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Publications

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Comparison of ventifact orientations and recent wind direction indicators on the floor of Jezero crater, Mars

Wind-abraded rocks and aeolian bedforms have been observed at the Mars 2020 Perseverance landing site, providing evidence for recent and older wind directions. This study reports orientations of aeolian features measured in Perseverance images to infer formative wind directions. It compares these measurements with orbital observations, climate model predictions, and wind data acquired by the Mars

Optimizing satellite resources for the global assessment and mitigation of volcanic hazards—Suggestions from the USGS Powell Center Volcano Remote Sensing Working Group

A significant number of the world’s approximately 1,400 subaerial volcanoes with Holocene eruptions are unmonitored by ground-based sensors yet constitute a potential hazard to nearby residents and infrastructure, as well as air travel and global commerce. Data from an international constellation of more than 60 current satellite instruments provide a cost-effective means of tracking activity and

Giant planet observations in NASA's Planetary Data System

While there have been far fewer missions to the outer Solar System than to the inner Solar System, spacecraft destined for the giant planets have conducted a wide range of fundamental investigations, returning data that continues to reshape our understanding of these complex systems, sometimes decades after the data were acquired. These data are preserved and accessible from national and internati

Apophis specific action team report

This report about Asteroid (99942) Apophis's Earth close approach on April 13, 2029 was generated by a Specific Action Team (SAT) formed by the Small Body Assessment Group (SBAG) at the request of NASAs Planetary Science Division (PSD). The SAT assessed the current predictions for the effects that may occur due to the close encounter, evaluated observing capabilities, and identified possible inves

Planetary caves: A Solar System view of processes and products

We provide the first solar system wide compendium of speleogenic processes and products. An examination of 15 solar system bodies revealed that six cave-forming processes occur beyond Earth including volcanic (cryo and magmatic), fracturing (tectonic and impact melt), dissolution, sublimation, suffusion, and landslides. Although no caves (i.e., confirmed entrances with associated linear passages)

It’s time for focused in situ studies of planetary surface-atmosphere interactions

A critical gap in planetary observations has been in situ characterization of extra-terrestrial, present-day atmospheric and surface environments and activity. While some surface activity has been observed and some in situ meteorological measurements have been collected by auxiliary instruments on Mars, existing information is insufficient to conclusively characterize the natural processes via con

Geology and stratigraphic correlation of the Murray and Carolyn Shoemaker formations across the Glen Torridon region, Gale crater, Mars

The Glen Torridon (GT) region within Gale crater, Mars, occurs in contact with the southern side of Vera Rubin ridge (VRR), a well-defined geomorphic feature that is comparatively resistant to erosion. Prior to detailed ground-based investigation of GT, its geologic relationship with VRR was unknown. Distinct lithologic subunits within the Jura member (Murray formation), which forms the upper part

Aqueously altered igneous rocks sampled on the floor of Jezero crater, Mars

The Perseverance rover landed in Jezero crater, Mars, to investigate ancient lake and river deposits. We report observations of the crater floor, below the crater’s sedimentary delta, finding the floor consists of igneous rocks altered by water. The lowest exposed unit, informally named Séítah, is a coarsely crystalline olivine-rich rock, which accumulated at the base of a magma body. Fe-Mg carbon

Sedimentological and geochemical perspectives on a marginal lake environment recorded in the Hartmann’s Valley and Karasburg members of the Murray formation, Gale crater, Mars

This study utilizes instruments from the Curiosity rover payload to develop an integrated paleoenvironmental and compositional reconstruction for the 65-m thick interval of stratigraphy comprising the Hartmann's Valley and Karasburg members of the Murray formation, Gale crater, Mars. The stratigraphy consists of cross-stratified sandstone (Facies 1), planar-laminated sandstone (Facies 2), and plan

Thermophysical and compositional properties of paleobedforms on Mars

Bedforms on Earth and Mars are often preserved in the rock record in the form of sedimentary rock with distinct cross-bedding. On rare occasions, the full-surface geometry of a bedform can be preserved through burial and lithification. These features, known as paleobedforms, are found in a variety of geographic locations on Mars. Evidence in the morphology of paleobedforms, such as the retention o

The formation mechanisms for mid-latitude ice scarps on Mars

Mid-latitude exposed ice scarps have recently been identified on Mars (Dundas et al., 2018; 2021). The presence of such surface ice exposures at relatively low latitudes was itself a mystery, and the formation dynamics of such scarps have also not been explained. In this work we model the ice ablation rates of several identified mid-latitude scarps. We find that, given certain characteristics of t

Martian gully activity and the gully sediment transport system

The formation process for Martian gullies is a critical unknown for understanding recent climate conditions. Leading hypotheses include formation by snowmelt in a past climate, or formation via currently active CO2 frost processes. This paper presents an expanded catalog of >300 recent flows in gullies. The results indicate that sediment transport in current gully flows moves the full range of mat