorites or interplanetary dust. From measurements on NASAs Curiosity Rover that landed near Gale Crater on 5th August 2012, we here report no definitive detection of methane in the near-surface Martian atmosphere. Our in situ measurements were made using the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite6 that made three separate searches on Martian sols 79, 81 and 106 after landing. The measured mean value of 0.39 plus or minus 1.4 ppbv corresponds to an upper limit for methane abundance of 2.7 ppbv at the 95 confidence level. This result is in disagreement with both the remote sensing spacecraft observations taken at lower sensitivity and the telescopic observations that relied on subtraction of a very large contribution from terrestrial methane in the intervening observation path. Since the expected lifetime of methane in the Martian atmosphere is hundreds of years, our results question earlier observations and set a low upper limit on the present day abundance, reducing the probability of significant current methanogenic microbial activity on Mars.

  2. Europe goes to Mars - preparations are well under way

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-04-01

    Under the umbrella of the European Space Agency, at least 25 companies from 15 European countries are building hardware or software for the spacecraft, or otherwise contributing their expertise; and more than 200 scientists from research institutes in all ESA member states and beyond are contributing towards the scientific payload. "The Mars Express project is providing about 1000 jobs throughout Europe," estimates Rudi Schmidt, Mars Express Project Manager at ESTEC, the European Space Agency's technical centre in the Netherlands. Preparations are well under way and on schedule for a May/June 2003 launch sending the spacecraft on its six-month voyage. The structure is taking shape under the guidance of the prime contractor Astrium, Toulouse (France), and the scientific teams are on target with scientific instrument development. Water and life ESA's Mars Express mission consists of an orbiter, carrying seven scientific experiments, and a lander, Beagle 2. The two vehicles will play key roles in an international Mars exploration programme spanning the next two decades. The instruments on board the orbiter will provide remote sensing of the atmosphere, the surface and up to 5km below the surface, to a degree of accuracy never before achieved. The information gleaned will help answer many questions outstanding about Mars. One concerns the fate of water that once flowed freely on the planet’s surface; another is whether life ever evolved on Mars. Beagle-2 will be the first lander since NASA’s two Viking probes in the 1970s to look specifically for evidence of past or present life on Mars. No other Mars probe planned so far is making exobiology so central to its mission. When the spacecraft arrives at the Red Planet around Christmas 2003, the Mars Express orbiter will jettison Beagle 2 and then move into a near-polar orbit from which it will observe the whole planet over the next Martian year (equivalent to two Earth years). The lander will make its own way to a

  3. Automation &robotics for future Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulte, W.; von Richter, A.; Bertrand, R.

    2003-04-01

    Automation and Robotics (A&R) are currently considered as a key technology for Mars exploration. initiatives in this field aim at developing new A&R systems and technologies for planetary surface exploration. Kayser-Threde led the study AROMA (Automation &Robotics for Human Mars Exploration) under ESA contract in order to define a reference architecture of A&R elements in support of a human Mars exploration program. One of the goals was to define new developments and to maintain the competitiveness of European industry within this field. We present a summary of the A&R study in respect to a particular system: The Autonomous Research Island (ARI). In the Mars exploration scenario initially a robotic outpost system lands at pre-selected sites in order to search for life forms and water and to analyze the surface, geology and atmosphere. A&R systems, i.e. rovers and autonomous instrument packages, perform a number of missions with scientific and technology development objectives on the surface of Mars as part of preparations for a human exploration mission. In the Robotic Outpost Phase ARI is conceived as an automated lander which can perform in-situ analysis. It consists of a service module and a micro-rover system for local investigations. Such a system is already under investigation and development in other TRP activities. The micro-rover system provides local mobility for in-situ scientific investigations at a given landing or deployment site. In the long run ARI supports also human Mars missions. An astronaut crew would travel larger distances in a pressurized rover on Mars. Whenever interesting features on the surface are identified, the crew would interrupt the travel and perform local investigations. In order to save crew time ARI could be deployed by the astronauts to perform time-consuming investigations as for example in-situ geochemistry analysis of rocks/soil. Later, the crew could recover the research island for refurbishment and deployment at another

  4. Digital Elevation Models of Patterned Ground in the Canadian Arctic and Implications for the Study of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knightly, P.; Murakami, Y.; Clarke, J.; Sizemore, H.; Siegler, M.; Rupert, S.; Chevrier, V.

    2017-12-01

    Patterned ground forms in periglacial zones from both expansion and contraction of permafrost by freeze-thaw and sub-freezing temperature changes and has been observed on both Earth and Mars from orbital and the surface at the Phoneix and Viking 2 landing sites. The Phoenix mission to Mars studied patterned ground in the vicinity of the spacecraft including the excavation of a trench revealing water permafrost beneath the surface. A study of patterned ground at the Haughton Impact structure on Devon Island used stereo-pair imaging and three-dimensional photographic models to catalog the type and occurrence of patterned ground in the study area. This image catalog was then used to provide new insight into photographic observations gathered by Phoenix. Stereo-pair imagery has been a valuable geoscience tool for decades and it is an ideal tool for comparative planetary geology studies. Stereo-pair images captured on Devon Island were turned into digital elevation models (DEMs) and comparisons were noted between the permafrost and patterned ground environment of Earth and Mars including variations in grain sorting, active layer thickness, and ice table depth. Recent advances in 360° cameras also enabled the creation of a detailed, immersive site models of patterned ground at selected sites in Haughton crater on Devon Island. The information from this ground truth study will enable the development and refinement of existing models to better evaluate patterned ground on Mars and predict its evolution.

  5. Quick trips to Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hornung, R.

    1991-01-01

    The design of a Mars Mission Vehicle that would have to be launched by two very heavy lift launch vehicles is described along with plans for a mission to Mars. The vehicle has three nuclear engine for rocket vehicle application (NERVA) boosters with a fourth in the center that acts as a dual mode system. The fourth generates electrical power while in route, but it also helps lift the vehicle out of earth orbit. A Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), a Mars transfer vehicle stage, and a Mars Excursion Vehicle (MEV) are located on the front end of this vehicle. Other aspects of this research including aerobraking, heat shielding, nuclear thermal rocket engines, a mars mission summary, closed Brayton cycle with and without regeneration, liquid hydrogen propellant storage, etc. are addressed

  6. Cars on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2002-01-01

    Mars is one of the most fascinating planets in the solar system, featuring an atmosphere, water, and enormous volcanoes and canyons. The Mars Pathfinder, Global Surveyor, and Odyssey missions mark the first wave of the Planet Earth's coming invasion of the red planet, changing our views of the past and future of the planet and the possibilities of life. Scientist and science-fiction writer Geoffrey A. Landis will present experiences on the Pathfinder mission, the challenges of using solar power on the surface of Mars, and present future missions to Mars such as the upcoming Mars Twin Rovers, which will launch two highly-capable vehicles in 2003 to explore the surface of Mars.

  7. Habitability on Early Mars and the Search for Biosignatures with the ExoMars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vago, Jorge L.; Westall, Frances; Pasteur Instrument Team; Pasteur Landing Team; Coates, Andrew J.; Jaumann, Ralf; Korablev, Oleg; Ciarletti, Valérie; Mitrofanov, Igor; Josset, Jean-Luc; De Sanctis, Maria Cristina; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Rull, Fernando; Goesmann, Fred; Steininger, Harald; Goetz, Walter; Brinckerhoff, William; Szopa, Cyril; Raulin, François; Westall, Frances; Edwards, Howell G. M.; Whyte, Lyle G.; Fairén, Alberto G.; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Bridges, John; Hauber, Ernst; Ori, Gian Gabriele; Werner, Stephanie; Loizeau, Damien; Kuzmin, Ruslan O.; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Flahaut, Jessica; Forget, François; Vago, Jorge L.; Rodionov, Daniel; Korablev, Oleg; Svedhem, Håkan; Sefton-Nash, Elliot; Kminek, Gerhard; Lorenzoni, Leila; Joudrier, Luc; Mikhailov, Viktor; Zashchirinskiy, Alexander; Alexashkin, Sergei; Calantropio, Fabio; Merlo, Andrea; Poulakis, Pantelis; Witasse, Olivier; Bayle, Olivier; Bayón, Silvia; Meierhenrich, Uwe; Carter, John; García-Ruiz, Juan Manuel; Baglioni, Pietro; Haldemann, Albert; Ball, Andrew J.; Debus, André; Lindner, Robert; Haessig, Frédéric; Monteiro, David; Trautner, Roland; Voland, Christoph; Rebeyre, Pierre; Goulty, Duncan; Didot, Frédéric; Durrant, Stephen; Zekri, Eric; Koschny, Detlef; Toni, Andrea; Visentin, Gianfranco; Zwick, Martin; van Winnendael, Michel; Azkarate, Martín; Carreau, Christophe; ExoMars Project Team

    2017-07-01

    The second ExoMars mission will be launched in 2020 to target an ancient location interpreted to have strong potential for past habitability and for preserving physical and chemical biosignatures (as well as abiotic/prebiotic organics). The mission will deliver a lander with instruments for atmospheric and geophysical investigations and a rover tasked with searching for signs of extinct life. The ExoMars rover will be equipped with a drill to collect material from outcrops and at depth down to 2 m. This subsurface sampling capability will provide the best chance yet to gain access to chemical biosignatures. Using the powerful Pasteur payload instruments, the ExoMars science team will conduct a holistic search for traces of life and seek corroborating geological context information.

  8. Methane on Mars: Thermodynamic Equilibrium and Photochemical Calculations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, J. S.; Summers, M. E.; Ewell, M.

    2010-01-01

    The detection of methane (CH4) in the atmosphere of Mars by Mars Express and Earth-based spectroscopy is very surprising, very puzzling, and very intriguing. On Earth, about 90% of atmospheric ozone is produced by living systems. A major question concerning methane on Mars is its origin - biological or geological. Thermodynamic equilibrium calculations indicated that methane cannot be produced by atmospheric chemical/photochemical reactions. Thermodynamic equilibrium calculations for three gases, methane, ammonia (NH3) and nitrous oxide (N2O) in the Earth s atmosphere are summarized in Table 1. The calculations indicate that these three gases should not exist in the Earth s atmosphere. Yet they do, with methane, ammonia and nitrous oxide enhanced 139, 50 and 12 orders of magnitude above their calculated thermodynamic equilibrium concentration due to the impact of life! Thermodynamic equilibrium calculations have been performed for the same three gases in the atmosphere of Mars based on the assumed composition of the Mars atmosphere shown in Table 2. The calculated thermodynamic equilibrium concentrations of the same three gases in the atmosphere of Mars is shown in Table 3. Clearly, based on thermodynamic equilibrium calculations, methane should not be present in the atmosphere of Mars, but it is in concentrations approaching 30 ppbv from three distinct regions on Mars.

  9. Photogrammetric portrayal of Mars topography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, S.S.C.

    1979-01-01

    Special photogrammetric techniques have been developed to portray Mars topography, using Mariner and Viking imaging and nonimaging topographic information and earth-based radar data. Topography is represented by the compilation of maps at three scales: global, intermediate, and very large scale. The global map is a synthesis of topographic information obtained from Mariner 9 and earth-based radar, compiled at a scale of 1:25,000,000 with a contour interval of 1 km; it gives a broad quantitative view of the planet. At intermediate scales, Viking Orbiter photographs of various resolutions are used to compile detailed contour maps of a broad spectrum of prominent geologic features; a contour interval as small as 20 m has been obtained from very high resolution orbital photography. Imagery from the Viking lander facsimile cameras permits construction of detailed, very large scale (1:10) topographic maps of the terrain surrounding the two landers; these maps have a contour interval of 1 cm. This paper presents several new detailed topographic maps of Mars.-Author

  10. Mars at Opposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riddle, Bob

    2010-01-01

    On January 29, Mars will reach opposition, a point along its orbit around the Sun where Mars will be directly opposite from the Sun in a two-planet and Sun line-up with the Earth in between. At this opposition, the Earth and Mars will be separated by nearly 100 million km. An opposition is similar to a full Moon in that the planet at opposition…

  11. Conduct of Geologic Field Work During Planetary Exploration: Why Geology Matters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eppler, Dean B.

    2010-01-01

    The science of field geology is the investigative process of determining the distribution of rock units and structures on a planet fs surface, and it is the first-order data set that informs all subsequent studies of a planet, such as geochemistry, geochronology, geophysics, or remote sensing. For future missions to the Moon and Mars, the surface systems deployed must support the conduct of field geology if these endeavors are to be scientifically useful. This lecture discussed what field geology is all about.why it is important, how it is done, how conducting field geology informs many other sciences, and how it affects the design of surface systems and the implementation of operations in the future.

  12. Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) 2009 Expedition Crew Perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cusack, Stacy; Ferrone, Kristine; Garvin, Christy; Kramer, W. Vernon; Palaia, Joseph, IV; Shiro, Brian

    2009-01-01

    The Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS), located on the rim of the Haughton Crater on Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic, is a simulated Mars habitat that provides operational constraints similar to those which will be faced by future human explorers on Mars. In July 2009, a six-member crew inhabited the isolated habitation module and conducted the twelfth FMARS mission. The crew members conducted frequent EVA operations wearing mock space suits to conduct field experiments under realistic Mars-like conditions. Their scientific campaign spanned a wide range of disciplines and included many firsts for Mars analog research. Among these are the first use of a Class IV medical laser during a Mars simulation, helping to relieve crew stress injuries during the mission. Also employed for the first time in a Mars simulation at FMARS, a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) was used by the space-suited explorers, aiding them in their search for mineral resources. Sites identified by the UAV were then visited by geologists who conducted physical geologic sampling. For the first time, explorers in spacesuits deployed passive seismic equipment to monitor earthquake activity and characterize the planet's interior. They also conducted the first geophysical electromagnetic survey as analog Mars pioneers to search for water and characterize geological features under the surface. The crew collected hydrated minerals and attempted to produce drinkable water from the rocks. A variety of equipment was field tested as well, including new cameras that automatically geotag photos, data-recording GPS units, a tele-presence rover (operated from Florida), as well as MIT-developed mission planning software. As plans develop to return to the Moon and go on to Mars, analog facilities like FMARS can provide significant benefit to NASA and other organizations as they prepare for robust human space exploration. The authors will present preliminary results from these studies as well as their

  13. New crystal-chemical data for marécottite

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Plášil, Jakub; Škoda, R.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 79, č. 3 (2015), s. 649-660 ISSN 0026-461X R&D Projects: GA ČR GP13-31276P Institutional support: RVO:68378271 Keywords : marécottite * uranyl sulfate * zippeite group * crystal structure * chemical composition * hydrogen bonds. Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 2.212, year: 2015

  14. Simulations of the magnetic properties experiment on Mars Exploration Rovers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gunnlaugsson, H. P.; Worm, E. S.; Bertelsen, P.; Goetz, W.; Kinch, K.; Madsen, M. B.; Merrison, J. P.; Nornberg, P.

    2005-01-01

    We present some of the main findings from simulation studies of the Magnetic Properties Experiment on the Mars Exploration Rovers. The results suggest that the dust has formed via mechanical breakdown of surface rocks through the geological history of the planet, and that liquid water need not have played any significant role in the dust formation processes.

  15. Observed degradation stages of ring-mold craters (RMC): Geomorphic evidence for modification of ice-rich deposits in the transitions zone between Elysium and Utopia Basin, Mars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Gro Birkefeldt Møller

    Deposits with pits, depressions and RMCs observed north of Elysium rise are interpreted as degraded mixtures of ice and clastic material (CCF, LVF and LDA). Degradation stages of RMCs are an important tool for mapping dusty, deflated ice-rich units....

  16. Science Applications of a Multispectral Microscopic Imager for the Astrobiological Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, Jack D.; Sellar, R. Glenn; Swayze, Gregg A.; Blaney, Diana L.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Future astrobiological missions to Mars are likely to emphasize the use of rovers with in situ petrologic capabilities for selecting the best samples at a site for in situ analysis with onboard lab instruments or for caching for potential return to Earth. Such observations are central to an understanding of the potential for past habitable conditions at a site and for identifying samples most likely to harbor fossil biosignatures. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI) provides multispectral reflectance images of geological samples at the microscale, where each image pixel is composed of a visible/shortwave infrared spectrum ranging from 0.46 to 1.73 μm. This spectral range enables the discrimination of a wide variety of rock-forming minerals, especially Fe-bearing phases, and the detection of hydrated minerals. The MMI advances beyond the capabilities of current microimagers on Mars by extending the spectral range into the infrared and increasing the number of spectral bands. The design employs multispectral light-emitting diodes and an uncooled indium gallium arsenide focal plane array to achieve a very low mass and high reliability. To better understand and demonstrate the capabilities of the MMI for future surface missions to Mars, we analyzed samples from Mars-relevant analog environments with the MMI. Results indicate that the MMI images faithfully resolve the fine-scale microtextural features of samples and provide important information to help constrain mineral composition. The use of spectral endmember mapping reveals the distribution of Fe-bearing minerals (including silicates and oxides) with high fidelity, along with the presence of hydrated minerals. MMI-based petrogenetic interpretations compare favorably with laboratory-based analyses, revealing the value of the MMI for future in situ rover-mediated astrobiological exploration of Mars. Key Words: Mars—Microscopic imager—Multispectral imaging

  17. Science applications of a multispectral microscopic imager for the astrobiological exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunez, Jorge; Farmer, Jack; Sellar, R. Glenn; Swayze, Gregg A.; Blaney, Diana L.

    2014-01-01

    Future astrobiological missions to Mars are likely to emphasize the use of rovers with in situ petrologic capabilities for selecting the best samples at a site for in situ analysis with onboard lab instruments or for caching for potential return to Earth. Such observations are central to an understanding of the potential for past habitable conditions at a site and for identifying samples most likely to harbor fossil biosignatures. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI) provides multispectral reflectance images of geological samples at the microscale, where each image pixel is composed of a visible/shortwave infrared spectrum ranging from 0.46 to 1.73 μm. This spectral range enables the discrimination of a wide variety of rock-forming minerals, especially Fe-bearing phases, and the detection of hydrated minerals. The MMI advances beyond the capabilities of current microimagers on Mars by extending the spectral range into the infrared and increasing the number of spectral bands. The design employs multispectral light-emitting diodes and an uncooled indium gallium arsenide focal plane array to achieve a very low mass and high reliability. To better understand and demonstrate the capabilities of the MMI for future surface missions to Mars, we analyzed samples from Mars-relevant analog environments with the MMI. Results indicate that the MMI images faithfully resolve the fine-scale microtextural features of samples and provide important information to help constrain mineral composition. The use of spectral endmember mapping reveals the distribution of Fe-bearing minerals (including silicates and oxides) with high fidelity, along with the presence of hydrated minerals. MMI-based petrogenetic interpretations compare favorably with laboratory-based analyses, revealing the value of the MMI for future in situ rover-mediated astrobiological exploration of Mars.

  18. NASA Mars 2020 Rover Mission: New Frontiers in Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Carlos I.

    2014-01-01

    The Mars 2020 rover mission is the next step in NASAs robotic exploration of the red planet. The rover, based on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover now on Mars, will address key questions about the potential for life on Mars. The mission would also provide opportunities to gather knowledge and demonstrate technologies that address the challenges of future human expeditions to Mars.Like the Mars Science Laboratory rover, which has been exploring Mars since 2012, the Mars 2020 spacecraft will use a guided entry, descent, and landing system which includes a parachute, descent vehicle, and, during the provides the ability to land a very large, heavy rover on the surface of Mars in a more precise landing area. The Mars 2020 mission is designed to accomplish several high-priority planetary science goals and will be an important step toward meeting NASAs challenge to send humans to Mars in the 2030s. The mission will conduct geological assessments of the rover's landing site, determine the habitability of the environment, search for signs of ancient Martian life, and assess natural resources and hazards for future human explorers. The science instruments aboard the rover also will enable scientists to identify and select a collection of rock and soil samples that will be stored for potential return to Earth in the future. The rover also may help designers of a human expedition understand the hazards posed by Martian dust and demonstrate how to collect carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which could be a valuable resource for producing oxygen and rocket fuel.

  19. Community Decadal Panel for Terrestrial Analogs to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barlow, N. G.; Farr, T.; Baker, V. R.; Bridges, N.; Carsey, F.; Duxbury, N.; Gilmore, M. S.; Green, J. R.; Grin, E.; Hansen, V.; Keszthelyi, L.; Lanagan, P.; Lentz, R.; Marinangeli, L.; Morris, P. A.; Ori, G. G.; Paillou, P.; Robinson, C.; Thomson, B.

    2001-11-01

    It is well recognized that interpretations of Mars must begin with the Earth as a reference. The most successful comparisons have focused on understanding geologic processes on the Earth well enough to extrapolate to Mars' environment. Several facets of terrestrial analog studies have been pursued and are continuing. These studies include field workshops, characterization of terrestrial analog sites for Mars, instrument tests, laboratory measurements (including analysis of martian meteorites), and computer and laboratory modeling. The combination of all these activities allows scientists to constrain the processes operating in specific terrestrial environments and extrapolate how similar processes could affect Mars. The Terrestrial Analogs for Mars Community Panel is considering the following two key questions: (1) How do terrestrial analog studies tie in to the MEPAG science questions about life, past climate, and geologic evolution of Mars, and (2) How can future instrumentation be used to address these questions. The panel is considering the issues of data collection, value of field workshops, data archiving, laboratory measurements and modeling, human exploration issues, association with other areas of solar system exploration, and education and public outreach activities.

  20. Engineering Geology | Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaska's Mineral Industry Reports AKGeology.info Rare Earth Elements WebGeochem Engineering Geology Alaska content Engineering Geology Additional information Engineering Geology Posters and Presentations Alaska Alaska MAPTEACH Tsunami Inundation Mapping Engineering Geology Staff Projects The Engineering Geology

  1. Human Aspects and Habitat Studies from EuroGeoMars Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boche-Sauvan, L.; Pletser, V.; Foing, B. H.; Eurogeomars Team

    2009-04-01

    Introduction: In a human space mission, the human factor is one of the dominant aspects, which may strongly influence work results and efficiency. To quantify such a difficult and uncontrollable aspect of space missions, it is necessary to reproduce as exactly as possible the environmental and technical conditions in which astronauts may be confronted: limited re-sources, social interactions in an isolated and cramped area… We will take the benefit of the EuroGeoMars campaign in the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS, Mars Society) in Utah to observe and measure these characteristics. EuroGeoMars campaign: The EuroGeoMars team aims at assessing the development of scientific protocols and techniques in geology and biology research in planetary conditions. In this framework, MRDS simulation constitutes its main achievement. The scientific investigations conducted in MRDS are expected to provide valuable results, beyond the simple reflection on how managing planetary specific conditions. Nevertheless, the different scientific protocols, even tailored for extreme environmental conditions, require an exhaustive analysis to evaluate how the results and their timing may possibly be affected. MDRS: The MDRS habitat will demand the crew members to work in a cramped environment, surrounded by dust and very limited manpower. Moreover, energy power and communication bandwidth will be limited to the crew members. Human aspects and habitat studies: The crewmember will work in an uncomfortable environment in the habitat: dust, cramping and crowd. Moreover, the sustainibility of the mission will relie on an optimal energy and ressources sharing. This will impose a planification of the different investigating activities. The study of the human aspects and habitat will be performed in terms of impact on scientific and technical tasks rather than in terms of crew's comfort. As any astronaut will previously be aware of the daily condition, we want to improve the working conditions

  2. The AMADEE-15 Mars simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groemer, Gernot; Losiak, Anna; Soucek, Alexander; Plank, Clemens; Zanardini, Laura; Sejkora, Nina; Sams, Sebastian

    2016-12-01

    We report on the AMADEE-15 mission, a 12-day Mars analog field test at the Kaunertal Glacier in Austria. Eleven experiments were conducted by a field crew at the test site under simulated martian surface exploration conditions and coordinated by a Mission Support Center in Innsbruck, Austria. The experiments' research fields encompassed geology, human factors, astrobiology, robotics, tele-science, exploration, and operations research. A Remote Science Support team analyzed field data in near real time, providing planning input for a flight control team to manage a complex system of field assets in a realistic work flow, including: two advanced space suit simulators; and four robotic and aerial vehicles. Field operations were supported by a dedicated flight planning group, an external control center tele-operating the PULI-rover, and a medical team. A 10-min satellite communication delay and other limitations pertinent to human planetary surface activities were introduced. This paper provides an overview of the geological context and environmental conditions of the test site and the mission architecture, with a focus on the mission's communication infrastructure. We report on the operational workflows and the experiments conducted, as well as a novel approach of measuring mission success through the introduction of general analog mission transferrable performance indicators.

  3. Curiosity: the Mars Science Laboratory Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Richard A.

    2012-01-01

    The Curiosity rover landed successfully in Gale Crater, Mars on August 5, 2012. This event was a dramatic high point in the decade long effort to design, build, test and fly the most sophisticated scientific vehicle ever sent to Mars. The real achievements of the mission have only just begun, however, as Curiosity is now searching for signs that Mars once possessed habitable environments. The Mars Science Laboratory Project has been one of the most ambitious and challenging planetary projects that NASA has undertaken. It started in the successful aftermath of the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover project and was designed to take significant steps forward in both engineering and scientific capabilities. This included a new landing system capable of emplacing a large mobile vehicle over a wide range of potential landing sites, advanced sample acquisition and handling capabilities that can retrieve samples from both rocks and soil, and a high reliability avionics suite that is designed to permit long duration surface operations. It also includes a set of ten sophisticated scientific instruments that will investigate both the geological context of the landing site plus analyze samples to understand the chemical & organic composition of rocks & soil found there. The Gale Crater site has been specifically selected as a promising location where ancient habitable environments may have existed and for which evidence may be preserved. Curiosity will spend a minimum of one Mars year (about two Earth years) looking for this evidence. This paper will report on the progress of the mission over the first few months of surface operations, plus look retrospectively at lessons learned during both the development and cruise operations phase of the mission..

  4. Surface clay formation during short-term warmer and wetter conditions on a largely cold ancient Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, Janice L.; Fairén, Alberto G.; Michalski, Joseph R.; Gago-Duport, Luis; Baker, Leslie L.; Velbel, Michael A.; Gross, Christoph; Rampe, Elizabeth B.

    2018-03-01

    The ancient rock record for Mars has long been at odds with climate modelling. The presence of valley networks, dendritic channels and deltas on ancient terrains points towards running water and fluvial erosion on early Mars1, but climate modelling indicates that long-term warm conditions were not sustainable2. Widespread phyllosilicates and other aqueous minerals on the Martian surface3-6 provide additional evidence that an early wet Martian climate resulted in surface weathering. Some of these phyllosilicates formed in subsurface crustal environments5, with no association with the Martian climate, while other phyllosilicate-rich outcrops exhibit layered morphologies and broad stratigraphies7 consistent with surface formation. Here, we develop a new geochemical model for early Mars to explain the formation of these clay-bearing rocks in warm and wet surface locations. We propose that sporadic, short-term warm and wet environments during a generally cold early Mars enabled phyllosilicate formation without requiring long-term warm and wet conditions. We conclude that Mg-rich clay-bearing rocks with lateral variations in mixed Fe/Mg smectite, chlorite, talc, serpentine and zeolite occurrences formed in subsurface hydrothermal environments, whereas dioctahedral (Al/Fe3+-rich) smectite and widespread vertical horizonation of Fe/Mg smectites, clay assemblages and sulphates formed in variable aqueous environments on the surface of Mars. Our model for aluminosilicate formation on Mars is consistent with the observed geological features, diversity of aqueous mineralogies in ancient surface rocks and state-of-the-art palaeoclimate scenarios.

  5. Mars atmosphere. Mars methane detection and variability at Gale crater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Christopher R; Mahaffy, Paul R; Atreya, Sushil K; Flesch, Gregory J; Mischna, Michael A; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Farley, Kenneth A; Conrad, Pamela G; Christensen, Lance E; Pavlov, Alexander A; Martín-Torres, Javier; Zorzano, María-Paz; McConnochie, Timothy H; Owen, Tobias; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L; Glavin, Daniel P; Steele, Andrew; Malespin, Charles A; Archer, P Douglas; Sutter, Brad; Coll, Patrice; Freissinet, Caroline; McKay, Christopher P; Moores, John E; Schwenzer, Susanne P; Bridges, John C; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; Gellert, Ralf; Lemmon, Mark T

    2015-01-23

    Reports of plumes or patches of methane in the martian atmosphere that vary over monthly time scales have defied explanation to date. From in situ measurements made over a 20-month period by the tunable laser spectrometer of the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on Curiosity at Gale crater, we report detection of background levels of atmospheric methane of mean value 0.69 ± 0.25 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) at the 95% confidence interval (CI). This abundance is lower than model estimates of ultraviolet degradation of accreted interplanetary dust particles or carbonaceous chondrite material. Additionally, in four sequential measurements spanning a 60-sol period (where 1 sol is a martian day), we observed elevated levels of methane of 7.2 ± 2.1 ppbv (95% CI), implying that Mars is episodically producing methane from an additional unknown source. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  6. The overprotection of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairén, Alberto G.; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk

    2013-07-01

    Planetary protection policies aim to guard Solar System bodies from biological contamination from spacecraft. Costly efforts to sterilize Mars spacecraft need to be re-evaluated, as they are unnecessarily inhibiting a more ambitious agenda to search for extant life on Mars.

  7. Building Virtual Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abercrombie, S. P.; Menzies, A.; Goddard, C.

    2017-12-01

    Virtual and augmented reality enable scientists to visualize environments that are very difficult, or even impossible to visit, such as the surface of Mars. A useful immersive visualization begins with a high quality reconstruction of the environment under study. This presentation will discuss a photogrammetry pipeline developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to reconstruct 3D models of the surface of Mars using stereo images sent back to Earth by the Curiosity Mars rover. The resulting models are used to support a virtual reality tool (OnSight) that allows scientists and engineers to visualize the surface of Mars as if they were standing on the red planet. Images of Mars present challenges to existing scene reconstruction solutions. Surface images of Mars are sparse with minimal overlap, and are often taken from extremely different viewpoints. In addition, the specialized cameras used by Mars rovers are significantly different than consumer cameras, and GPS localization data is not available on Mars. This presentation will discuss scene reconstruction with an emphasis on coping with limited input data, and on creating models suitable for rendering in virtual reality at high frame rate.

  8. Microscope on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    This image taken at Meridiani Planum, Mars by the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows the rover's microscopic imager (circular device in center), located on its instrument deployment device, or 'arm.' The image was acquired on the ninth martian day or sol of the rover's mission.

  9. Mars Sample Handling Functionality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, M. A.; Mattingly, R. L.

    2018-04-01

    The final leg of a Mars Sample Return campaign would be an entity that we have referred to as Mars Returned Sample Handling (MRSH.) This talk will address our current view of the functional requirements on MRSH, focused on the Sample Receiving Facility (SRF).

  10. IJslandse inzichten op Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vet, S.

    2013-01-01

    Vulkaanuitbarstingen onder gletsjers, zoals de vliegverkeer-verlammende uitbarsting van de vulkaan Eyjafjallajökull in IJsland in 2010, lijken in veel opzichten op vulkaanuitbarstingen die ooit op Mars voorkwamen. Dankzij de landschappelijke gelijkenissen tussen onze aarde en Mars is het mogelijk om

  11. The FIRO-2017 Field Campaign: Findings from a Unique Observing Period in the Russian River Watershed in Northern California during Jan - Mar 2017

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, A. M.; Ralph, M.; Demirdjian, R.; Kawzenuk, B.; Cannon, F.; Cordeira, J. M.

    2017-12-01

    Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations (FIRO) is a proposed water management strategy that aims to improve water supply, maintain reduction in flood risk, and achieve ecosystem sustainability using data from state of the art watershed monitoring and weather and water forecasting. The first testbed for this strategy is Lake Mendocino, in the Russian River Watershed in northern California. In order to accomplish these goals, it is necessary to understand and better predict Atmospheric Rivers (ARs), which provide 50% of the annual precipitation, and cause most of the heavy rain and flood events in this watershed. To support this effort, a field campaign was held during January-March 2017 in the Russian River Watershed with the science objectives of understanding AR evolution as the AR makes landfall and interacts with terrain, assess reasons for additional variance in the relationship between storm total precipitation and bulk water vapor flux, and to form a unique database for model verification. Coastal and inland field sites equipped with multiple ground-based sensors as well as Vaisala radiosonde systems were deployed to support these objectives. The 2017 water year was among the wettest recorded in California. During the January-March 2017 period, the coastal/inland pair of radiosonde systems captured 13 storms with maximum integrated vapor transport (IVT) values nearing 1200 kg/m/s. This presentation will provide an overview of the water year and the field campaign observations. Results indicate that bulk upslope water vapor flux measured by the ARO, which is the measurement regularly available to forecasters and researchers, correlates extremely well with integrated vapor transport (IVT). The profiles of water vapor flux observed by the coastal and inland sites are very different both in maximum flux magnitude and height of the maximum flux.

  12. Land degradation of Taleghan drainage basin, Iran from saline and alkaline marly formations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zakikhani, K.; Feiznia, S.; Hosseini, S. H.

    2009-01-01

    In Iran fine-grained, saline, alkaline and erodible Tertiary marly formations are exposed in many geological zones and play important role in the formation of present landforms. They also play important role in degradation of water resources and soils as diffuse sources, they are the main sources of suspension loads of many rivers and are endless sources of sediments for sand dunes. These marly formations are present in Zagros, Central Iran, Alborz and Kopeh Dagh geological Zones and consists of different geological formations such as Gachsaran, Mishan and Razak Formations ( in Zagros), Lower Red and Upper Red Formations ( in Central Iran) and Neogene Red Beds (in Albords and Kopeh Dagh). (Author)

  13. Land degradation of Taleghan drainage basin, Iran from saline and alkaline marly formations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zakikhani, K.; Feiznia, S.; Hosseini, S. H.

    2009-07-01

    In Iran fine-grained, saline, alkaline and erodible Tertiary marly formations are exposed in many geological zones and play important role in the formation of present landforms. They also play important role in degradation of water resources and soils as diffuse sources, they are the main sources of suspension loads of many rivers and are endless sources of sediments for sand dunes. These marly formations are present in Zagros, Central Iran, Alborz and Kopeh Dagh geological Zones and consists of different geological formations such as Gachsaran, Mishan and Razak Formations ( in Zagros), Lower Red and Upper Red Formations ( in Central Iran) and Neogene Red Beds (in Albords and Kopeh Dagh). (Author)

  14. Department of Geology University of Ghana, Box LG 58, Legon

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2005-03-12

    Mar 12, 2005 ... scale mining activities were identified as sources of mercury pollution in the area. ... high mercury concentration in some streams sediments constitute a ... ore processing was not limited to artisanal miners in the ..... Stream close to the main entrance to Nsuta mine. .... in Economic Geology Volume 6A, pp.

  15. High-Resolution Geologic Mapping of Martian Terraced Fan Deposits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolak, J. M.; Patterson, A. B.; Smith, S. D.; Robbins, N. N.

    2018-06-01

    This abstract documents our initial progress (year 1) mapping terraced fan features on Mars. Our objective is to investigate the role of fluids during fan formation and produce the first high-resolution geologic map (1:18k) of a terraced fan.

  16. Significant achievements in the planetary geology program. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Head, J.W.

    1978-12-01

    Developments reported at a meeting of principal investigators for NASA's planetology geology program are summarized. Topics covered include the following: constraints on solar system formation; asteriods, comets, and satellites; constraints on planetary interiors; volatiles and regoliths; instrument development techniques; planetary cartography; geological and geochemical constraints on planetary evolution; fluvial processes and channel formation; volcanic processes; Eolian processes; radar studies of planetary surfaces; cratering as a process, landform, and dating method; and the Tharsis region of Mars. Activities at a planetary geology field conference on Eolian processes are reported and techniques recommended for the presentation and analysis of crater size-frequency data are included

  17. An origin of life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P

    2010-04-01

    Evidence of past liquid water on the surface of Mars suggests that this world once had habitable conditions and leads to the question of life. If there was life on Mars, it would be interesting to determine if it represented a separate origin from life on Earth. To determine the biochemistry and genetics of life on Mars requires that we have access to an organism or the biological remains of one-possibly preserved in ancient permafrost. A way to determine if organic material found on Mars represents the remains of an alien biological system could be based on the observation that biological systems select certain organic molecules over others that are chemically similar (e.g., chirality in amino acids).

  18. An Origin of Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2010-01-01

    Evidence of past liquid water on the surface of Mars suggests that this world once had habitable conditions and leads to the question of life. If there was life on Mars, it would be interesting to determine if it represented a separate origin from life on Earth. To determine the biochemistry and genetics of life on Mars requires that we have access to an organism or the biological remains of one—possibly preserved in ancient permafrost. A way to determine if organic material found on Mars represents the remains of an alien biological system could be based on the observation that biological systems select certain organic molecules over others that are chemically similar (e.g., chirality in amino acids). PMID:20452949

  19. Tsunami geology in paleoseismology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuichi Nishimura,; Jaffe, Bruce E.

    2015-01-01

    The 2004 Indian Ocean and 2011 Tohoku-oki disasters dramatically demonstrated the destructiveness and deadliness of tsunamis. For the assessment of future risk posed by tsunamis it is necessary to understand past tsunami events. Recent work on tsunami deposits has provided new information on paleotsunami events, including their recurrence interval and the size of the tsunamis (e.g. [187–189]). Tsunamis are observed not only on the margin of oceans but also in lakes. The majority of tsunamis are generated by earthquakes, but other events that displace water such as landslides and volcanic eruptions can also generate tsunamis. These non-earthquake tsunamis occur less frequently than earthquake tsunamis; it is, therefore, very important to find and study geologic evidence for past eruption and submarine landslide triggered tsunami events, as their rare occurrence may lead to risks being underestimated. Geologic investigations of tsunamis have historically relied on earthquake geology. Geophysicists estimate the parameters of vertical coseismic displacement that tsunami modelers use as a tsunami's initial condition. The modelers then let the simulated tsunami run ashore. This approach suffers from the relationship between the earthquake and seafloor displacement, the pertinent parameter in tsunami generation, being equivocal. In recent years, geologic investigations of tsunamis have added sedimentology and micropaleontology, which focus on identifying and interpreting depositional and erosional features of tsunamis. For example, coastal sediment may contain deposits that provide important information on past tsunami events [190, 191]. In some cases, a tsunami is recorded by a single sand layer. Elsewhere, tsunami deposits can consist of complex layers of mud, sand, and boulders, containing abundant stratigraphic evidence for sediment reworking and redeposition. These onshore sediments are geologic evidence for tsunamis and are called ‘tsunami deposits’ (Figs. 26

  20. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Mars: Remote Sensing and Terrestrial Analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The session "Mars: Remote Sensing and Terrestrial Analogs" included the following:Physical Meaning of the Hapke Parameter for Macroscopic Roughness: Experimental Determination for Planetary Regolith Surface Analogs and Numerical Approach; Near-Infrared Spectra of Martian Pyroxene Separates: First Results from Mars Spectroscopy Consortium; Anomalous Spectra of High-Ca Pyroxenes: Correlation Between Ir and M ssbauer Patterns; THEMIS-IR Emissivity Spectrum of a Large Dark Streak near Olympus Mons; Geomorphologic/Thermophysical Mapping of the Athabasca Region, Mars, Using THEMIS Infrared Imaging; Mars Thermal Inertia from THEMIS Data; Multispectral Analysis Methods for Mapping Aqueous Mineral Depostis in Proposed Paleolake Basins on Mars Using THEMIS Data; Joint Analysis of Mars Odyssey THEMIS Visible and Infrared Images: A Magic Airbrush for Qualitative and Quantitative Morphology; Analysis of Mars Thermal Emission Spectrometer Data Using Large Mineral Reference Libraries ; Negative Abundance : A Problem in Compositional Modeling of Hyperspectral Images; Mars-LAB: First Remote Sensing Data of Mineralogy Exposed at Small Mars-Analog Craters, Nevada Test Site; A Tool for the 2003 Rover Mini-TES: Downwelling Radiance Compensation Using Integrated Line-Sight Sky Measurements; Learning About Mars Geology Using Thermal Infrared Spectral Imaging: Orbiter and Rover Perspectives; Classifying Terrestrial Volcanic Alteration Processes and Defining Alteration Processes they Represent on Mars; Cemented Volcanic Soils, Martian Spectra and Implications for the Martian Climate; Palagonitic Mars: A Basalt Centric View of Surface Composition and Aqueous Alteration; Combining a Non Linear Unmixing Model and the Tetracorder Algorithm: Application to the ISM Dataset; Spectral Reflectance Properties of Some Basaltic Weathering Products; Morphometric LIDAR Analysis of Amboy Crater, California: Application to MOLA Analysis of Analog Features on Mars; Airborne Radar Study of Soil Moisture at

  1. Tectonic patterns on a reoriented planet - Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Melosh, H.J.

    1980-01-01

    Both geological and free-air-gravity data suggest that the positive mass anomaly associated with the Tharsis volcanoes may have reoriented Mars' lithosphere by as much as 25 deg. Since Mars is oblate, rotation of the lithosphere over the equatorial bulge by 25 deg produces membrane stresses of several kilobars, large enough to initiate faulting. Plots of the magnitude and direction of stresses in a reoriented planet show that near Tharsis the dominant fault type should be north-south-trending normal faults. This normal fault province is centered at 30 deg N latitude and extends about 45 deg east and west in longitude. Similar faults should occur at the antipodes, north of Hellas Planitia

  2. Source parameters and effects of bandwidth and local geology on high- frequency ground motions observed for aftershocks of the northeastern Ohio earthquake of 31 January 1986

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glassmoyer, G.; Borcherdt, R.D.

    1990-01-01

    A 10-station array (GEOS) yielded recordings of exceptional bandwidth (400 sps) and resolution (up to 96 dB) for the aftershocks of the moderate (mb???4.9) earthquake that occurred on 31 January 1986 near Painesville, Ohio. Nine aftershocks were recorded with seismic moments ranging between 9 ?? 1016 and 3 ?? 1019 dyne-cm (MW: 0.6 to 2.3). The aftershock recordings at a site underlain by ???8m of lakeshore sediments show significant levels of high-frequency soil amplification of vertical motion at frequencies near 8, 20 and 70 Hz. Viscoelastic models for P and SV waves incident at the base of the sediments yield estimates of vertical P-wave response consistent with the observed high-frequency site resonances, but suggest additional detailed shear-wave logs are needed to account for observed S-wave response. -from Authors

  3. Planetary Geologic Mapping Handbook - 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, K. L.; Skinner, J. A.; Hare, T. M.

    2009-01-01

    Geologic maps present, in an historical context, fundamental syntheses of interpretations of the materials, landforms, structures, and processes that characterize planetary surfaces and shallow subsurfaces (e.g., Varnes, 1974). Such maps also provide a contextual framework for summarizing and evaluating thematic research for a given region or body. In planetary exploration, for example, geologic maps are used for specialized investigations such as targeting regions of interest for data collection and for characterizing sites for landed missions. Whereas most modern terrestrial geologic maps are constructed from regional views provided by remote sensing data and supplemented in detail by field-based observations and measurements, planetary maps have been largely based on analyses of orbital photography. For planetary bodies in particular, geologic maps commonly represent a snapshot of a surface, because they are based on available information at a time when new data are still being acquired. Thus the field of planetary geologic mapping has been evolving rapidly to embrace the use of new data and modern technology and to accommodate the growing needs of planetary exploration. Planetary geologic maps have been published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) since 1962 (Hackman, 1962). Over this time, numerous maps of several planetary bodies have been prepared at a variety of scales and projections using the best available image and topographic bases. Early geologic map bases commonly consisted of hand-mosaicked photographs or airbrushed shaded-relief views and geologic linework was manually drafted using mylar bases and ink drafting pens. Map publishing required a tedious process of scribing, color peel-coat preparation, typesetting, and photo-laboratory work. Beginning in the 1990s, inexpensive computing, display capability and user-friendly illustration software allowed maps to be drawn using digital tools rather than pen and ink, and mylar bases became obsolete

  4. Preservation of Reduced Carbon on Mars: Implications for Understanding Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela; Fogel, Marilyn; Steele, Andrew; Summons, Roger E.

    2007-01-01

    Upcoming Mars missions (e.g., Mars Science Laboratory, ExoMars, Astrobiology Field Laboratory, and Mars Sample Return) will search for evidence of extant and fossil microbial habitats and the potential for future habitation. Understanding the distribution and composition of reduced carbon (or organic carbon) is critical for unraveling the Martian carbon cycle, potential for life, and possible biosignature record. Reduced carbon may be produced from biological, geochemical, or interstellar processes; however, evidence for reduced carbon on Mars is lacking with the exception of parts per billion of atmospheric methane. In contrast, abundant atmospheric carbon dioxide may reflect surface oxidation of reduced carbon and accumulation over geological timescales. This suggests that there is an undetected or lost pool of reduced carbon - a pool that may host molecular biosignatures, a characteristic of extant or extinct habitability. In this presentation, we will evaluate factors influencing the preservation potential for organic molecules in rocks on Earth and Martian. We,draw examples from organic molecules in sulfates, basalts, and ancient shales from Mars-analog settings to show how the distribution of organics and their structural patterns will aid Mars habitability studies.

  5. Large wind ripples on Mars: A record of atmospheric evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Lapotre, M. G. A.; Ewing, R. C.; Lamb, M. P.; Fischer, W. W.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Rubin, D. M.; Lewis, K. W.; Ballard, M. J.; Daybell, M.; Gupta, S.; Banham, S. G.; Bridges, N. T.; Des Marais, D. J.; Fraeman, A. A.; Grant, J. A.

    2016-01-01

    Wind blowing over sand on Earth produces decimeter-wavelength ripples and hundred-meter– to kilometer-wavelength dunes: bedforms of two distinct size modes. Observations from the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal that Mars hosts a third stable wind-driven bedform, with meter-scale wavelengths. These bedforms are spatially uniform in size and typically have asymmetric profiles with angle-of-repose lee slopes and sinuous crest lines, making them ...

  6. MMPM - Mars MetNet Precursor Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Schmidt, W.; Pichkhadze, K.; Linkin, V.; Vazquez, L.; Uspensky, M.; Polkko, J.; Genzer, M.; Lipatov, A.; Guerrero, H.; Alexashkin, S.; Haukka, H.; Savijarvi, H.; Kauhanen, J.

    2008-09-01

    We are developing a new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars - MetNet in situ observation network based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called the Met-Net Lander (MNL). The eventual scope of the MetNet Mission is to deploy some 20 MNLs on the Martian surface using inflatable descent system structures, which will be supported by observations from the orbit around Mars. Currently we are working on the MetNet Mars Precursor Mission (MMPM) to deploy one MetNet Lander to Mars in the 2009/2011 launch window as a technology and science demonstration mission. The MNL will have a versatile science payload focused on the atmospheric science of Mars. Detailed characterization of the Martian atmospheric circulation patterns, boundary layer phenomena, and climatology cycles, require simultaneous in-situ measurements by a network of observation posts on the Martian surface. The scientific payload of the MetNet Mission encompasses separate instrument packages for the atmospheric entry and descent phase and for the surface operation phase. The MetNet mission concept and key probe technologies have been developed and the critical subsystems have been qualified to meet the Martian environmental and functional conditions. Prototyping of the payload instrumentation with final dimensions was carried out in 2003-2006.This huge development effort has been fulfilled in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), the Russian Lavoschkin Association (LA) and the Russian Space Research Institute (IKI) since August 2001. Currently the INTA (Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial) from Spain is also participating in the MetNet payload development. To understand the behavior and dynamics of the Martian atmosphere, a wealth of simultaneous in situ observations are needed on varying types of Martian orography, terrain and altitude spanning all latitudes and longitudes. This will be performed by the Mars MetNet Mission. In addition to the science aspects the

  7. Early Mars serpentinization-derived CH4 reservoirs, H2 induced warming and paleopressure evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasue, J.; Chassefiere, E.; Langlais, B.; Quesnel, Y.

    2016-12-01

    CH4 has been observed on Mars both by remote sensing and in situ during the past 15 years. Early Mars serpentinization is one possible abiotic mechanism that could not only produce methane, but also explain the observed Martian remanent magnetic field. Assuming a cold early Mars, a cryosphere could trap such CH4 as clathrates in stable form at depth. We recently estimated the maximum storage capacity of such clathrate layer to be about 2x1019 to 2x1020 moles of methane. Such reservoirs may be stable or unstable, depending on many factors that are poorly constrained: major and sudden geological events such as the Tharsis bulge formation, the Hellas impact or the martian polar wander, could have destabilized the clathrates early in the history of the planet and released large quantities of gas in the atmosphere. Here we estimate the associated amounts of serpentinization-derived CH4 stored in the cryosphere that have been released to the atmosphere at the end of the Noachian and the beginning of the Hesperian. Due to rapid clathrate dissociation and photochemical conversion of CH4 to H2, these episodes of massive CH4 release may have resulted in transient H2-rich atmospheres, at typical levels of 10-20% in a background 1-2 bar CO2 atmosphere. We propose that the early Mars cryosphere had a sufficient CH4 storage capacity to have maintained H2-rich transient atmospheres during a total time period up to several Myr or tens of Myr, having potentially contributed - by collision-induced heating effect of atmospheric H2 - to the formation of valley networks during the late Noachian and early Hesperian.

  8. Scientific Results of the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerdt, W. B.

    2006-08-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover project launched two robotic geologists, Spirit and Opportunity, toward Mars in June and July of 2003, reaching Mars the following January. The science objectives for this mission are focused on delineating the geologic history for two locations on Mars, with an emphasis on the history of water. Although they were designed for a 90-day mission, both rovers have lasted more than two years on the surface and each has covered more than four miles while investigating Martian geology. Spirit was targeted to Gusev Crater, a 300-km diameter impact basin that was suspected to be the site of an ancient lake. Initial investigations of the plains in the vicinity of the landing site found no evidence of such a lake, but were instead consistent with unaltered (by water) basaltic plains. But after a 3-km trek to an adjacent range of hills it found a quite different situation, with abundant chemical and morphological evidence for a complex geological history. Opportunity has been exploring Meridiani Planum, which was known from orbital data to contain the mineral hematite, which generally forms in the presence of water. The rocks exposed in Meridiani are highly chemically altered, and appear to have been exposed to significant amounts of water. By descending into the 130-m diameter Endurance Crater, Opportunity was able to analyze a 10-m vertical section of this rock unit, which showed significant gradations in chemistry and morphology.

  9. Geology of Uruguay review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez Rifas, C.

    2011-01-01

    This work is about the Uruguay geology review.This country has been a devoted to breeding cattle and agriculture.The evolution of geological knowledge begun with Dr. Karl Walther who published 53 papers between 1909 and 1948.

  10. Geological Services Laboratory

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — Researchers use computed tomography (CT) scanners at NETL’s Geological Services Laboratory in Morgantown, WV, to peer into geologic core samples to determine how...

  11. Mercury's Early Geologic History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denevi, B. W.; Ernst, C. M.; Klima, R. L.; Robinson, M. S.

    2018-05-01

    A combination of geologic mapping, compositional information, and geochemical models are providing a better understanding of Mercury's early geologic history, and allow us to place it in the context of the Moon and the terrestrial planets.

  12. Evidence from Hydrogen Isotopes in Meteorites for a Subsurface Hydrogen Reservoir on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usui, Tomohiro; Alexander, Conel M. O'D.; Wang, Jianhua; Simon, Justin I.; Jones, John H.

    2015-01-01

    The surface geology and geomorphology of Mars indicates that it was once warm enough to maintain a large body of liquid water on its surface, though such a warm environment might have been transient. The transition to the present cold and dry Mars is closely linked to the history of surface water, yet the evolution of surficial water is poorly constrained. We have conducted in situ hydrogen isotope (D/H) analyses of quenched and impact glasses in three Martian meteorites (Yamato 980459, EETA79001, LAR 06319) by Cameca ims-6f at Digital Terrain Models (DTM) following the methods of [1]. The hydrogen isotope analyses provide evidence for the existence of a distinct but ubiquitous water/ice reservoir (D/H = 2-3 times Earth's ocean water: Standard Mean Ocean Water (SMOW)) that lasted from at least the time when the meteorites crystallized (173-472 Ma) to the time they were ejected by impacts (0.7-3.3 Ma), but possibly much longer [2]. The origin of this reservoir appears to predate the current Martian atmospheric water (D/H equals approximately 5-6 times SMOW) and is unlikely to be a simple mixture of atmospheric and primordial water retained in the Martian mantle (D/H is approximately equal to SMOW [1]). Given the fact that this intermediate-D/H reservoir (2-3 times SMOW) is observed in a diverse range of Martian materials with different ages (e.g., SNC (Shergottites, Nakhlites, Chassignites) meteorites, including shergottites such as ALH 84001; and Curiosity surface data [3]), we conclude that this intermediate-D/H reservoir is likely a global surficial feature that has remained relatively intact over geologic time. We propose that this reservoir represents either hydrated crust and/or ground ice interbedded within sediments. Our results corroborate the hypothesis that a buried cryosphere accounts for a large part of the initial water budget of Mars.

  13. (Nearly) Seven Years on Mars: Adventure, Adversity, and Achievements with the NASA Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, J. F.; Mars Exploration Rover Science; Engineering Teams

    2010-12-01

    NASA successfully landed twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, on Mars in January 2004, in the most ambitious mission of robotic exploration attempted to that time. Each rover is outfitted as a robot field geologist with an impressive array of scientific instruments--cameras, spectrometers, other sensors--designed to investigate the composition and geologic history of two distinctly-different landing sites. The sites were chosen because of their potential to reveal clues about the past history of water and climate on Mars, and thus to provide tests of the hypothesis that the planet may once have been an abode for life. In this presentation I will review the images, spectra, and chemical/mineralogic information that the rover team has been acquiring from the landing sites and along the rovers' 7.7 and 22.7 km traverse paths, respectively. The data and interpretations have been widely shared with the public and the scientific community through web sites, frequent press releases, and scientific publications, and they provide quantitative evidence that liquid water has played a role in the modification of the Martian surface during the earliest part of the planet's history. At the Spirit site in Gusev Crater, the role of water appears to have been relatively minor in general, although the recent discovery of enigmatic hydrated sulfate salt and amorphous silica deposits suggests that locally there may have been significant water-rock interactions, and perhaps even sustained hydrothermal activity. At the Opportunity site in Meridiani Planum, geologic and mineralogic evidence suggests that liquid water was stable at the surface and shallow subsurface for significant periods of early Martian geologic history. An exciting implication from both missions is that localized environments on early Mars may have been "habitable" by some terrestrial standards. As of early September 2010, the rovers had operated for 2210 and 2347 Martian days (sols), respectively, with the Spirit

  14. Ionic Strength Is a Barrier to the Habitability of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox-Powell, Mark G; Hallsworth, John E; Cousins, Claire R; Cockell, Charles S

    2016-06-01

    The thermodynamic availability of water (water activity) strictly limits microbial propagation on Earth, particularly in hypersaline environments. A considerable body of evidence indicates the existence of hypersaline surface waters throughout the history of Mars; therefore it is assumed that, as on Earth, water activity is a major limiting factor for martian habitability. However, the differing geological histories of Earth and Mars have driven variations in their respective aqueous geochemistry, with as-yet-unknown implications for habitability. Using a microbial community enrichment approach, we investigated microbial habitability for a suite of simulated martian brines. While the habitability of some martian brines was consistent with predictions made from water activity, others were uninhabitable even when the water activity was biologically permissive. We demonstrate experimentally that high ionic strength, driven to extremes on Mars by the ubiquitous occurrence of multivalent ions, renders these environments uninhabitable despite the presence of biologically available water. These findings show how the respective geological histories of Earth and Mars, which have produced differences in the planets' dominant water chemistries, have resulted in different physicochemical extremes which define the boundary space for microbial habitability. Habitability-Mars-Salts-Water activity-Life in extreme environments. Astrobiology 16, 427-442.

  15. Dust observations by PFS on Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zasova, L. V.; Formisano, V.; Moroz, V. I.; Grassi, D.; Ignatiev, N. I.; Blecka, M. I.; Maturilli, A.; Palomba, E.; Piccioni, G.; Pfs Team

    Dust is always present in the Martian atmosphere with opacity, which changes from values below 0.1 (at 9 μ m) up to several units during the dust storms. From the thermal IR (LW channel of PFS) the dust opacity is retrieved in a self consistent way together with the temperature profile from the same spectrum A preliminary investigation along the orbit, which comes through Hellas, shows that the value of dust opacity anticorrelates with surface altitude. From -70 to +25 of latitude the vertical dust distribution follows the exponential low with the scale of 12 km, which corresponds to the gaseous scale height near noon and indicates for well mixed condition. The dust opacity, corresponding to the zero surface altitude, is found of 0.25+-0.05. More detailed investigations of all available data will be presented, including analysis of both short- and long- wavelength spectra of PFS.

  16. The imaging performance of the SRC on Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberst, J.; Schwarz, G.; Behnke, T.; Hoffmann, H.; Matz, K.-D.; Flohrer, J.; Hirsch, H.; Roatsch, T.; Scholten, F.; Hauber, E.; Brinkmann, B.; Jaumann, R.; Williams, D.; Kirk, R.; Duxbury, T.; Leu, C.; Neukum, G.

    2008-01-01

    The Mars Express spacecraft carries the pushbroom scanner high-resolution stereo camera (HRSC) and its added imaging subsystem super resolution channel (SRC). The SRC is equipped with its own optical system and a 1024??1024 framing sensor. SRC produces snapshots with 2.3 m ground pixel size from the nominal spacecraft pericenter height of 250 km, which are typically embedded in the central part of the large HRSC scenes. The salient features of the SRC are its light-weight optics, a reliable CCD detector, and high-speed read-out electronics. The quality and effective visibility of details in the SRC images unfortunately falls short of what has been expected. In cases where thermal balance cannot be reached, artifacts, such as blurring and "ghost features" are observed in the images. In addition, images show large numbers of blemish pixels and are plagued by electronic noise. As a consequence, we have developed various image improving algorithms, which are discussed in this paper. While results are encouraging, further studies of image restoration by dedicated processing appear worthwhile. The SRC has obtained more than 6940 images at the time of writing (1 September 2007), which often show fascinating details in surface morphology. SRC images are highly useful for a variety of applications in planetary geology, for studies of the Mars atmosphere, and for astrometric observations of the Martian satellites. This paper will give a full account of the design philosophy, technical concept, calibration, operation, integration with HRSC, and performance, as well as science accomplishments of the SRC. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The Mawrth Vallis region of Mars: A potential landing site for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalski, Joseph R; Jean-PierreBibring; Poulet, François; Loizeau, Damien; Mangold, Nicolas; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Bishop, Janice L; Wray, James J; McKeown, Nancy K; Parente, Mario; Hauber, Ernst; Altieri, Francesca; Carrozzo, F Giacomo; Niles, Paul B

    2010-09-01

    The primary objective of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, which will launch in 2011, is to characterize the habitability of a site on Mars through detailed analyses of the composition and geological context of surface materials. Within the framework of established mission goals, we have evaluated the value of a possible landing site in the Mawrth Vallis region of Mars that is targeted directly on some of the most geologically and astrobiologically enticing materials in the Solar System. The area around Mawrth Vallis contains a vast (>1 × 10⁶ km²) deposit of phyllosilicate-rich, ancient, layered rocks. A thick (>150 m) stratigraphic section that exhibits spectral evidence for nontronite, montmorillonite, amorphous silica, kaolinite, saponite, other smectite clay minerals, ferrous mica, and sulfate minerals indicates a rich geological history that may have included multiple aqueous environments. Because phyllosilicates are strong indicators of ancient aqueous activity, and the preservation potential of biosignatures within sedimentary clay deposits is high, martian phyllosilicate deposits are desirable astrobiological targets. The proposed MSL landing site at Mawrth Vallis is located directly on the largest and most phyllosilicate-rich deposit on Mars and is therefore an excellent place to explore for evidence of life or habitability.

  18. Mars Technology Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA’s Mars Exploration Program (MEP) calls for a series of highly ambitious missions over the next decade and beyond. The overall goals of the MEP must be...

  19. Mars Electric Reusable Flyer

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — One of the main issues with a Mars flight vehicle concept that can be reused and cover long distances for maximum surface data gathering is its ability to take off,...

  20. MARS software package status

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Azhgirej, I.L.; Talanov, V.V.

    2000-01-01

    The MARS software package is intended for simulating the nuclear-electromagnetic cascades and the secondary neutrons and muons transport in the heterogeneous medium of arbitrary complexity in the magnetic fields presence. The inclusive approach to describing the particle production in the nuclear and electromagnetic interactions and by the unstable particles decay is realized in the package. The MARS software package was actively applied for solving various radiation physical problems [ru

  1. Status of MARS Code

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    N.V. Mokhov

    2003-04-09

    Status and recent developments of the MARS 14 Monte Carlo code system for simulation of hadronic and electromagnetic cascades in shielding, accelerator and detector components in the energy range from a fraction of an electronvolt up to 100 TeV are described. these include physics models both in strong and electromagnetic interaction sectors, variance reduction techniques, residual dose, geometry, tracking, histograming. MAD-MARS Beam Line Build and Graphical-User Interface.

  2. Astrobiology Results from ILEWG EuroMoonMars Analogue Field Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard H.

    We give an update on the astrobiology results from a series of field research campaigns (ILEWG EuroMoonMars) in the extreme environment of the Utah desert. These are relevant to prepare future lunar landers and polar sample return missions, interpret Moon-Mars data (eg SMART1, LRO, Mars Express, MRO, MER, MSL), study habitability and astrobiology in Moon-Mars environments, or to test human-robotic surface EVA or base operations. In the frame of ILEWG EuroMoonMars campaigns (2009 to 2013) we deployed at Mars Desert Research station near Hanksville Utah, a suite of instruments and techniques [0, 1, 2, 9-11] including sample collection, context imaging from re-mote to local and microscale, drilling, spectrometers and life sensors. We analyzed how geological and geo-chemical evolution affected local parameters (mineralogy, organics content, environment variations) and the habitability and signature of organics and biota. Results: Among the important findings are the diversity in the composition of soil samples even when collected in close proximity, the low abundances of detectable PAHs and amino acids and the presence of biota of all three domains of life with significant heterogeneity. An extraordinary variety of putative extremophiles was observed [3,4,9]. A dominant factor seems to be soil porosity and lower clay-sized particle content [6-8]. A protocol was developed for sterile sampling, contamination issues, and the diagnostics of biodiversity via PCR and DGGE analysis in soils and rocks samples [10, 11]. We compare the 2009 campaign results [0-9] to new measurements from 2010-2013 campaigns relevant to: comparison between remote sensing and in-situ measurements; the study of minerals; the detection of organics and signs of life. We acknowledge team members and supporting institutes: B.H. Foing (1, 2, 6), C. Stoker (3), P. Ehrenfreund (4, 5), I. Rammos (2), L. Rodrigues (2), A. Svendsen (2), D. Oltheten (2), I. Schlacht (2), K. Nebergall (6), M. Battler (6, 7), H

  3. Geology of kilauea volcano

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, R.B.; Trusdell, F.A.

    1993-01-01

    This paper summarizes studies of the structure, stratigraphy, petrology, drill holes, eruption frequency, and volcanic and seismic hazards of Kilauea volcano. All the volcano is discussed, but the focus is on its lower cast rift zone (LERZ) because active exploration for geothermal energy is concentrated in that area. Kilauea probably has several separate hydrothermal-convection systems that develop in response to the dynamic behavior of the volcano and the influx of abundant meteoric water. Important features of some of these hydrothermal-convection systems are known through studies of surface geology and drill holes. Observations of eruptions during the past two centuries, detailed geologic mapping, radiocarbon dating, and paleomagnetic secular-variation studies indicate that Kilauea has erupted frequently from its summit and two radial rift zones during Quaternary time. Petrologic studies have established that Kilauea erupts only tholeiitic basalt. Extensive ash deposits at Kilauea's summit and on its LERZ record locally violent, but temporary, disruptions of local hydrothermal-convection systems during the interaction of water or steam with magma. Recent drill holes on the LERZ provide data on the temperatures of the hydrothermal-convection systems, intensity of dike intrusion, porosity and permeability, and an increasing amount of hydrothermal alteration with depth. The prehistoric and historic record of volcanic and seismic activity indicates that magma will continue to be supplied to deep and shallow reservoirs beneath Kilauea's summit and rift zones and that the volcano will be affected by eruptions and earthquakes for many thousands of years. ?? 1993.

  4. Geology and photometric variation of solar system bodies with minor atmospheres: implications for solid exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujii, Yuka; Kimura, Jun; Dohm, James; Ohtake, Makiko

    2014-09-01

    A reasonable basis for future astronomical investigations of exoplanets lies in our best knowledge of the planets and satellites in the Solar System. Solar System bodies exhibit a wide variety of surface environments, even including potential habitable conditions beyond Earth, and it is essential to know how they can be characterized from outside the Solar System. In this study, we provide an overview of geological features of major Solar System solid bodies with minor atmospheres (i.e., the terrestrial Moon, Mercury, the Galilean moons, and Mars) that affect surface albedo at local to global scale, and we survey how they influence point-source photometry in the UV/visible/near IR (i.e., the reflection-dominant range). We simulate them based on recent mapping products and also compile observed light curves where available. We show a 5-50% peak-to-trough variation amplitude in one spin rotation associated with various geological processes including heterogeneous surface compositions due to igneous activities, interaction with surrounding energetic particles, and distribution of grained materials. Some indications of these processes are provided by the amplitude and wavelength dependence of variation in combinations of the time-averaged spectra. We also estimate the photometric precision needed to detect their spin rotation rates through periodogram analysis. Our survey illustrates realistic possibilities for inferring the detailed properties of solid exoplanets with future direct imaging observations. Key Words: Planetary environments-Planetary geology-Solar System-Extrasolar terrestrial planets.

  5. Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.; Cuzzi, Jeffrey (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    Although the Viking results may indicate that Mars has no life today, the possibility exists that Mars may hold the best record of the events that led to the origin of life. There is direct geomorphological evidence that in the past Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface. Atmospheric models would suggest that this early period of hydrological activity was due to the presence of a thick atmosphere and the resulting warmer temperatures. From a biological perspective the existence of liquid water, by itself motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. From studies of the Earth's earliest biosphere we know that by 3.5 Gyr. ago, life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication. Surface activity and erosion on Earth make it difficult to trace the history of life before the 3.5 Gyr timeframe. If Mars did maintain a clement environment for longer than it took for life to originate on Earth, then the question of the origin of life on Mars follows naturally.

  6. Waves in the middle and upper atmosphere of Mars as seen by the Radio Science Experiment MaRS on Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tellmann, S.; Paetzold, M.; Häusler, B.; Hinson, D. P.; Peter, K.; Tyler, G. L.

    2017-12-01

    Atmospheric waves play a crucial role in the Martian atmosphere. They are responsible for the redistribution of momentum, energy and dust and for the coupling of the different atmospheric regions on Mars. Almost all kinds of waves have been observed in the lower atmosphere (e.g. stationary and transient waves, baroclinic waves as well as migrating and non-migrating thermal tides, gravity waves, etc...). Atmospheric waves are also known to exist in the middle atmosphere of Mars ( 70-120 km, e.g. by the SPICAM instrument on Mars Express). In the thermosphere, thermal tides have been observed e.g. by radio occultation or accelerometer measurements on MGS. Recently, the NGIMS instrument on MAVEN reported gravity waves in the thermosphere of Mars. Radio Science profiles from the Mars Express Radio Science experiment MaRS on Mars Express can analyse the temperature, pressure and neutral number density profiles in the lower atmosphere (from a few hundred metres above the surface up to 40-50 km) and electron density profiles in the ionosphere of Mars. Wavelike structures have been detected below the main ionospheric layers (M1 & M2) and in the topside of the ionosphere. The two coherent frequencies of the MaRS experiment allow to discriminate between plasma density fluctuations in the ionosphere and Doppler related frequency shifts caused by spacecraft movement. A careful analysis of the observed electron density fluctuations in combination with sensitivity studies of the radio occultation technique will be used to classify the observed fluctuations. The MaRS experiment is funded by DLR under grant 50QM1401.

  7. Terrestrial Analogs to Mars: NRC Community Panel Decadal Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farr, T. G.

    2002-12-01

    A report was completed recently by a Community Panel for the NRC Decadal Study of Solar System Exploration. The desire was for a review of the current state of knowledge and for recommendations for action over the next decade. The topic of this panel, Terrestrial Analogs to Mars, was chosen to bring attention to the need for an increase in analog studies in support of the increased pace of Mars exploration. It is well recognized that interpretations of Mars must begin with the Earth as a reference. The most successful comparisons have focused on understanding geologic processes on the Earth well enough to extrapolate to Mars' environment. Several facets of terrestrial analog studies have been pursued and are continuing. These studies include field workshops, characterization of terrestrial analog sites, instrument tests, laboratory measurements (including analysis of martian meteorites), and computer and laboratory modeling. The combination of all of these activities allows scientists to constrain the processes operating in specific terrestrial environments and extrapolate how similar processes could affect Mars. The Terrestrial Analogs for Mars Community Panel has considered the following two key questions: (1) How do terrestrial analog studies tie in to the overarching science questions about life, past climate, and geologic evolution of Mars, and (2) How can future instrumentation be used to address these questions. The panel considered the issues of data collection and archiving, value of field workshops, laboratory measurements and modeling, human exploration issues, association with other areas of solar system exploration, and education and public outreach activities. Parts of this work were performed under contract to NASA.

  8. The geological attitude

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fuller, J.G.C.M.

    1992-01-01

    This paper discusses geological activity which takes place mainly in response to industrial and social pressures. Past geological reaction to these pressures profoundly altered popular conceptions of time, the Church, man, and the balance of nature. The present-day circumstances of geology are not essentially different from those of the past. Petroleum geology in North American illustrates the role of technology in determining the style and scope of geological work. Peaks of activity cluster obviously on the introduction from time to time of new instrumental capabilities (geophysical apparatus, for example), although not infrequently such activity is testing concepts or relationships perceived long before. Organic metamorphism and continental drift provide two examples. The petroleum industry now faces the dilemma of satisfying predicted demands for fuel, without doing irreparable injury to its environment of operation. Awareness of man's place in nature, which is a fundamental perception of geology, governs the geological attitude

  9. Modeling the hydrological cycle on Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ghada Machtoub

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The study provides a detailed analysis of the hydrological cycle on Mars simulated with a newly developed microphysical model, incorporated in a spectral Mars General Circulation Model. The modeled hydrological cycle is compared well with simulations of other global climate models. The simulated seasonal migration ofwater vapor, circulation instability, and the high degree of temporal variability of localized water vapor outbursts are shown closely consistent with recent observations. The microphysical parameterization provides a significant improvement in the modeling of ice clouds evolved over the tropics and major ancient volcanoes on Mars. The most significant difference between the simulations presented here and other GCM results is the level at which the water ice clouds are found. The model findings also support interpretation of observed thermal anomalies in the Martian tropics during northern spring and summer seasons.

  10. The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) of Mars Express and its approach to science analysis and mapping for Mars and its satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gwinner, K.; Jaumann, R.; Hauber, E.; Hoffmann, H.; Heipke, C.; Oberst, J.; Neukum, G.; Ansan, V.; Bostelmann, J.; Dumke, A.; Elgner, S.; Erkeling, G.; Fueten, F.; Hiesinger, H.; Hoekzema, N. M.; Kersten, E.; Loizeau, D.; Matz, K.-D.; McGuire, P. C.; Mertens, V.; Michael, G.; Pasewaldt, A.; Pinet, P.; Preusker, F.; Reiss, D.; Roatsch, T.; Schmidt, R.; Scholten, F.; Spiegel, M.; Stesky, R.; Tirsch, D.; van Gasselt, S.; Walter, S.; Wählisch, M.; Willner, K.

    2016-07-01

    The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) of ESA's Mars Express is designed to map and investigate the topography of Mars. The camera, in particular its Super Resolution Channel (SRC), also obtains images of Phobos and Deimos on a regular basis. As HRSC is a push broom scanning instrument with nine CCD line detectors mounted in parallel, its unique feature is the ability to obtain along-track stereo images and four colors during a single orbital pass. The sub-pixel accuracy of 3D points derived from stereo analysis allows producing DTMs with grid size of up to 50 m and height accuracy on the order of one image ground pixel and better, as well as corresponding orthoimages. Such data products have been produced systematically for approximately 40% of the surface of Mars so far, while global shape models and a near-global orthoimage mosaic could be produced for Phobos. HRSC is also unique because it bridges between laser altimetry and topography data derived from other stereo imaging instruments, and provides geodetic reference data and geological context to a variety of non-stereo datasets. This paper, in addition to an overview of the status and evolution of the experiment, provides a review of relevant methods applied for 3D reconstruction and mapping, and respective achievements. We will also review the methodology of specific approaches to science analysis based on joint analysis of DTM and orthoimage information, or benefitting from high accuracy of co-registration between multiple datasets, such as studies using multi-temporal or multi-angular observations, from the fields of geomorphology, structural geology, compositional mapping, and atmospheric science. Related exemplary results from analysis of HRSC data will be discussed. After 10 years of operation, HRSC covered about 70% of the surface by panchromatic images at 10-20 m/pixel, and about 97% at better than 100 m/pixel. As the areas with contiguous coverage by stereo data are increasingly abundant, we also

  11. Testing a Mars science outpost in the Antarctic dry valleys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, D. T.; Mckay, C. P.; Wharton, R. A.; Rummel, J. D.

    1992-01-01

    Field research conducted in the Antarctic has been providing insights about the nature of Mars in the science disciplines of exobiology and geology. Located in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of southern Victoria Land (160 deg and 164 deg E longitude and 76 deg 30 min and 78 deg 30 min S latitude), research outposts are inhabited by teams of 4-6 scientists. It is proposed that the design of these outposts be expanded to enable meaningful tests of many of the systems that will be needed for the successful conduct of exploration activities on Mars. Although there are some important differences between the environment in the Antarctic dry valleys and on Mars, the many similarities and particularly the field science activities, make the dry valleys a useful terrestrial analog to conditions on Mars. Three areas have been identified for testing at a small science outpost in the dry valleys: (1) studying human factors and physiology in an isolated environment; (2) testing emerging technologies (e.g. innovative power management systems, advanced life support facilities including partial bioregenerative life support systems for water recycling and food growth, telerobotics, etc.); and (3) conducting basic scientific research that will enhance understanding of Mars while contributing to the planning for human exploration. It is suggested that an important early result of a Mars habitat program will be the experience gained by interfacing humans and their supporting technology in a remote and stressful environment.

  12. Terraced margins of inflated lava flows on Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimbelman, J. R.; Garry, W. B.; Bleacher, J. E.; Crumpler, L. S.

    2011-12-01

    When fluid basaltic lava flows are emplaced over a shallow regional slope (typically much less than one degree), the lava flows often display impressive characteristics of inflation. Here we describe a distinctive marginal characteristic that is often developed along the margins of endogenously inflated basaltic lava flows; discreet topographic levels of the emplaced lava that are here termed 'terraced margins'. Terraced margins were first noted at the distal end of the Carrizozo lava flow in central New Mexico, where they are particularly well expressed, but terraces have also been observed along some margins of the McCartys lava flow (NM), the distal end of the 1859 Mauna Loa lava flow (HI), and lava flows at Craters of the Moon (ID). Differential Global Positioning System surveys across several terraced margins reveal consistent topographic characteristics: the upper surface of each terrace level is at roughly one half the height of the sheet lobe from which it emerges; when a terrace becomes the source of an additional outbreak, the upper surface of the second terrace is at roughly one half the height of the source terrace; often a subtle topographic depression is present along the contact between a terrace and its source sheet lobe, suggesting that the terrace outflow starts at a level roughly one-third the height of the source lobe; the upper surfaces of both the source sheet lobe and associated terraces are level to within tens of centimeters across length scales of many tens to hundreds of meters, indicative of inflation of all components. The field observations will be used as the constraints for modeling of the inflation and terracing mechanisms, an effort that has only recently started. The multiple imaging data sets now available for Mars have revealed the presence of terraced margins on some lava flows on Mars. Although detailed topographic data are not currently available for the Martian examples identified so far, the presence of terraced margins for

  13. Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edgett, Kenneth S.; Yingst, R. Aileen; Ravine, Michael A.; Caplinger, Michael A.; Maki, Justin N.; Ghaemi, F. Tony; Schaffner, Jacob A.; Bell, James F.; Edwards, Laurence J.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Heydari, Ezat; Kah, Linda C.; Lemmon, Mark T.; Minitti, Michelle E.; Olson, Timothy S.; Parker, Timothy J.; Rowland, Scott K.; Schieber, Juergen; Sullivan, Robert J.; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Thomas, Peter C.; Jensen, Elsa H.; Simmonds, John J.; Sengstacken, Aaron J.; Wilson, Reg G.; Goetz, Walter

    2012-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) investigation will use a 2-megapixel color camera with a focusable macro lens aboard the rover, Curiosity, to investigate the stratigraphy and grain-scale texture, structure, mineralogy, and morphology of geologic materials in northwestern Gale crater. Of particular interest is the stratigraphic record of a ?5 km thick layered rock sequence exposed on the slopes of Aeolis Mons (also known as Mount Sharp). The instrument consists of three parts, a camera head mounted on the turret at the end of a robotic arm, an electronics and data storage assembly located inside the rover body, and a calibration target mounted on the robotic arm shoulder azimuth actuator housing. MAHLI can acquire in-focus images at working distances from ?2.1 cm to infinity. At the minimum working distance, image pixel scale is ?14 μm per pixel and very coarse silt grains can be resolved. At the working distance of the Mars Exploration Rover Microscopic Imager cameras aboard Spirit and Opportunity, MAHLI?s resolution is comparable at ?30 μm per pixel. Onboard capabilities include autofocus, auto-exposure, sub-framing, video imaging, Bayer pattern color interpolation, lossy and lossless compression, focus merging of up to 8 focus stack images, white light and longwave ultraviolet (365 nm) illumination of nearby subjects, and 8 gigabytes of non-volatile memory data storage.

  14. Guidelines for 2008 MARS exercise

    CERN Multimedia

    HR Department

    2008-01-01

    Full details of the Merit Appraisal and Recognition Scheme (MARS) are available via the HR Department’s homepage or directly on the Department’s MARS web page: https://cern.ch/hr-dept/ https://cern.ch/hr-eguide/mars/mars.asp You will find on these pages: MARS procedures including the MARS timetable for proposals and decisions; Regulations with links to the scheme’s statutory basis; Frequently Asked Questions; Useful documents with links to relevant documentation; e.g. mandate of the Senior Staff Advisory Committee (SSAC); Related links and contacts. HR Department Tel. 73566

  15. Surface navigation on Mars with a Navigation Satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vijayaraghavan, A.; Thurman, Sam W.; Kahn, Robert D.; Hastrup, Rolf C.

    Radiometric navigation data from the Deep Space Network (DSN) stations on the earth to transponders and other surface elements such as rovers and landers on Mars, can determine their positions to only within a kilometer in inertial space. The positional error is mostly in the z-component of the surface element parallel to the Martian spin-axis. However, with Doppler and differenced-Doppler data from a Navigation Satellite in orbit around Mars to two or more of such transponders on the planetary surface, their positions can be determined to within 15 meters (or 20 meters for one-way Doppler beacons on Mars) in inertial space. In this case, the transponders (or other vehicles) on Mars need not even be capable of directly communicating to the earth. When the Navigation Satellite data is complemented by radiometric observations from the DSN stations also, directly to the surface elements on Mars, their positions can be determined to within 3 meters in inertial space. The relative positions of such surface elements on Mars (relative to one another) in Mars-fixed coordinates, however, can be determined to within 5 meters from simply range and Doppler data from the DSN stations to the surface elements. These results are obtained from covariance studies assuming X-band data noise levels and data-arcs not exceeding 10 days. They are significant in the planning and deployment of a Mars-based navigation network necessary to support real-time operations during critical phases of manned exploration of Mars.

  16. The geological record of ocean acidification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hönisch, B.; Ridgwell, A.; Schmidt, D.N.; Thomas, E.; Gibbs, S.J.; Sluijs, A.; Zeebe, R.; Kump, L.; Martindale, R.C.; Greene, S.E.; Kiessling, W.; Ries, J.; Zachos, J.C.; Royer, D.L.; Barker, S.; Marchitto Jr., T.M.; Moyer, R.; Pelejero, C.; Ziveri, P.; Foster, G.L.; Williams, B.

    2012-01-01

    Ocean acidification may have severe consequences for marine ecosystems; however, assessing its future impact is difficult because laboratory experiments and field observations are limited by their reduced ecologic complexity and sample period, respectively. In contrast, the geological record

  17. Cerberus: The Mars Crowdsourcing Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van't Woud, J. S. S.; Sandberg, J. A. C.; Wielinga, B. J.

    2012-05-01

    This article discusses the use of crowdsourcing in a serious game. A computer game, called Cerberus, which allows players to tag surface features on Mars, has been developed. Developing the game has allowed us to investigate the effects of different help levels in supporting the transfer of knowledge, and also how changing the game features can affect the quality of the gaming experience. The performance of the players is measured in terms of precision and motivation. Precision reflects the quality of the work done and motivation is represented by the amount of work done by the players. Games with an explicit help function combined with a "rich gaming experience" resulted in significantly more motivation among the players than games with an implicit help function combined with a "poor gaming experience". There was no significant difference in the precision achieved under different game conditions, but it was high enough to generate Martian maps exposing aeolian processes, surface layering, river meanders and other concepts. The players were able to assimilate deeper concepts about Martian geology, and the data from the games were of such high quality that they could be used to support scientific research.

  18. Uniaxial Compressive Strengths of Rocks Drilled at Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, G. H.; Carey, E. M.; Anderson, R. C.; Abbey, W. J.; Kinnett, R.; Watkins, J. A.; Schemel, M.; Lashore, M. O.; Chasek, M. D.; Green, W.; Beegle, L. W.; Vasavada, A. R.

    2018-01-01

    Measuring the physical properties of geological materials is important for understanding geologic history. Yet there has never been an instrument with the purpose of measuring mechanical properties of rocks sent to another planet. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover employs the Powder Acquisition Drill System (PADS), which provides direct mechanical interaction with Martian outcrops. While the objective of the drill system is not to make scientific measurements, the drill's performance is directly influenced by the mechanical properties of the rocks it drills into. We have developed a methodology that uses the drill to indicate the uniaxial compressive strengths of rocks through comparison with performance of an identically assembled drill system in terrestrial samples of comparable sedimentary class. During this investigation, we utilize engineering data collected on Mars to calculate the percussive energy needed to maintain a prescribed rate of penetration and correlate that to rock strength.

  19. Environmental geology and hydrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakić, Zoran; Mileusnić, Marta; Pavlić, Krešimir; Kovač, Zoran

    2017-10-01

    Environmental geology is scientific discipline dealing with the interactions between humans and the geologic environment. Many natural hazards, which have great impact on humans and their environment, are caused by geological settings. On the other hand, human activities have great impact on the physical environment, especially in the last decades due to dramatic human population growth. Natural disasters often hit densely populated areas causing tremendous death toll and material damage. Demand for resources enhanced remarkably, as well as waste production. Exploitation of mineral resources deteriorate huge areas of land, produce enormous mine waste and pollute soil, water and air. Environmental geology is a broad discipline and only selected themes will be presented in the following subchapters: (1) floods as natural hazard, (2) water as geological resource and (3) the mining and mineral processing as types of human activities dealing with geological materials that affect the environment and human health.

  20. Remanent magnetism at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, S. A.; Ness, N. F.

    1988-01-01

    It is shown that a strong case can be made for an intrinsic magnetic field of dynamo origin for Mars earlier in its history. The typical equatorial magnetic field intensity would have been equal to about 0.01-0.1 gauss. The earlier dynamo activity is no longer extant, but a significant remanent magnetic field may exist. A highly non-dipole magnetic field could result from the remanent magnetization of the surface. Remanent magnetization may thus play an important role in the Mars solar wind interactions, in contrast to Venus with its surface temperatures above the Curie point. The anomalous characteristics of Mars'solar wind interaction compared to that of Venus may be explicable on this basis.

  1. Spiders from Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-426, 19 July 2003No, this is not a picture of a giant, martian spider web. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a plethora of polygonal features on the floor of a northern hemisphere impact crater near 65.6oN, 327.7oW. The picture was acquired during spring, after the seasonal carbon dioxide frost cap had largely migrated through the region. At the time the picture was taken, remnants of seasonal frost remained on the crater rim and on the edges of the troughs that bound each of the polygons. Frost often provides a helpful hint as to where polygons and patterned ground occur. The polygons, if they were on Earth, would indicate the presence of freeze-thaw cycles in ground ice. Although uncertain, the same might be true of Mars. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

  2. Did Viking discover life on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, H. P.

    1999-01-01

    A major argument in the claim that life had been discovered during the Viking mission to Mars is that the results obtained in the Labeled Release (LR) experiment are analogous to those observed with terrestrial microorganisms. This assertion is critically examined and found to be implausible.

  3. Mars' radio spectrum and the flying dust.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roos-Serote, M.; Stam, D.M.; Fender, R.P.

    2004-01-01

    Mars' radio spectrum at centimeter wavelengths is produced by thermal radiation from the surface and sub-surface. Observations at 2.8 cm made in the 1975 and 1978 show variations of its radio brightness as a function of longitude on the planet (Doherty et al. , ApJ 233, 1979). In addition, an

  4. New Model for Ionospheric Irregularities at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keskinen, M. J.

    2018-03-01

    A new model for ionospheric irregularities at Mars is presented. It is shown that wind-driven currents in the dynamo region of the Martian ionosphere can be unstable to the electromagnetic gradient drift instability. This plasma instability can generate ionospheric density and magnetic field irregularities with scale sizes of approximately 15-20 km down to a few kilometers. We show that the instability-driven magnetic field fluctuation amplitudes relative to background are correlated with the ionospheric density fluctuation amplitudes relative to background. Our results can explain recent observations made by the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN spacecraft in the Martian ionosphere dynamo region.

  5. Frost on Mars Rover Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    Frost can form on surfaces if enough water is present and the temperature is sufficiently low. On each of NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers, the calibration target for the panoramic camera provides a good place to look for such events. A thin frost was observed by Opportunity's panoramic camera on the rover's 257th sol (Oct. 13, 2004) 11 minutes after sunrise (left image). The presence of the frost is most clearly seen on the post in the center of the target, particularly when compared with the unsegmented outer ring of the target, which is white. The post is normally black. For comparison, note the difference in appearance in the image on the right, taken about three hours later, after the frost had dissipated. Frost has not been observed at Spirit, where the amount of atmospheric water vapor is observed to be appreciably lower. Both images were taken through a filter centered at a wavelength of 440 nanometers (blue).

  6. Weathering Profiles in Phosphorus-Rich Rocks at Gusev Crater, Mars, Suggest Dissolution of Phosphate Minerals into Potentially Habitable Near-Neutral Waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adcock, Christopher T; Hausrath, Elisabeth M

    2015-12-01

    Abundant evidence indicates that significant surface and near-surface liquid water has existed on Mars in the past. Evaluating the potential for habitable environments on Mars requires an understanding of the chemical and physical conditions that prevailed in such aqueous environments. Among the geological features that may hold evidence of past environmental conditions on Mars are weathering profiles, such as those in the phosphorus-rich Wishstone-class rocks in Gusev Crater. The weathering profiles in these rocks indicate that a Ca-phosphate mineral has been lost during past aqueous interactions. The high phosphorus content of these rocks and potential release of phosphorus during aqueous interactions also make them of astrobiological interest, as phosphorus is among the elements required for all known life. In this work, we used Mars mission data, laboratory-derived kinetic and thermodynamic data, and data from terrestrial analogues, including phosphorus-rich basalts from Idaho, to model a conceptualized Wishstone-class rock using the reactive transport code CrunchFlow. Modeling results most consistent with the weathering profiles in Wishstone-class rocks suggest a combination of chemical and physical erosion and past aqueous interactions with near-neutral waters. The modeling results also indicate that multiple Ca-phosphate minerals are likely in Wishstone-class rocks, consistent with observations of martian meteorites. These findings suggest that Gusev Crater experienced a near-neutral phosphate-bearing aqueous environment that may have been conducive to life on Mars in the past. Mars-Gusev Crater-Wishstone-Reactive transport modeling-CrunchFlow-Aqueous interactions-Neutral pH-Habitability.

  7. Celestial Navigation on the Surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malay, Benjamin P.

    2001-05-01

    A simple, accurate, and autonomous method of finding position on the surface of Mars currently does not exist. The goal of this project is to develop a celestial navigation process that will fix a position on Mars with 100-meter accuracy. This method requires knowing the position of the stars and planets referenced to the Martian surface with one arcsecond accuracy. This information is contained in an ephemeris known as the Aeronautical Almanac (from Ares, the god of war) . Naval Observatory Vector Astrometry Subroutines (NOVAS) form the basis of the code used to generate the almanac. Planetary position data come the JPL DE405 Planetary Ephemeris. The theoretical accuracy of the almanac is determined mathematically and compared with the Ephemeris for Physical Observations of Mars contained in the Astronautical Almanac. A preliminary design of an autonomous celestial navigation system is presented. Recommendations of how to integrate celestial navigation into NASA=s current Mars exploration program are also discussed. This project is a useful and much-needed first step towards establishing celestial navigation as a practical way to find position on the surface of Mars.

  8. Case for a wet, warm climate on early Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pollack, J.B.; Kasting, J.F.; Richardson, S.M.; Poliakoff, K.

    1987-01-01

    Arguments are presented in support of the idea that Mars possessed a dense CO 2 atmosphere and a wet, warm climate early in its history. The plausibility of a CO 2 greenhouse is tested by formulating a simple model of the CO 2 geochemical cycle on early Mars. By scaling the rate of silicate weathering on Earth, researchers estimated a weathering time constant of the order of several times 10 to the 7th power years for early Mars. Thus, a dense atmosphere could have existed for a geologically significant time period (approx. 10 to the 9th power years) only if atmospheric CO 2 was being continuously resupplied. The most likely mechanism by which this could have been accomplished is the thermal decomposition of carbonate rocks induced directly or indirectly by intense, global scale volcanism

  9. NASA Curiosity rover hits organic pay dirt on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voosen, Paul

    2018-06-01

    Since NASA's Curiosity rover landed on Mars in 2012, it has sifted samples of soil and ground-up rock for signs of organic molecules—the complex carbon chains that on Earth form the building blocks of life. Past detections have been so faint that they could be just contamination. Now, samples taken from two different drill sites on an ancient lakebed have yielded complex organic macromolecules that look strikingly similar to kerogen, the goopy fossilized building blocks of oil and gas on Earth. At a few dozen parts per million, the detected levels are 100 times higher than previous finds, but scientists still cannot say whether they have origins in biology or geology. The discovery positions scientists to begin searching for direct evidence of past life on Mars and bolsters the case for returning rock samples from the planet, an effort that begins with the Mars 2020 rover.

  10. Mars Gashopper Airplane, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Mars Gas Hopper Airplane, or "gashopper" is a novel concept for propulsion of a robust Mars flight and surface exploration vehicle that utilizes indigenous CO2...

  11. Frost on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This image shows bluish-white frost seen on the Martian surface near NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander. The image was taken by the lander's Surface Stereo Imager on the 131st Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Oct. 7, 2008). Frost is expected to continue to appear in images as fall, then winter approach Mars' northern plains. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  12. Lakes on Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Cabrol, Nathalie A

    2014-01-01

    On Earth, lakes provide favorable environments for the development of life and its preservation as fossils. They are extremely sensitive to climate fluctuations and to conditions within their watersheds. As such, lakes are unique markers of the impact of environmental changes. Past and current missions have now demonstrated that water once flowed at the surface of Mars early in its history. Evidence of ancient ponding has been uncovered at scales ranging from a few kilometers to possibly that of the Arctic ocean. Whether life existed on Mars is still unknown; upcoming missions may find critic

  13. Geology of Kilauea volcano

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moore, R.B. (Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States). Federal Center); Trusdell, F.A. (Geological Survey, Hawaii National Park, HI (United States). Hawaiian Volcano Observatory)

    1993-08-01

    This paper summarizes studies of the structure, stratigraphy, petrology, drill holes, eruption frequency, and volcanic and seismic hazards of Kilauea volcano. All the volcano is discussed, but the focus is on its lower east rift zone (LERZ) because active exploration for geothermal energy is concentrated in that area. Kilauea probably has several separate hydrothermal-convection systems that develop in response to the dynamic behavior of the volcano and the influx of abundant meteoric water. Important features of some of these hydrothermal-convection systems are known through studies of surface geology and drill holes. Observations of eruptions during the past two centuries, detailed geologic mapping, radiocarbon dating, and paleomagnetic secular-variation studies indicate that Kilauea has erupted frequently from its summit and two radial rift zones during Quaternary time. Petrologic studies have established that Kilauea erupts only tholeiitic basalt. Extensive ash deposits at Kilauea's summit and on its LERZ record locally violent, but temporary, disruptions of local hydrothermal-convection systems during the interaction of water or steam with magma. Recent drill holes on the LERZ provide data on the temperatures of the hydrothermal-convection systems, intensity of dike intrusion, porosity and permeability, and an increasing amount of hydrothermal alteration with depth. The prehistoric and historic record of volcanic and seismic activity indicates that magma will continue to be supplied to deep and shallow reservoirs beneath Kilauea's summit and rift zones and that the volcano will be affected by eruptions and earthquakes for many thousands of years. 71 refs., 2 figs.

  14. Water on Mars - Volatile history and resource availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakosky, Bruce M.

    1990-01-01

    An attempt is made to define the available deposits of water in the near-surface region of Mars which will be available to human exploration missions. The Martian seasonal water cycle is reviewed, and geochemical and geological constraints on the availability of water are examined. It is concluded that the only sure source of water in amounts significant as a resource are in the polar ice deposits.

  15. Effects of megascale eruptions on Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thordarson, T.; Rampino, M.; Keszthelyi, L.P.; Self, S.

    2009-01-01

    Volcanic features are common on geologically active earthlike planets. Megascale or "super" eruptions involving >1000 Gt of magma have occurred on both Earth and Mars in the geologically recent past, introducing prodigious volumes of ash and volcanic gases into the atmosphere. Here we discuss felsic (explosive) and mafi c (flood lava) supereruptions and their potential atmospheric and environmental effects on both planets. On Earth, felsic supereruptions recur on average about every 100-200,000 years and our present knowledge of the 73.5 ka Toba eruption implies that such events can have the potential to be catastrophic to human civilization. A future eruption of this type may require an unprecedented response from humankind to assure the continuation of civilization as we know it. Mafi c supereruptions have resulted in atmospheric injection of volcanic gases (especially SO2) and may have played a part in punctuating the history of life on Earth. The contrast between the more sustained effects of flood basalt eruptions (decades to centuries) and the near-instantaneous effects of large impacts (months to years) is worthy of more detailed study than has been completed to date. Products of mafi c supereruptions, signifi cantly larger than known from the geologic record on Earth, are well preserved on Mars. The volatile emissions from these eruptions most likely had global dispersal, but the effects may not have been outside what Mars endures even in the absence of volcanic eruptions. This is testament to the extreme variability of the current Martian atmosphere: situations that would be considered catastrophic on Earth are the norm on Mars. ?? 2009 The Geological Society of America.

  16. Geology Before Pluto: Pre-encounter Considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, J. M.

    2014-12-01

    Pluto, its large satellite Charon, and its four small known satellites represent the first trans-Neptunian Kuiper Belt objects populating the outer-most solar system beyond the gas giant planets to be studied in detail from a spacecraft (New Horizons). A complete picture of the solar nebula and solar system formation cannot be confidently formulated until representatives of this group of bodies at the edge of solar space have been examined. The Pluto system is composed of unique, lunar- and intermediate-sized objects that can tell us much about how objects with volatile icy compositions evolve. Modeling of the interior suggests that geologic activity may have been significant to some degree, and observations of frost on the surface could imply the need for a geologic reservoir for the replenishment of these phases. However, these putative indicators of Pluto's geologic history are inconclusive and unspecific. Detailed examination of Pluto's geologic record is the only plausible means of bridging the gap between theory and observation. In this talk I will examine the potential importance of these tentative indications of geologic activity and how specific spacecraft observations have been designed and used to constrain the Pluto system's geologic history. The cameras of New Horizons will provide robust data sets that should be immanently amenable to geological analysis of the Pluto system's landscapes. In this talk, we begin with a brief discussion of the planned observations by the New Horizons cameras that will bear most directly on geological interpretability. Then I will broadly review major geological processes that could potentially operate on the surfaces of Pluto and its moons. I will first survey exogenic processes (i.e., those for which energy for surface modification is supplied externally to the planetary surface): impact cratering, sedimentary processes (including volatile migration), and the work of wind. I will conclude with an assessment of the

  17. Geology Before Pluto: Pre-Encounter Considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Jeffrey M.

    2014-01-01

    Pluto, its large satellite Charon, and its four known satellites represent the first trans-Neptunian Kuiper Belt objects populating the outer-most solar system beyond the gas giant planets to be studied in detail from a spacecraft (New Horizons). A complete picture of the solar nebula, and solar system formation cannot be confidently formulated until representatives of this group of bodies at the edge of solar space have been examined. The Pluto system is composed of unique lunar- and intermediate-sized objects that can tell us much about how objects with volatile icy compositions evolve. Modeling of the interior suggests that geologic activity may have been to some degree, and observations of frost on the surface could imply the need for a geologic reservoir for the replenishment of these phases. However, the putative indicators of Pluto's geologic history are inconclusive and unspecific. Detailed examination of Pluto's geologic record is the only plausible means of bridging the gap between theory and observations. In this talk I will examine the potential importance of these tentative indications of geologic activity and how specific spacecraft observations have been designed and used to constrain the Pluto system's geologic history. The cameras of New Horizons will provide robust data sets that should be immanently amenable to geological analysis of the Pluto System's landscapes. In this talk, we begin with a brief discussion of the planned observations by New Horizons' cameras that will bear most directly on geological interpretability. Then I will broadly review major geological processes that could potentially operate of the surfaces of Pluto and its moons. I will first survey exogenic processes (i.e., those for which energy for surface modification is supplied externally to the planetary surface): impact cratering, sedimentary processes (including volatile migration) and the work of wind. I will conclude with an assessment of prospects for endogenic activity

  18. Geology's Impact on Culture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pizzorusso, Ann

    2017-04-01

    Most people consider geology boring, static and difficult. The fields of astronomy and physics have "rebranded" themselves with exciting programs formatted so as to be readily understandable to the general public. The same thing can be done for geology. My research on geology's influence on other disciplines has resulted in a book, Tweeting da Vinci, in which I was able to show how geology affected Italy's art, architecture, medicine, religion, literature, engineering and just about everything else. The reaction to the book and my lectures by both students and the general public has been very positive, including four gold medals, with reviews and comments indicating that they never knew geology could be so exciting. The book is very user friendly, packed with facts, full-color photos, paintings, sketches and illustrations. Complex aspects of geology are presented in an easily understandable style. Widely diverse topics—such as gemology, folk remedies, grottoes, painting, literature, physics and religion—are stitched together using geology as a thread. Quoting everyone from Pliny the Elder to NASA physicist Friedemann Freund, the work is solidly backed scholarship that reads as easily as a summer novel. The book can be used in classes such as physics, chemistry, literature, art history, medicine, Classical Studies, Latin, Greek and Italian. By incorporating a "geologic perspective" in these courses, it can be perceived as a more "all encompassing" discipline and encourage more students to study it. The lectures I have given on college campuses have resulted in students seeing their own majors from a different perspective and some have even signed up for introductory geology courses. One college organized summer course to the Bay of Naples based on the book. We followed the geology as well as the culture of the area and the students were profoundly moved. To encourage dialog, the book is linked to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This has enabled followers from

  19. Transitioning Groundwater from an Extractive Resource to a Managed Water Storage Resource: Geology and Recharge in Sedimentary Basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maples, S.; Fogg, G. E.; Maxwell, R. M.; Liu, Y.

    2017-12-01

    Civilizations have typically obtained water from natural and constructed surface-water resources throughout most of human history. Only during the last 50-70 years has a significant quantity of water for humans been obtained through pumping from wells. During this short time, alarming levels of groundwater depletion have been observed worldwide, especially in some semi-arid and arid regions that rely heavily on groundwater pumping from clastic sedimentary basins. In order to reverse the negative effects of over-exploitation of groundwater resources, we must transition from treating groundwater mainly as an extractive resource to one in which recharge and subsurface storage are pursued more aggressively. However, this remains a challenge because unlike surface-water reservoirs which are typically replenished over annual timescales, the complex geologic architecture of clastic sedimentary basins impedes natural groundwater recharge rates resulting in decadal or longer timescales for aquifer replenishment. In parts of California's Central Valley alluvial aquifer system, groundwater pumping has outpaced natural groundwater recharge for decades. Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) has been promoted to offset continued groundwater overdraft, but MAR to the confined aquifer system remains a challenge because multiple laterally-extensive silt and clay aquitards limit recharge rates in most locations. Here, we simulate the dynamics of MAR and identify potential recharge pathways in this system using a novel combination of (1) a high-resolution model of the subsurface geologic heterogeneity and (2) a physically-based model of variably-saturated, three-dimensional water flow. Unlike most groundwater models, which have coarse spatial resolution that obscures the detailed subsurface geologic architecture of these systems, our high-resolution model can pinpoint specific geologic features and locations that have the potential to `short-circuit' aquitards and provide orders

  20. In Situ Strategy of the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory to Investigate the Habitability of Ancient Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2011-01-01

    The ten science investigations of the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover named "Curiosity" seek to provide a quantitative assessment of habitability through chemical and geological measurements from a highly capable robotic' platform. This mission seeks to understand if the conditions for life on ancient Mars are preserved in the near-surface geochemical record. These substantial payload resources enabled by MSL's new entry descent and landing (EDL) system have allowed the inclusion of instrument types nevv to the Mars surface including those that can accept delivered sample from rocks and soils and perform a wide range of chemical, isotopic, and mineralogical analyses. The Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) experiment that is located in the interior of the rover is a powder x-ray Diffraction (XRD) and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) instrument that provides elemental and mineralogical information. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of instruments complements this experiment by analyzing the volatile component of identically processed samples and by analyzing atmospheric composition. Other MSL payload tools such as the Mast Camera (Mastcam) and the Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) instruments are utilized to identify targets for interrogation first by the arm tools and subsequent ingestion into SAM and CheMin using the Sample Acquisition, Processing, and Handling (SA/SPaH) subsystem. The arm tools include the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) and the Chemistry and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXX). The Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) instrument provides subsurface identification of hydrogen such as that contained in hydrated minerals

  1. The Raman Laser Spectrometer for the ExoMars Rover Mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rull, Fernando; Maurice, Sylvestre; Hutchinson, Ian; Moral, Andoni; Perez, Carlos; Diaz, Carlos; Colombo, Maria; Belenguer, Tomas; Lopez-Reyes, Guillermo; Sansano, Antonio; Forni, Olivier; Parot, Yann; Striebig, Nicolas; Woodward, Simon; Howe, Chris; Tarcea, Nicolau; Rodriguez, Pablo; Seoane, Laura; Santiago, Amaia; Rodriguez-Prieto, Jose A.; Medina, Jesús; Gallego, Paloma; Canchal, Rosario; Santamaría, Pilar; Ramos, Gonzalo; Vago, Jorge L.; RLS Team

    2017-07-01

    The Raman Laser Spectrometer (RLS) on board the ESA/Roscosmos ExoMars 2020 mission will provide precise identification of the mineral phases and the possibility to detect organics on the Red Planet. The RLS will work on the powdered samples prepared inside the Pasteur analytical suite and collected on the surface and subsurface by a drill system. Raman spectroscopy is a well-known analytical technique based on the inelastic scattering by matter of incident monochromatic light (the Raman effect) that has many applications in laboratory and industry, yet to be used in space applications. Raman spectrometers will be included in two Mars rovers scheduled to be launched in 2020. The Raman instrument for ExoMars 2020 consists of three main units: (1) a transmission spectrograph coupled to a CCD detector; (2) an electronics box, including the excitation laser that controls the instrument functions; and (3) an optical head with an autofocus mechanism illuminating and collecting the scattered light from the spot under investigation. The optical head is connected to the excitation laser and the spectrometer by optical fibers. The instrument also has two targets positioned inside the rover analytical laboratory for onboard Raman spectral calibration. The aim of this article was to present a detailed description of the RLS instrument, including its operation on Mars. To verify RLS operation before launch and to prepare science scenarios for the mission, a simulator of the sample analysis chain has been developed by the team. The results obtained are also discussed. Finally, the potential of the Raman instrument for use in field conditions is addressed. By using a ruggedized prototype, also developed by our team, a wide range of terrestrial analog sites across the world have been studied. These investigations allowed preparing a large collection of real, in situ spectra of samples from different geological processes and periods of Earth evolution. On this basis, we are working

  2. Thermophysical Properties of Mars' North Polar Layered Deposits and Related Materials from Mars Odyssey THEMIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasavada, A. R.; Richardson, M. I.; Byrne, S.; Ivanov, A. B.; Christensen, P. R.

    2003-01-01

    The presence of a thick sequence of horizontal layers of ice-rich material at Mars north pole, dissected by troughs and eroding at its margins, is undoubtedly telling us something about the evolution of Mars climate [1,2] we just don t know what yet. The North Polar Layered Deposits (NPLD) most likely formed as astronomically driven climate variations led to the deposition of conformable, areally extensive layers of ice and dust over the polar region. More recently, the balance seems to have fundamentally shifted to net erosion, as evidenced by the many troughs within the NPLD and the steep, arcuate scarps present near its margins, both of which expose layering. We defined a number of Regions of Interest ROI) for THEMIS to target as part of the Mars Odyssey Participating Scientist program. We use these THEMIS data in order to understand the morphology and color/thermal properties of the NPLD and related materials over relevant (i.e., m to km) spatial scales. We have assembled color mosaics of our ROIs in order to map the distribution of ices, the different layered units, dark material, and underlying basement. The color information from THEMIS is crucial for distinguishing these different units which are less distinct on Mars Orbiter Camera images. We wish to understand the nature of the marginal scarps and their relationship to the dark material. Our next, more ambitious goal is to derive the thermophysical properties of the different geologic materials using THEMIS and Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer TES) data.

  3. Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor Outreach Compilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-09-01

    This videotape is a compilation of the best NASA JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) videos of the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor missions. The mission is described using animation and narration as well as some actual footage of the entire sequence of mission events. Included within these animations are the spacecraft orbit insertion; descent to the Mars surface; deployment of the airbags and instruments; and exploration by Sojourner, the Mars rover. JPL activities at spacecraft control during significant mission events are also included at the end. The spacecraft cameras pan the surrounding Mars terrain and film Sojourner traversing the surface and inspecting rocks. A single, brief, processed image of the Cydonia region (Mars face) at an oblique angle from the Mars Global Surveyor is presented. A description of the Mars Pathfinder mission, instruments, landing and deployment process, Mars approach, spacecraft orbit insertion, rover operation are all described using computer animation. Actual color footage of Sojourner as well as a 360 deg pan of the Mars terrain surrounding the spacecraft is provided. Lower quality black and white photography depicting Sojourner traversing the Mars surface and inspecting Martian rocks also is included.

  4. Mars at war

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-04-01

    Whether the climate of early Mars was warm and wet or cold and dry remains unclear, but the debate is overheated. With a growing toolbox and increasing data to tackle the open questions, progress is possible if there is openness to bridging the divide.

  5. Watersporen op Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seijmonsbergen, A.C.; Cammeraat, L.H.; Jansen, B.

    2005-01-01

    SAMENVATTING De discussie over het voorkomen van water op Mars, in vaste of vloeibare vorm, nu en in het verleden, is nog steeds in volle gang. Dat geldt ook voor het effect van mogelijk aanwezig water op de landschapsontwikkeling van de Rode Planeet. Met het vrijkomen van steeds meer nieuwe

  6. Ancient aliens on mars

    CERN Document Server

    Bara, Mike

    2013-01-01

    Best-selling author and Secret Space Program researcher Bara brings us this lavishly illustrated volume on alien structures on Mars. Was there once a vast, technologically advanced civilization on Mars, and did it leave evidence of its existence behind for humans to find eons later? Did these advanced extraterrestrial visitors vanish in a solar system wide cataclysm of their own making, only to make their way to Earth and start anew? Was Mars once as lush and green as the Earth, and teeming with life? Did Mars once orbit a missing member of the solar system, a "Super Earth” that vanished in a disaster that devastated life on Earth and Venus and left us only the asteroid belt as evidence of its once grand existence? Did the survivors of this catastrophe leave monuments and temples behind, arranged in a mathematical precision designed to teach us the Secret of a new physics that could lift us back to the stars? Does the planet have an automated defense shield that swallows up robotic probes if they wander int...

  7. Mars Mission Specialist

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, Bill; Ogden, Kate; Walker, Becky; Bledsoe, Leslie; Hardage, Lauren

    2018-01-01

    For the last several years, the authors have implemented an integrated Mars Colony project for their third-grade classes. Students explored several considerations related to colonizing and inhabiting a new world, including food sources, types of citizens, transportation, and housing design. Nearly everything about the project was open-ended, full…

  8. Radon in geological medium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hricko, J [GEOCOMPLEX, a.s., Bratislava (Slovakia)

    1996-12-31

    The paper presented deals with behavior of the radon in geological medium and with some results of the radon survey in Bratislava and Kosice regions. 1) The a{sub v} has been detected in the holes 0.80 m deep. The density of observations - 3 reference areas (one represents 20 stations) per 1 km{sup 2}. The radon risk maps in 1:25000 and 1:50000 scales have been compiled. The 56.8% of the project area lies in low radon risk, 37.6% in medium radon risk and 5.6% in high radon risk. Follow-up monitoring of the equivalent volume radon activity (EVRA) at the flats, located in the areas with high radon risk of the surface layer, has showed values several times higher than Slovak limits (Marianka, Raca, Vajnory). The evidence that neotectonic is excellent medium for rising up emanation to the subsurface layer, is shown on the map. The tectonic zone of Liscie udolie in Bratislava-Karlova Ves area has been clearly detected by profile radon survey (a{sub v} > 50 kBq/m{sup 3}). 2) At present, northern half of the area of Kosice in question was covered by radon survey. The low and medium radon risks have been observed here, while localities with high radon risk are small in extent. The part of radon risk and soil permeability map from northern Kosice area is shown. (J.K.) 3 figs., 2 refs.

  9. Radon in geological medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hricko, J.

    1995-01-01

    The paper presented deals with behavior of the radon in geological medium and with some results of the radon survey in Bratislava and Kosice regions. 1) The a v has been detected in the holes 0.80 m deep. The density of observations - 3 reference areas (one represents 20 stations) per 1 km 2 . The radon risk maps in 1:25000 and 1:50000 scales have been compiled. The 56.8% of the project area lies in low radon risk, 37.6% in medium radon risk and 5.6% in high radon risk. Follow-up monitoring of the equivalent volume radon activity (EVRA) at the flats, located in the areas with high radon risk of the surface layer, has showed values several times higher than Slovak limits (Marianka, Raca, Vajnory). The evidence that neotectonic is excellent medium for rising up emanation to the subsurface layer, is shown on the map. The tectonic zone of Liscie udolie in Bratislava-Karlova Ves area has been clearly detected by profile radon survey (a v > 50 kBq/m 3 ). 2) At present, northern half of the area of Kosice in question was covered by radon survey. The low and medium radon risks have been observed here, while localities with high radon risk are small in extent. The part of radon risk and soil permeability map from northern Kosice area is shown. (J.K.) 3 figs., 2 refs

  10. Mars ionopause during solar minimum: A lesson from Venus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mahajan, K.K.; Mayr, H.G.

    1990-01-01

    The ion densities measured by the Viking landers (Hanson et al., 1977) do not show an abrupt falloff with height, giving the false impression that Mars has no ionopause. On the basis of knowledge gained from the solar wind interaction at Venus during solar minimum, they demonstrate that the observed O 2 + profile above about 160 km on Mars is a distributed photodynamical ionosphere and can produce an ionopause at around 325 km, similar to that observed on Venus during solar minimum. They conclude that the solar wind interacts directly with the Mars ionosphere, suggesting that the planet does not have an intrinsic magnetic field of any consequence

  11. MarsSI: Martian surface data processing information system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quantin-Nataf, C.; Lozac'h, L.; Thollot, P.; Loizeau, D.; Bultel, B.; Fernando, J.; Allemand, P.; Dubuffet, F.; Poulet, F.; Ody, A.; Clenet, H.; Leyrat, C.; Harrisson, S.

    2018-01-01

    MarsSI (Acronym for Mars System of Information, https://emars.univ-lyon1.fr/MarsSI/, is a web Geographic Information System application which helps managing and processing martian orbital data. The MarsSI facility is part of the web portal called PSUP (Planetary SUrface Portal) developed by the Observatories of Paris Sud (OSUPS) and Lyon (OSUL) to provide users with efficient and easy access to data products dedicated to the martian surface. The portal proposes 1) the management and processing of data thanks to MarsSI and 2) the visualization and merging of high level (imagery, spectral, and topographic) products and catalogs via a web-based user interface (MarsVisu). The portal PSUP as well as the facility MarsVisu is detailed in a companion paper (Poulet et al., 2018). The purpose of this paper is to describe the facility MarsSI. From this application, users are able to easily and rapidly select observations, process raw data via automatic pipelines, and get back final products which can be visualized under Geographic Information Systems. Moreover, MarsSI also contains an automatic stereo-restitution pipeline in order to produce Digital Terrain Models (DTM) on demand from HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) or CTX (Context Camera) pair-images. This application is funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) (ERC project eMars, No. 280168) and has been developed in the scope of Mars, but the design is applicable to any other planetary body of the solar system.

  12. Implementing a Science-driven Mars Exploration Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garvin, J. B.

    2001-12-01

    NASA's newly restructured Mars Exploration Program (MEP) was developed on the basis of the goals, objectives, investigations, and prioritizations established by the Mars Exploration Payload Analysis Group (as summarized previously by Greeley et al., 2001). The underlying scientific strategy is linked to common threads which include the many roles water has played on and within Mars as a "system". The implementation strategy that has been adopted relies heavily on an ever-sharpening program of reconnaissance, beginning with the legacy of the Mars Global Surveyor, continuing with the multispectral and compositional observations of the Mars Odyssey orbiter, and extending to a first step in surface-based reconnaissance with the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers. The results of MGS and Odyssey will serve to focus the trade space of localities where the record, for example, of persistent surface water may have been preserved in a mineralogical sense. The 2005 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will further downselect the subset of sites on Mars where evidence of depositional patterns and aqueous mineralogies (i.e., diagenetic minerals) are most striking at scales as fine as tens to hundreds of meters. Reconnaissance will move to the surface and shallow subsurface in 2007 with the Mars "Smart Lander" (MSL), at which time an extensive array of mobile scientific exploration tools will be used to examine a locality at 10km traverse scales, ultimately asking scientific questions which can be classed as paleobiological (i.e., life inference). Further orbital reconnaissance may be undertaken in 2009, perhaps involving targeted multi-wavelength SAR imaging, in anticipation of a precisely targeted Mars Sample Return mission as early as 2011. This sequence of core program MEP missions will be amplified by the selection of PI-led SCOUT missions, starting in 2007, and continuing every other Mars launch opportunity.

  13. Discovering Parameters for Ancient Mars Atmospheric Profiles by Modeling Volcanic Eruptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, A.; Clarke, A. B.; Van Eaton, A. R.; Mastin, L. G.

    2017-12-01

    Evidence of explosive volcanic deposits on Mars motivates questions about the behavior of eruption plumes in the Ancient and current Martian atmosphere. Early modeling studies suggested that Martian plumes may rise significantly higher than their terrestrial equivalents (Wilson and Head, 1994, Rev. Geophys., 32, 221-263). We revisit the issue using a steady-state 1-D model of volcanic plumes (Plumeria: Mastin, 2014, JGR, doi:10.1002/2013JD020604) along with a range of reasonable temperature and pressures. The model assumes perfect coupling of particles with the gas phase in the plume, and Stokes number analysis indicates that this is a reasonable assumption for particle diameters less than 5 mm to 1 micron. Our estimates of Knudsen numbers support the continuum assumption. The tested atmospheric profiles include an estimate of current Martian atmosphere based on data from voyager mission (Seif, A., Kirk, D.B., (1977) Geophys., 82,4364-4378), a modern Earth-like atmosphere, and several other scenarios based on variable tropopause heights and near-surface atmospheric density estimates from the literature. We simulated plume heights using mass eruption rates (MER) ranging from 1 x 103 to 1 x 1010 kg s-1 to create a series of new theoretical MER-plume height scaling relationships that may be useful for considering plume injection heights, climate impacts, and global-scale ash dispersal patterns in Mars' recent and ancient geological past. Our results show that volcanic plumes in a modern Martian atmosphere may rise up to three times higher than those on Earth. We also find that the modern Mars atmosphere does not allow eruption columns to collapse, and thus does not allow for the formation of column-collapse pyroclastic density currents, a phenomenon thought to have occurred in Mars' past based on geological observations. The atmospheric density at the surface, and especially the height of the tropopause, affect the slope of the MER-plume height curve and control

  14. The Use of Water During the Crew 144, Mars Desert Research Station, Utah Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Morais Mendonca Teles, Antonio

    2016-07-01

    Well. from November 29th to December 14th, 2014, the author conducted astrobiological and geological surveys, as analog astronaut member of the international Crew 144, at the site of the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station, located at a remote location in the Utah desert, United States. The use of water for drinking, bathing, cleaning, etc., in the crew was a major issue for consideration for a human expedition to the planet Mars in the future. The author would like to tell about the factors of the rationalized use of water.

  15. What should we look for when we return to Mars?. [possibility of extraterrestrial life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soffen, G. A.

    1988-01-01

    The current state of knowledge about Mars is examined, and the details of current planned missions (Phobos and the Mars Orbiter) are considered. Speculations on some of the major future avenues of Mars research are presented; particular attention is given to questions relating to the early geological processes that resulted in Martian surface features, the effect liquid water has had on the planet, the volatile dynamics and chemistry, the chemistry of the iron-rich clays, the organic-compound mystery, and the biological issue.

  16. AEGIS geologic simulation model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Foley, M.G.

    1982-01-01

    The Geologic Simulation Model (GSM) is used by the AEGIS (Assessment of Effectiveness of Geologic Isolation Systems) program at the Pacific Northwest Laboratory to simulate the dynamic geology and hydrology of a geologic nuclear waste repository site over a million-year period following repository closure. The GSM helps to organize geologic/hydrologic data; to focus attention on active natural processes by requiring their simulation; and, through interactive simulation and calibration, to reduce subjective evaluations of the geologic system. During each computer run, the GSM produces a million-year geologic history that is possible for the region and the repository site. In addition, the GSM records in permanent history files everything that occurred during that time span. Statistical analyses of data in the history files of several hundred simulations are used to classify typical evolutionary paths, to establish the probabilities associated with deviations from the typical paths, and to determine which types of perturbations of the geologic/hydrologic system, if any, are most likely to occur. These simulations will be evaluated by geologists familiar with the repository region to determine validity of the results. Perturbed systems that are determined to be the most realistic, within whatever probability limits are established, will be used for the analyses that involve radionuclide transport and dose models. The GSM is designed to be continuously refined and updated. Simulation models are site specific, and, although the submodels may have limited general applicability, the input data equirements necessitate detailed characterization of each site before application

  17. Telecommunications Relay Support of the Mars Phoenix Lander Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Charles D., Jr.; Erickson, James K.; Gladden, Roy E.; Guinn, Joseph R.; Ilott, Peter A.; Jai, Benhan; Johnston, Martin D.; Kornfeld, Richard P.; Martin-Mur, Tomas J.; McSmith, Gaylon W.; hide

    2010-01-01

    The Phoenix Lander, first of NASA's Mars Scout missions, arrived at the Red Planet on May 25, 2008. From the moment the lander separated from its interplanetary cruise stage shortly before entry, the spacecraft could no longer communicate directly with Earth, and was instead entirely dependent on UHF relay communications via an international network of orbiting Mars spacecraft, including NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey (ODY) and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft, as well as ESA's Mars Express (MEX) spacecraft. All three orbiters captured critical event telemetry and/or tracking data during Phoenix Entry, Descent and Landing. During the Phoenix surface mission, ODY and MRO provided command and telemetry services, far surpassing the original data return requirements. The availability of MEX as a backup relay asset enhanced the robustness of the surface relay plan. In addition to telecommunications services, Doppler tracking observables acquired on the UHF link yielded an accurate position for the Phoenix landing site.

  18. The Small Mars System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fantino, E.; Grassi, M.; Pasolini, P.; Causa, F.; Molfese, C.; Aurigemma, R.; Cimminiello, N.; de la Torre, D.; Dell'Aversana, P.; Esposito, F.; Gramiccia, L.; Paudice, F.; Punzo, F.; Roma, I.; Savino, R.; Zuppardi, G.

    2017-08-01

    The Small Mars System is a proposed mission to Mars. Funded by the European Space Agency, the project has successfully completed Phase 0. The contractor is ALI S.c.a.r.l., and the study team includes the University of Naples ;Federico II;, the Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte and the Space Studies Institute of Catalonia. The objectives of the mission are both technological and scientific, and will be achieved by delivering a small Mars lander carrying a dust particle analyser and an aerial drone. The former shall perform in situ measurements of the size distribution and abundance of dust particles suspended in the Martian atmosphere, whereas the latter shall demonstrate low-altitude flight in the rarefied planetary environment. The mission-enabling technology is an innovative umbrella-like heat shield, known as IRENE, developed and patented by ALI. The mission is also a technological demonstration of the shield in the upper atmosphere of Mars. The core characteristics of SMS are the low cost (120 M€) and the small size (320 kg of wet mass at launch, 110 kg at landing), features which stand out with respect to previous Mars landers. To comply with them is extremely challenging at all levels, and sets strict requirements on the choice of the materials, the sizing of payloads and subsystems, their arrangement inside the spacecraft and the launcher's selection. In this contribution, the mission and system concept and design are illustrated and discussed. Special emphasis is given to the innovative features and to the challenges faced in the development of the work.

  19. Mars Surface Environmental Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles, John

    2002-01-01

    Planetary exploration by astronauts will require extended periods of habitation on a planet's surface, under the influence of environmental factors that are different from those of Earth and the spacecraft that delivered the crew to the planet. Human exploration of Mars, a possible near-term planetary objective, can be considered a challenging scenario. Mission scenarios currently under consideration call for surface habitation periods of from 1 to 18 months on even the earliest expeditions. Methods: Environmental issues associated with Mars exploration have been investigated by NASA and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) as part of the Bioastronautics Critical Path Roadmap Project (see http ://criticalpath.jsc.nasa.gov). Results: Arrival on Mars will immediately expose the crew to gravity only 38% of that at Earth's surface in possibly the first prolonged exposure to gravity other than the 1G of Earth's surface and the zero G of weightless space flight, with yet unknown effects on crew physiology. The radiation at Mars' surface is not well documented, although the planet's bulk and even its thin atmosphere may moderate the influx of galactic cosmic radiation and energetic protons from solar flares. Secondary radiation from activated components of the soil must also be considered. Ultrafine and larger respirable and nonrespirable particles in Martian dust introduced into the habitat after surface excursions may induce pulmonary inflammation exacerbated by the additive reactive and oxidizing nature of the dust. Stringent decontamination cannot eliminate mechanical and corrosive effects of the dust on pressure suits and exposed machinery. The biohazard potential of putative indigenous Martian microorganisms may be assessed by comparison with analog environments on Earth. Even in their absence, human microorganisms, if not properly controlled, can be a threat to the crew's health. Conclusions: Mars' surface offers a substantial challenge to the

  20. Field Geology/Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Carlton; Jakes, Petr; Jaumann, Ralf; Marshall, John; Moses, Stewart; Ryder, Graham; Saunders, Stephen; Singer, Robert

    1996-01-01

    The field geology/process group examined the basic operations of a terrestrial field geologist and the manner in which these operations could be transferred to a planetary lander. Four basic requirements for robotic field geology were determined: geologic content; surface vision; mobility; and manipulation. Geologic content requires a combination of orbital and descent imaging. Surface vision requirements include range, resolution, stereo, and multispectral imaging. The minimum mobility for useful field geology depends on the scale of orbital imagery. Manipulation requirements include exposing unweathered surfaces, screening samples, and bringing samples in contact with analytical instruments. To support these requirements, several advanced capabilities for future development are recommended. Capabilities include near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy, hyper-spectral imaging, multispectral microscopy, artificial intelligence in support of imaging, x ray diffraction, x ray fluorescence, and rock chipping.

  1. Global Journal of Geological Sciences

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Global Journal of Geological Sciences is aimed at promoting research in all areas of Geological Sciences including geochemistry, geophysics, engineering geology, hydrogeology, petrology, mineralogy, geochronology, tectonics, mining, structural geology, marine geology, space science etc. Visit the Global Journal Series ...

  2. Mineralogical, chemical, organic and microbial properties of subsurface soil cores from Mars Desert Research Station (Utah, USA): Phyllosilicate and sulfate analogues to Mars mission landing sites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stoker, C.R.; Clarke, J.; Oliveira Lebre Direito, M.S.; Martin, K.; Zavaleta, J.; Blake, D.; Foing, B.H.

    2011-01-01

    We collected and analysed soil cores from four geologic units surrounding Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Utah, USA, including Mancos Shale, Dakota Sandstone, Morrison formation (Brushy Basin member) and Summerville formation. The area is an important geochemical and morphological analogue to

  3. Exploring Mars for Evidence of Habitable Environments and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, David J.

    2014-01-01

    The climate of Mars has been more similar to that of Earth than has the climate of any other planet in our Solar System. But Mars still provides a valuable alternative example of how planetary processes and environments can affect the potential presence of life elsewhere. For example, although Mars also differentiated very early into a core, mantle and crust, it then evolved mostly if not completely without plate tectonics and has lost most of its early atmosphere. The Martian crust has been more stable than that of Earth, thus it has probably preserved a more complete record of its earliest history. Orbital observations determined that near-surface water was once pervasive. Orbiters have identified the following diverse aqueous sedimentary deposits: layered phyllosilicates, phyllosilicates in intracrater fans, plains sediments potentially harboring evaporitic minerals, deep phyllosilicates, carbonate-bearing deposits, intracrater clay-sulfate deposits, Meridiani-type layered deposits, valles-type layered deposits, hydrated silica-bearing deposits, and gypsum plains. These features, together with evidence of more vigorous past geologic activity, indicate that early climates were wetter and perhaps also somewhat warmer. The denser atmosphere that was required for liquid water to be stable on the surface also provided more substantial protection from radiation. Whereas ancient climates might have favored habitable environments at least in some localities, clearly much of the Martian surface for most of its history has been markedly less favorable for life. The combination of dry conditions, oxidizing surface environments and typically low rates of sedimentation are not conducive to the preservation of evidence of ancient environments and any biota. Thus a strategy is required whereby candidate sites are first identified and then characterized for their potential to preserve evidence of past habitable environments. Rovers are then sent to explore the most promising

  4. Spectral Characterization of H2020/PTAL Mineral Samples: Implications for In Situ Martian Exploration and Mars Sample Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lantz, C.; Pilorget, C.; Poulet, F.; Riu, L.; Dypvik, H.; Hellevang, H.; Rull Perez, F.; Veneranda, M.; Cousin, A.; Viennet, J.-C.; Werner, S. C.

    2018-04-01

    We present combined analysis performed in the framework of the Planetary Terrestrial Analogues Library (H2020 project). XRD, NIR, Raman, and LIBS spectroscopies are used to characterise samples to prepare ExoMars/ESA and Mars2020/NASA observations.

  5. Global Journal of Geological Sciences: Editorial Policies

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Focus and Scope. Global Journal of Geological Sciences is aimed at promoting research in all areas of geological Sciences including Petrology, Mineralogy, geophysics, hydrogeology, Engineering geology, Petroleum geology, Palaeontology, environmental geology, Economic geology, etc.

  6. Micro-XRF : Elemental Analysis for In Situ Geology and Astrobiology Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allwood, Abigail; Hodyss, Robert; Wade, Lawrence

    2012-01-01

    The ability to make close-up measurements of rock chemistry is one of the most fundamental tools for astrobiological exploration of Mars and other rocky bodies of the solar system. When conducting surface-based exploration, lithochemical measurements provide critical data that enable interpretation of the local geology, which in turn is vital for determining habitability and searching for evidence of life. The value of lithochemical measurements for geological interpretations has been repeatedly demonstrated with virtually every landed Mars mission over the past four decades.

  7. The Role of the Photogeologic Mapping in the Morocco 2013 Mars Analog Field Simulation (Austrian Space Forum)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Losiak, Anna; Orgel, Csilla; Moser, Linda; MacArthur, Jane; Gołębiowska, Izabela; Wittek, Steffen; Boyd, Andrea; Achorner, Isabella; Rampey, Mike; Bartenstein, Thomas; Jones, Natalie; Luger, Ulrich; Sans, Alejandra; Hettrich, Sebastian

    2013-04-01

    choosing the best alternative traverses if the ones suggested by the flight planning team based on satellite data turn out to be impossible. The set of maps includes: A "geological map" prepared following suggestions of [3]. A set of experiment "suitability maps", one for every experiment, assessing the suitability of the area for an experiment. E.g., if a rover cannot move on surfaces that have an inclination larger than 5° and/or are covered with rocks larger than 15 cm in diameter, than the areas likely to have such conditions will be marked as not suitable for this experiment. "Danger" map - showing locations of all potentially dangerous places e.g., cliffs. "Mobility" map - with information important for estimating astronauts' mobility. During the mission maps will be updated on a daily basis, based on the observations made in the field. In this way quality of the maps (and predictions based on them) will be gradually improved. Acknowledges: We thank all people involved in the MARS2013 mission, especially Dr. Gernot Grömer, the President of Austrian Space Forum, MARS2013 program officer & expedition lead. References: [1] Sans Fuentes S.A. 2012. Human-Robotic Mars Science Operations: Target Selection Optimization via Traverse and Science Planning. (M.S. thesis). U. of Innsbruck. [2] Hettich S. 2012. Human-Robotic Mars Science Operations: Itinerary Optimisation for Surface Activities (M.S. thesis). U. of Innsbruck. [3] Skinner J.A.Jr., Fortezzo C.M. 2011. Acta Astronautica. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2011.11.011.

  8. Timing of oceans on Mars from shoreline deformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Citron, Robert I.; Manga, Michael; Hemingway, Douglas J.

    2018-03-01

    Widespread evidence points to the existence of an ancient Martian ocean. Most compelling are the putative ancient shorelines in the northern plains. However, these shorelines fail to follow an equipotential surface, and this has been used to challenge the notion that they formed via an early ocean and hence to question the existence of such an ocean. The shorelines’ deviation from a constant elevation can be explained by true polar wander occurring after the formation of Tharsis, a volcanic province that dominates the gravity and topography of Mars. However, surface loading from the oceans can drive polar wander only if Tharsis formed far from the equator, and most evidence indicates that Tharsis formed near the equator, meaning that there is no current explanation for the shorelines’ deviation from an equipotential that is consistent with our geophysical understanding of Mars. Here we show that variations in shoreline topography can be explained by deformation caused by the emplacement of Tharsis. We find that the shorelines must have formed before and during the emplacement of Tharsis, instead of afterwards, as previously assumed. Our results imply that oceans on Mars formed early, concurrent with the valley networks, and point to a close relationship between the evolution of oceans on Mars and the initiation and decline of Tharsis volcanism, with broad implications for the geology, hydrological cycle and climate of early Mars.

  9. Conducting Rock Mass Rating for tunnel construction on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beemer, Heidi D.; Worrells, D. Scott

    2017-10-01

    Mars analogue missions provide researchers, scientists, and engineers the opportunity to establish protocols prior to sending human explorers to another planet. This paper investigated the complexity of a team of simulation astronauts conducting a Rock Mass Rating task during Analogue Mars missions. This study was conducted at the Mars Desert Research Station in Hanksville, UT, during field season 2015/2016 and with crews 167,168, and 169. During the experiment, three-person teams completed a Rock Mass Rating task during a three hour Extra Vehicular Activity on day six of their two-week simulation mission. This geological test is used during design and construction of excavations in rock on Earth. On Mars, this test could be conducted by astronauts to determine suitable rock layers for tunnel construction which would provide explorers a permanent habitat and radiation shielding while living for long periods of time on the surface. The Rock Mass Rating system derives quantitative data for engineering designs that can easily be communicated between engineers and geologists. Conclusions from this research demonstrated that it is feasible for astronauts to conduct the Rock Mass Rating task in a Mars simulated environment. However, it was also concluded that Rock Mass Rating task orientation and training will be required to ensure that accurate results are obtained.

  10. Timing of oceans on Mars from shoreline deformation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Citron, Robert I; Manga, Michael; Hemingway, Douglas J

    2018-03-29

    Widespread evidence points to the existence of an ancient Martian ocean. Most compelling are the putative ancient shorelines in the northern plains. However, these shorelines fail to follow an equipotential surface, and this has been used to challenge the notion that they formed via an early ocean and hence to question the existence of such an ocean. The shorelines' deviation from a constant elevation can be explained by true polar wander occurring after the formation of Tharsis, a volcanic province that dominates the gravity and topography of Mars. However, surface loading from the oceans can drive polar wander only if Tharsis formed far from the equator, and most evidence indicates that Tharsis formed near the equator, meaning that there is no current explanation for the shorelines' deviation from an equipotential that is consistent with our geophysical understanding of Mars. Here we show that variations in shoreline topography can be explained by deformation caused by the emplacement of Tharsis. We find that the shorelines must have formed before and during the emplacement of Tharsis, instead of afterwards, as previously assumed. Our results imply that oceans on Mars formed early, concurrent with the valley networks, and point to a close relationship between the evolution of oceans on Mars and the initiation and decline of Tharsis volcanism, with broad implications for the geology, hydrological cycle and climate of early Mars.

  11. Geological heritage of Morocco

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elhadi, H.; Tahiri, A.

    2012-01-01

    Full text: The soil and subsoil of Morocco are rich in geological phenomena that bear the imprint of a history that goes back in time more than 2000 million years. Very many sites geologically remarkable exposed in accessible outcrops, with good quality remain unknown to the general public and therefore deserve to be vulgarized. It is a memory to acquaint to the present generations but also to preserve for future generations. In total, a rich geological heritage in many ways: Varied landscapes, international stratotypes, various geological structures, varied rocks, mineral associations, a huge procession of fossiles, remnants of oceanic crust (ophiolites) among oldests ones in the world (800my), etc... For this geological heritage, an approach of an overall inventory is needed, both regionally and nationally, taking into account all the skills of the earth sciences. This will put the item on the natural (geological) potentialities as a lever for sustainable regional development. For this, it is necessary to implement a strategy of ''geoconservation'' for the preservation and assessment of the geological heritage.

  12. Exploration of the Habitability of Mars with the SAM Suite Investigation on the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, P. R.; Cabane, M.; Webster, C. R.

    2008-01-01

    The 2009 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) with a substantially larger payload capability that any other Mars rover, to date, is designed to quantitatively assess a local region on Mars as a potential habitat for present or past life. Its goals are (1) to assess past or present biological potential of a target environment, (2) to characterize geology and geochemistry at the MSL landing site, and (3) to investigate planetary processes that influence habitability. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Suite, in its final stages of integration and test, enables a sensitive search for organic molecules and chemical and isotopic analysis of martian volatiles. MSL contact and remote surface and subsurface survey Instruments establish context for these measurements and facilitate sample identification and selection. The SAM instruments are a gas chromatograph (GC), a mass spectrometer (MS), and a tunable laser spectrometer (TLS). These together with supporting sample manipulation and gas processing devices are designed to analyze either the atmospheric composition or gases extracted from solid phase samples such as rocks and fines. For example, one of the core SAM experiment sequences heats a small powdered sample of a Mars rock or soil from ambient to -1300 K in a controlled manner while continuously monitoring evolved gases. This is followed by GCMS analysis of released organics. The general chemical survey is complemented by a specific search for molecular classes that may be relevant to life including atmospheric methane and its carbon isotope with the TLS and biomarkers with the GCMS.

  13. EquiMar

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johnstone, C. M.; McCombes, T.; Bahaj, A. S.

    2011-01-01

    the performance evaluation of such systems in order to address this deficiency. This paper reports the development of a set of ‘Best Practices’ within the ECFPVII EquiMar project to be adopted for the performance quantification of wave and tidal energy converters as they evolve from an engineering concept......At the present time there are no approved standards or recognised best practices being implemented for the performance appraisal and benchmarking of wave and tidal energy converters. As such, this develops considerable misunderstanding between device developers, testing centres, investors....../ financiers etc when attempting to quantify the performance of a device since it makes it very difficult to reference and benchmark the performance of a marine energy converter. The EC Framework Programme VII EquiMar project has set out to develop a suite of Best Practices to be adopted when undertaking...

  14. The politics of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Harrison H.

    1986-01-01

    A discussion is presented comparing past and present major accomplishments of the U.S. and the Soviet Union in space. It concludes that the Soviets are presently well ahead of the U.S. in several specific aspects of space accomplishment and speculates that the Soviet strategy is directed towards sending a man to the vicinity of Mars by the end of this century. A major successful multinational space endeavor, INTELSAT, is reviewed and it is suggested that the manned exploration of Mars offers a unique opportunity for another such major international cooperative effort. The current attitude of U.S. leadership and the general public is assessed as uniformed or ambivalent about the perceived threat of Soviet dominance in space.

  15. Fossil life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, M. R.

    1989-01-01

    Three major problems beset paleontologists searching for morphological evidence of life on early Earth: selecting a prospective site; finding biogenic structures; and distinguishing biogenic from abiogenic structures. The same problems arise on Mars. Terrestrial experience suggests that, with the techniques that can be employed remotely, ancient springs, including hot springs, are more prospective than lake deposits. If, on the other hand, the search is for chemical evidence, the strategy can be very different, and lake deposits are attractive targets. Lakes and springs frequenly occur in close proximity, and therefore a strategy that combines the two would seem to maximize the chance of success. The strategy for a search for stromatolite on Mars is discussed.

  16. Artificial structures on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Flandern, T.

    2002-05-01

    Approximately 70,000 images of the surface of Mars at a resolution of up to 1.4 meters per pixel, taken by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, are now in public archives. Approximately 1% of those images show features that can be broadly described as `special shapes', `tracks, trails, and possible vegetation', `spots, stripes, and tubes', `artistic imagery', and `patterns and symbols'. Rather than optical illusions and tricks of light and shadow, most of these have the character that, if photographed on Earth, no one would doubt that they were the products of large biology and intelligence. In a few cases, relationships, context, and fulfillment of a priori predictions provide objective evidence of artificiality that is exempt from the influence of experimenter biases. Only controlled test results can be trusted because biases are strong and operate both for and against artificiality.

  17. Visualizing Organic Textures and Biosignatures: Analysis of the Deep Biosphere, Meteorites, and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhartia, R.

    2017-12-01

    Understanding life in the subsurface offers a unique understanding of how we can search for potential biosignatures on Mars. The spatial distri- bution of communities in this nutrient limited envi- ronment can be co-located with mineral facies, associ- ated to morphological features, or bound to zones of high potential energy. Comparing these organic textures to abotically driven processes in meteorites, when coupled to characterization of the organic con- tent, spatial relationships to mineralogical and ele- mental textures, and morphology will aid in our under- standing of the likely provenance of organics on Mars. Often we approach biosignatures detection with an earth-centric perspective where we assume that extant or ancient life leaves behind visible indicators; either as pigments used to absorb energy from the sun/radiation, protectant from UV radiation, or as veri- gated mineral facies that may persist in the rock rec- ord. Our analysis of subsurface life, a region that is decoupled from the photozone (decoupled from photo- synthesis) and/or exists in a nutrient limited environ- ment, has shown that we need to capitalize on a wider range of the electromagnetic spectrum over multiple spatial scales to understand where microbial life may exist, how they make a living, and how/if their signa- tures will persist geological time. Similar to the approach of the NAI Life Under- ground program, the Mars 2020 project includes a suite of instruments operating over the meter to micrometer scale that will observe the surface (and near subsur- face) of Mars from gamma rays to the IR - a range where minerals and organics reflect, absorb, and vi- brate. More specifically, the combined capabilities of both SHERLOC (a deep UV Raman/fluorescence spectrometer) and PIXL (an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer), spatial maps of organics minerals and elements will be correlated to morphology and textures to assess potential biosignatures. We present here our results of a spectral

  18. Sustainable Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alston, Christie; Hancock, Sean; Laub, Joshua; Perry, Christopher; Ash, Robert

    2011-01-01

    The proposed Mars sample return mission will be completed using natural Martian resources for the majority of its operations. The system uses the following technologies: In-Situ Propellant Production (ISPP), a methane-oxygen propelled Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), a carbon dioxide powered hopper, and a hydrogen fueled balloon system (large balloons and small weather balloons). The ISPP system will produce the hydrogen, methane, and oxygen using a Sabatier reactor. a water electrolysis cell, water extracted from the Martian surface, and carbon dioxide extracted from the Martian atmosphere. Indigenous hydrogen will fuel the balloon systems and locally-derived methane and oxygen will fuel the MAV for the return of a 50 kg sample to Earth. The ISPP system will have a production cycle of 800 days and the estimated overall mission length is 1355 days from Earth departure to return to low Earth orbit. Combining these advanced technologies will enable the proposed sample return mission to be executed with reduced initial launch mass and thus be more cost efficient. The successful completion of this mission will serve as the next step in the advancement of Mars exploration technology.

  19. Tafoni - A Llink Between Mars and Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iacob, R. H.; Iacob, C. E.

    2013-12-01

    that no longer exist. NASA's current Mars Science Laboratory mission offers exceptional opportunities to perform a comparative study between tafoni formations on Mars and those on Earth. The present mission of Curiosity at Gale Crater, benefiting not only from the most advanced technology for in-situ investigations but also from a terrain rich in rock breakdown features, was able to reveal new tafoni formations. Gale Crater's landscape presents a variety of surface erosion elements, witnesses of major planetary transformations suffered by Mars during the past 3 billion years. While the wind and sand-blasting erosion are the most recent causes of the surface erosion at Gale Crater, leading to the smoothing, thinning, exfoliation and piercing of various rock layers, other geological formations such as alluvial fans, moat areas, gravel sediments, round shaped mounds and toadstool formations demonstrate that liquid water was vigorously shaping the surface of Mars billions of years ago. In such a context, the study of tafoni formations revealed during Curiosity's trek from Bradbury Landing through the Glenelg area of Gale Crater, will help advance the understanding of the Martian past and present environment, providing scenarios for the evolution of the Red Planet. The presentation contains various images of tafoni samples from Mars and Earth, explaining by similitude presumptive weathering mechanisms on Mars.

  20. An integrated and accessible sample data library for Mars sample return science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuite, M. L., Jr.; Williford, K. H.

    2015-12-01

    Over the course of the next decade or more, many thousands of geological samples will be collected and analyzed in a variety of ways by researchers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (California Institute of Technology) in order to facilitate discovery and contextualize observations made of Mars rocks both in situ and here on Earth if samples are eventually returned. Integration of data from multiple analyses of samples including petrography, thin section and SEM imaging, isotope and organic geochemistry, XRF, XRD, and Raman spectrometry is a challenge and a potential obstacle to discoveries that require supporting lines of evidence. We report the development of a web-accessible repository, the Sample Data Library (SDL) for the sample-based data that are generated by the laboratories and instruments that comprise JPL's Center for Analysis of Returned Samples (CARS) in order to facilitate collaborative interpretation of potential biosignatures in Mars-analog geological samples. The SDL is constructed using low-cost, open-standards-based Amazon Web Services (AWS), including web-accessible storage, relational data base services, and a virtual web server. The data structure is sample-centered with a shared registry for assigning unique identifiers to all samples including International Geo-Sample Numbers. Both raw and derived data produced by instruments and post-processing workflows are automatically uploaded to online storage and linked via the unique identifiers. Through the web interface, users are able to find all the analyses associated with a single sample or search across features shared by multiple samples, sample localities, and analysis types. Planned features include more sophisticated search and analytical interfaces as well as data discoverability through NSF's EarthCube program.

  1. Uruguayan South Geology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guillemain, H.

    1980-01-01

    This monograph is about the sedimentary geological formation in the southern of Uruguay. According to the previous Gondwana studies there are several concordances between the Uruguayan and Brazilian ground.

  2. Iowa Geologic Sampling Points

    Data.gov (United States)

    Iowa State University GIS Support and Research Facility — Point locations of geologic samples/files in the IGS repository. Types of samples include well cuttings, outcrop samples, cores, drillers logs, measured sections,...

  3. Iowa Bedrock Geology

    Data.gov (United States)

    Iowa State University GIS Support and Research Facility — The bedrock geologic map portrays the current interpretation of the distribution of various bedrock stratigraphic units present at the bedrock surface. The bedrock...

  4. Aqueous alteration detection in Tikhonravov crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancarella, F.; Fonti, S.; Alemanno, G.; Orofino, V.; Blanco, A.

    2018-03-01

    The existence of a wet period lasting long enough to allow the development of elementary forms of life on Mars has always been a very interesting issue. Given this perspective, the research for geological markers of such occurrences has been continually pursued. Once a favorable site is detected, effort should be spent to get as much information as possible aimed at a precise assessment of the genesis and evolution of the areas showing the selected markers. In this work, we discuss the recent finding of possible deposits pointing to the past existence of liquid water in Tikhonravov crater located in Arabia Terra. Comparison of CRISM spectra and those of laboratory minerals formed by aqueous alteration has led us to the conclusion that the studied areas within the impact crater host phyllosilicates deposits. In addition, analysis of the CRISM spectra has resulted in the tentative identification of carbonates mixed with phyllosilicates.

  5. The Effect of Gamma Radiation on Mars Mineral Matrices: Implications for Perchlorate Formation on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, A. C.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Pavlov, A.; Lewis, J.

    2017-12-01

    Observations by the Phoenix Wet Chemistry Lab of the Martian surface indicate the presence of perchlorate in high concentrations. Additional observations by the Sample Analysis at Mars and the Viking Landers indirectly support the presence of perchlorate at other localities on Mars. The evidence for perchlorate at several localities on Mars coupled with its detection in Martian meteorite EETA79001 suggests that perchlorate is present globally on Mars. The presence of perchlorate on Mars further complicates the search for organic molecules indicative of past life. While perchlorate is kinetically limited in Martian conditions, the intermediate species associated with its formation or decomposition, such as chlorate or chlorite, could oxidize Martian organic species. As a result, it is vital to understand the mechanism of perchlorate formation on Mars in order to determine its role in the degradation of organics. Here, we explore an alternate mechanism of formation of perchlorate by bombarding Cl-salts and Mars-relevant mineral mixtures with gamma radiation both with and without the presence of liquid water, under vacuum. Previous work has shown that OClO can form from both UV radiation and energetic electrons bombardment of Cl-ices or Cl-salts, which then reacts with either OH- or O-radicals to produce perchlorate. Past research has suggested that liquid water or ice is the source of these hydroxyl and oxygen radicals, which limits the location of perchlorate formation on Mars. We demonstrate that trace amounts of perchlorate are potentially formed in samples containing silica dioxide or iron oxide and Cl-salts both with and without liquid water. Perchlorate was also detected in a portion of samples that were not irradiated, suggesting possible contamination. We did not detect perchlorate in samples that contained sulfate minerals. If perchlorate was formed without liquid water, it is possible that oxide minerals could be a potential source of oxygen radicals

  6. Acid Sulfate Alteration on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.

    2016-01-01

    A variety of mineralogical and geochemical indicators for aqueous alteration on Mars have been identified by a combination of surface and orbital robotic missions, telescopic observations, characterization of Martian meteorites, and laboratory and terrestrial analog studies. Acid sulfate alteration has been identified at all three landing sites visited by NASA rover missions (Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity). Spirit landed in Gusev crater in 2004 and discovered Fe-sulfates and materials that have been extensively leached by acid sulfate solutions. Opportunity landing on the plains of Meridiani Planum also in 2004 where the rover encountered large abundances of jarosite and hematite in sedimentary rocks. Curiosity landed in Gale crater in 2012 and has characterized fluvial, deltaic, and lacustrine sediments. Jarosite and hematite were discovered in some of the lacustrine sediments. The high elemental abundance of sulfur in surface materials is obvious evidence that sulfate has played a major role in aqueous processes at all landing sites on Mars. The sulfate-rich outcrop at Meridiani Planum has an SO3 content of up to 25 wt.%. The interiors of rocks and outcrops on the Columbia Hills within Gusev crater have up to 8 wt.% SO3. Soils at both sites generally have between 5 to 14 wt.% SO3, and several soils in Gusev crater contain around 30 wt.% SO3. After normalization of major element compositions to a SO3-free basis, the bulk compositions of these materials are basaltic, with a few exceptions in Gusev crater and in lacustrine mudstones in Gale crater. These observations suggest that materials encountered by the rovers were derived from basaltic precursors by acid sulfate alteration under nearly isochemical conditions (i.e., minimal leaching). There are several cases, however, where acid sulfate alteration minerals (jarosite and hematite) formed in open hydrologic systems, e.g., in Gale crater lacustrine mudstones. Several hypotheses have been suggested for the

  7. Thermoluminescence studies in geology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sankaran, A.V.; Sunta, C.M.; Nambi, K.S.V.; Bapat, V.N.

    1980-01-01

    Even though the phenomenon of thermoluminescence is well studied, particularly over last 3 decades, its potentialities in the field of geology have not been adequately evaluated. In this report several useful applications of TL in mineralogy, petrogenesis, stratigraphy, tectonics, ore-prospecting and other branches have been identified with particular emphasis to the Indian scene. Important areas in the country that may provide the basic material for such studies are indicated at the end along with brief geological or mineralogical accounts. (auth.)

  8. Evidence for a Large Natural Nuclear Reactor in Mars Past

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandenburg, J. E.

    2006-05-01

    It has long been known that The isotopic ratios 129 Xe/132Xe and 40Ar/36Ar are very high in Mars atmosphere relative to Earth or meteoritic backgrounds. This fact has allowed the SNC meteorites to be identified as Martian based on their trapped gases (1). However, while the isotopic anomalies explained one mystery, the origin of the SNC meteorites, they created a new mystery: the rock samples from Mars show no evidence of the large amounts of Iodine or Potassium that would give naturally give rise to the Xenon and Argon isotopic anomalies (2). In fact, the Martian meteorites are depleted in Potassium relative to earth rocks. This is added to the fact that for other isotopic systems such as 80Kr, Mars rock samples must be irradiated by neutrons at fluences of 1015 /cm2 to explain observed abundances (1) . Compounding the mystery is the fact that Mars surface layer has elevated levels of Uranium and Thorium relative to Earth and even its own rocks, as determined from SNCs (3). These anomalies can be explained if some large nuclear energy release, such as by natural nuclear reactors known to have operated on Earth (4) in in some concentrated ore body, occurred with perhaps a large volcano like explosion that spread residues over the planets surface. Based on gamma ray observations from orbit (3), and the correlations of normally uncorrelated Th and K deposits , the approximate location of this event would appear to have been in the north of Mars in a region in Acidalia Planitia centered at 45N Latitude and 15W Longitude (5). The possibility of such a large radiological event in Mars past adds impetus to Mars exploration efforts and particularly to a human mission to Mars to learn more about this possible occurrence. (1) Swindle, T. D. , Caffee, M. W., and Hohenberg, C. M., (1986) "Xenon and other Noble Gases in Shergottites" Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 50, pp 1001-1015. (2) Banin, A., Clark, B.C., and Wanke, H. "Surface Chemistry and Mineralogy" (1992) in "Mars

  9. Mars Aqueous Processing System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berggren, Mark; Wilson, Cherie; Carrera, Stacy; Rose, Heather; Muscatello, Anthony; Kilgore, James; Zubrin, Robert

    2012-01-01

    The goal of the Mars Aqueous Processing System (MAPS) is to establish a flexible process that generates multiple products that are useful for human habitation. Selectively extracting useful components into an aqueous solution, and then sequentially recovering individual constituents, can obtain a suite of refined or semi-refined products. Similarities in the bulk composition (although not necessarily of the mineralogy) of Martian and Lunar soils potentially make MAPS widely applicable. Similar process steps can be conducted on both Mars and Lunar soils while tailoring the reaction extents and recoveries to the specifics of each location. The MAPS closed-loop process selectively extracts, and then recovers, constituents from soils using acids and bases. The emphasis on Mars involves the production of useful materials such as iron, silica, alumina, magnesia, and concrete with recovery of oxygen as a byproduct. On the Moon, similar chemistry is applied with emphasis on oxygen production. This innovation has been demonstrated to produce high-grade materials, such as metallic iron, aluminum oxide, magnesium oxide, and calcium oxide, from lunar and Martian soil simulants. Most of the target products exhibited purities of 80 to 90 percent or more, allowing direct use for many potential applications. Up to one-fourth of the feed soil mass was converted to metal, metal oxide, and oxygen products. The soil residue contained elevated silica content, allowing for potential additional refining and extraction for recovery of materials needed for photovoltaic, semiconductor, and glass applications. A high-grade iron oxide concentrate derived from lunar soil simulant was used to produce a metallic iron component using a novel, combined hydrogen reduction/metal sintering technique. The part was subsequently machined and found to be structurally sound. The behavior of the lunar-simulant-derived iron product was very similar to that produced using the same methods on a Michigan iron

  10. Characterizing Nanophase Materials on Mars: Spectroscopic Studies of Allophane and Imogolite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeute, Thomas; Baker, Leslie; Bishop, Janice; Rampe, Elizabeth; Abidin, Zaenal

    2017-01-01

    Allophane is an amorphous or poorly crystalline hydrous aluminosilicate material. Allophane's chemical structure represents a hollow nanosphere, 5-6 nm in diameter with 4-7 large pores in the structure. Identification of allophane and other amorphous and nanophase minerals on Mars has provided clues about the aqueous geochemical environment there. These materials likely represent partially altered or leached basaltic ash and therefore, could represent a geologic marker for where water was present on the Martian surface; as well as indicate regions of climate change, where surface water was not present long enough or sufficiently warm to form clays. Characterization of these materials is important for increasing spectral recognition capabilities using visible/near-infrared (VNIR) and thermal infrared (TIR) spectra of Mars. A suite of synthetic allophane samples was created using a method that has been modified to produce allophane with Fe isomorphically substituted for Al in octahedral coordination. Compositions of the materials range from high-Si allophane (molar Al:Si = 1:2) to protoimogolite (Al:Si = 2:1), with Fe(3+) and Fe(2+) isomorphically substituted for Al from 0-10 mol% of total Al. These compositions span the range observed in natural terrestrial allophanes. Fe K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy provided information on the speciation and electrochemical and structural position of Fe in the framework. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy confirmed syntheses and demonstrated changes in infrared spectroscopic signature with Fe substitution. VNIR reflectance spectra and TIR Thermal infrared emissivity spectra were also collected for direct comparison to Martian data. By increasing spectral recognition capacities of nanophase materials, more accurate estimates can be made on the aqueous geochemical environment of Mars.

  11. Giant polygons and mounds in the lowlands of Mars: signatures of an ancient ocean?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehler, Dorothy Z; Allen, Carlton C

    2012-06-01

    This paper presents the hypothesis that the well-known giant polygons and bright mounds of the martian lowlands may be related to a common process-a process of fluid expulsion that results from burial of fine-grained sediments beneath a body of water. Specifically, we hypothesize that giant polygons and mounds in Chryse and Acidalia Planitiae are analogous to kilometer-scale polygons and mud volcanoes in terrestrial, marine basins and that the co-occurrence of masses of these features in Chryse and Acidalia may be the signature of sedimentary processes in an ancient martian ocean. We base this hypothesis on recent data from both Earth and Mars. On Earth, 3-D seismic data illustrate kilometer-scale polygons that may be analogous to the giant polygons on Mars. The terrestrial polygons form in fine-grained sediments that have been deposited and buried in passive-margin, marine settings. These polygons are thought to result from compaction/dewatering, and they are commonly associated with fluid expulsion features, such as mud volcanoes. On Mars, in Chryse and Acidalia Planitiae, orbital data demonstrate that giant polygons and mounds have overlapping spatial distributions. There, each set of features occurs within a geological setting that is seemingly analogous to that of the terrestrial, kilometer-scale polygons (broad basin of deposition, predicted fine-grained sediments, and lack of significant horizontal stress). Regionally, the martian polygons and mounds both show a correlation to elevation, as if their formation were related to past water levels. Although these observations are based on older data with incomplete coverage, a similar correlation to elevation has been established in one local area studied in detail with newer higher-resolution data. Further mapping with the latest data sets should more clearly elucidate the relationship(s) of the polygons and mounds to elevation over the entire Chryse-Acidalia region and thereby provide more insight into this

  12. Planned Products of the Mars Structure Service for the InSight Mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panning, Mark P.; Lognonné, Philippe; Bruce Banerdt, W.; Garcia, Raphaël; Golombek, Matthew; Kedar, Sharon; Knapmeyer-Endrun, Brigitte; Mocquet, Antoine; Teanby, Nick A.; Tromp, Jeroen; Weber, Renee; Beucler, Eric; Blanchette-Guertin, Jean-Francois; Bozdağ, Ebru; Drilleau, Mélanie; Gudkova, Tamara; Hempel, Stefanie; Khan, Amir; Lekić, Vedran; Murdoch, Naomi; Plesa, Ana-Catalina; Rivoldini, Atillio; Schmerr, Nicholas; Ruan, Youyi; Verhoeven, Olivier; Gao, Chao; Christensen, Ulrich; Clinton, John; Dehant, Veronique; Giardini, Domenico; Mimoun, David; Thomas Pike, W.; Smrekar, Sue; Wieczorek, Mark; Knapmeyer, Martin; Wookey, James

    2017-10-01

    The InSight lander will deliver geophysical instruments to Mars in 2018, including seismometers installed directly on the surface (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure, SEIS). Routine operations will be split into two services, the Mars Structure Service (MSS) and Marsquake Service (MQS), which will be responsible, respectively, for defining the structure models and seismicity catalogs from the mission. The MSS will deliver a series of products before the landing, during the operations, and finally to the Planetary Data System (PDS) archive. Prior to the mission, we assembled a suite of a priori models of Mars, based on estimates of bulk composition and thermal profiles. Initial models during the mission will rely on modeling surface waves and impact-generated body waves independent of prior knowledge of structure. Later modeling will include simultaneous inversion of seismic observations for source and structural parameters. We use Bayesian inversion techniques to obtain robust probability distribution functions of interior structure parameters. Shallow structure will be characterized using the hammering of the heatflow probe mole, as well as measurements of surface wave ellipticity. Crustal scale structure will be constrained by measurements of receiver function and broadband Rayleigh wave ellipticity measurements. Core interacting body wave phases should be observable above modeled martian noise levels, allowing us to constrain deep structure. Normal modes of Mars should also be observable and can be used to estimate the globally averaged 1D structure, while combination with results from the InSight radio science mission and orbital observations will allow for constraint of deeper structure.

  13. Evolved Gas Analysis of Mars Analog Samples from the Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition: Implications for Analyses by the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAdam, A.; Stern, J. C.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Blake, D. F.; Bristow, T.; Steele, A.; Amundsen, H. E. F.

    2012-01-01

    The 2011 Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition (AMASE) investigated several geologic settings on Svalbard, using methodologies and techniques being developed or considered for future Mars missions, such as the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on MSL consists of a quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS), a gas chromatograph (GC), and a tunable laser spectrometer (TLS), which analyze gases created by pyrolysis of samples. During AMASE, a Hiden Evolved Gas Analysis-Mass Spectrometer (EGA-MS) system represented the EGA-QMS capability of SAM. Another MSL instrument, CheMin, will use x-ray diffraction (XRD) and x-ray fluorescence (XRF) to perform quantitative mineralogical characterization of samples. Field-portable versions of CheMin were used during AMASE. AMASE 2011 sites spanned a range of environments relevant to understanding martian surface materials, processes and habitability. They included the basaltic Sverrefjell volcano, which hosts carbonate globules, cements and coatings, carbonate and sulfate units at Colletth0gda, Devonian sandstone redbeds in Bockfjorden, altered basaltic lava delta deposits at Mt. Scott Keltie, and altered dolerites and volcanics at Botniahalvoya. Here we focus on SAM-like EGA-MS of a subset of the samples, with mineralogy comparisons to CheMin team results. The results allow insight into sample organic content as well as some constraints on sample mineralogy.

  14. Electrical power systems for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giudici, Robert J.

    1986-01-01

    Electrical power system options for Mars Manned Modules and Mars Surface Bases were evaluated for both near-term and advanced performance potential. The power system options investigated for the Mission Modules include photovoltaics, solar thermal, nuclear reactor, and isotope power systems. Options discussed for Mars Bases include the above options with the addition of a brief discussion of open loop energy conversion of Mars resources, including utilization of wind, subsurface thermal gradients, and super oxides. Electrical power requirements for Mission Modules were estimated for three basic approaches: as a function of crew size; as a function of electric propulsion; and as a function of transmission of power from an orbiter to the surface of Mars via laser or radio frequency. Mars Base power requirements were assumed to be determined by production facilities that make resources available for follow-on missions leading to the establishment of a permanently manned Base. Requirements include the production of buffer gas and propellant production plants.

  15. Guidelines for 2007 MARS exercise

    CERN Multimedia

    HR Department

    2007-01-01

    Following the introduction of the new Merit Appraisal and Recognition Scheme (MARS), full details of the scheme are now available via the HR Department's homepage or directly on the Department's MARS web page: in English: http://humanresources.web.cern.ch/HumanResources/internal/personnel/pmd/cr/MARS.asp or French: http://humanresources.web.cern.ch/humanresources/internal/personnel/pmd/cr/mars_fr.asp You will find on this page: 'Introduction to MARS' with detailed information presented in Frequently Asked Questions; these include the MARS timetable for proposals and decisions; 'Regulations' with links to the scheme's statutory documents; 'Procedures and Forms' and 'Useful Information' with links to all the relevant documentation; these include the mandates of the Senior Staff Advisory Committee (SSAC) and the Technical Engineers and Administrative Careers Committee (TEACC). HR Department Tel. 73566

  16. Mars' Surface Radiation Environment Measured with the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassler, Donald M.; Zeitlin, Cary; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F.; Ehresmann, Bent; Rafkin, Scot; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Brinza, David E.; Weigle, Gerald; Böttcher, Stephan; Böhm, Eckart; Burmeister, Soenke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; Martin, Cesar; Reitz, Guenther; Cucinotta, Francis A.; Kim, Myung-Hee; Grinspoon, David; Bullock, Mark A.; Posner, Arik; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Vasavada, Ashwin; Grotzinger, John P.; MSL Science Team; Kemppinen, Osku; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Blank, Jennifer; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Stolper, Edward; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Steele, Andrew; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Squyres, Steven; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Berger, Thomas; Matthia, Daniel; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Maurice, Sylvestre; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; Cousin, Agnès; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Treiman, Allan; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Summons, Roger; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Conrad, Pamela; Dworkin, Jason P.; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Harpold, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Mahaffy, Paul; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Trainer, Melissa; Meyer, Michael; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Webster, Christopher R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Jones, John H.; Ming, Douglas; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Vaniman, David; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, Aileen; Lewis, Kevin; Leshin, Laurie; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Hamilton, Victoria; Peterson, Joseph; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; McLennan, Scott; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Gellert, Ralf; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Owen, Tobias; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Franz, Heather; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Atreya, Sushil; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Wong, Michael; Pepin, Robert; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2014-01-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover began making detailed measurements of the cosmic ray and energetic particle radiation environment on the surface of Mars on 7 August 2012. We report and discuss measurements of the absorbed dose and dose equivalent from galactic cosmic rays and solar energetic particles on the martian surface for ~300 days of observations during the current solar maximum. These measurements provide insight into the radiation hazards associated with a human mission to the surface of Mars and provide an anchor point with which to model the subsurface radiation environment, with implications for microbial survival times of any possible extant or past life, as well as for the preservation of potential organic biosignatures of the ancient martian environment.

  17. Mars' surface radiation environment measured with the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassler, Donald M; Zeitlin, Cary; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F; Ehresmann, Bent; Rafkin, Scot; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L; Brinza, David E; Weigle, Gerald; Böttcher, Stephan; Böhm, Eckart; Burmeister, Soenke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; Martin, Cesar; Reitz, Guenther; Cucinotta, Francis A; Kim, Myung-Hee; Grinspoon, David; Bullock, Mark A; Posner, Arik; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Vasavada, Ashwin; Grotzinger, John P

    2014-01-24

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover began making detailed measurements of the cosmic ray and energetic particle radiation environment on the surface of Mars on 7 August 2012. We report and discuss measurements of the absorbed dose and dose equivalent from galactic cosmic rays and solar energetic particles on the martian surface for ~300 days of observations during the current solar maximum. These measurements provide insight into the radiation hazards associated with a human mission to the surface of Mars and provide an anchor point with which to model the subsurface radiation environment, with implications for microbial survival times of any possible extant or past life, as well as for the preservation of potential organic biosignatures of the ancient martian environment.

  18. A radar-echo model for Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thompson, T.W.; Moore, H.J.

    1990-01-01

    Researchers developed a radar-echo model for Mars based on 12.6 cm continuous wave radio transmissions backscattered from the planet. The model broadly matches the variations in depolarized and polarized total radar cross sections with longitude observed by Goldstone in 1986 along 7 degrees S. and yields echo spectra that are generally similiar to the observed spectra. Radar map units in the model include an extensive cratered uplands unit with weak depolarized echo cross sections, average thermal inertias, moderate normal refelectivities, and moderate rms slopes; the volcanic units of Tharsis, Elysium, and Amazonis regions with strong depolarized echo cross sections, low thermal inertia, low normal reflectivities, and large rms slopes; and the northern planes units with moderate to strong depolarized echo cross sections, moderate to very high thermal inertias, moderate to large normal reflectivities, and moderate rms slopes. The relevance of the model to the interpretation of radar echoes from Mars is discussed

  19. Field Simulation of a Drilling Mission to Mars to Search for Subsurface Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, C. R.; Lemke, L. G.; Cannon, H.; Glass, B.; Dunagan, S.; Zavaleta, J.; Miller, D.; Gomez-Elvira, J.

    2005-01-01

    The discovery of near surface ground ice by the Mars Odyssey mission and the abundant evidence for recent Gulley features observed by the Mars Global Surveyor mission support longstanding theoretical arguments for subsurface liquid water on Mars. Thus, implementing the Mars program goal to search for life points to drilling on Mars to reach liquid water, collecting samples and analyzing them with instrumentation to detect in situ organisms and biomarker compounds. Searching for life in the subsurface of Mars will require drilling, sample extraction and handling, and new technologies to find and identify biomarker compounds and search for living organisms. In spite of its obvious advantages, robotic drilling for Mars exploration is in its technological infancy and has yet to be demonstrated in even a terrestrial field environment.

  20. Maps of the Martian Landing Sites and Rover Traverses: Viking 1 and 2, Mars Pathfinder, and Phoenix Landers, and the Mars Exploration Rovers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, T. J.; Calef, F. J., III; Deen, R. G.; Gengl, H.

    2016-12-01

    The traverse maps produced tactically for the MER and MSL rover missions are the first step in placing the observations made by each vehicle into a local and regional geologic context. For the MER, Phoenix and MSL missions, 25cm/pixel HiRISE data is available for accurately localizing the vehicles. Viking and Mars Pathfinder, however, relied on Viking Orbiter images of several tens of m/pixel to triangulate to horizon features visible both from the ground and from orbit. After Pathfinder, MGS MOC images became available for these landing sites, enabling much better correlations to horizon features and localization predictions to be made, that were then corroborated with HiRISE images beginning 9 years ago. By combining topography data from MGS, Mars Express, and stereo processing of MRO CTX and HiRISE images into orthomosaics (ORRs) and digital elevation models (DEMs), it is possible to localize all the landers and rover positions to an accuracy of a few tens of meters with respect to the Mars global control net, and to better than half a meter with respect to other features within a HiRISE orthomosaic. JPL's MIPL produces point clouds of the MER Navcam stereo images that can be processed into 1cm/pixel ORR/DEMs that are then georeferenced to a HiRISE/CTX base map and DEM. This allows compilation of seamless mosaics of the lander and rover camera-based ORR/DEMs with the HiRISE ORR/DEM that can be viewed in 3 dimensions with GIS programs with that capability. We are re-processing the Viking Lander, Mars Pathfinder, and Phoenix lander data to allow similar ORR/DEM products to be made for those missions. For the fixed landers and Spirit, we will compile merged surface/CTX/HiRISE ORR/DEMs, that will enable accurate local and regional mapping of these landing sites, and allow comparisons of the results from these missions to be made with current and future surface missions.