Astrogeology Science Center

Publications

Filter Total Items: 858
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Year Published: 2021

The Mars Orbiter for Resources, Ices, and Environments (MORIE) science goals and instrument trades in radar, imaging, and spectroscopy

The Mars Orbiter for Resources, Ices, and Environments (MORIE) was selected as one of NASA's 2019 Planetary Mission Concept Studies. The mission builds upon recent discoveries and current knowledge gaps linked to two primary scientific questions: (1) when did elements of the cryosphere form and how are ice deposits linked to current, recent, and...

Calvin, Wendy M.; Putzig, Nathaniel E.; Dundas, Colin M.; Bramson, Ali M; Horgan, Briony H N; Seelos, Kim D; Sizemore, Hanna G; Ehlmann, Bethany L.; Morgan, Gareth A; Holt, John W; Murchie, Scott L.; Patterson, G Wesley

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Year Published: 2021

Alternating wet and dry depositional environments recorded in the stratigraphy of Mt Sharp at Gale Crater, Mars

The Curiosity rover is exploring Hesperian-aged stratigraphy in Gale crater, Mars, where a transition from clay-bearing units to a layered sulfate-bearing unit has been interpreted to represent a major environmental transition of unknown character. We present the first description of key facies in the sulfate-bearing unit, recently observed in the...

Rapin, William; Dromart, Gilles; Rubin, Dave; Le Deit, Laticia; Mangold, Nicolas; Edgar, Lauren A.; Gasnault, Olivier; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Lemouelic, S.; Anderson, Ryan; Maurice, S.; Fox, V.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Dickson, J. L.; Wiens, R. C.

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Year Published: 2021

A rock record of complex aeolian bedforms in a Hesperian desert landscape: The Stimson formation as exposed in the Murray Buttes, Gale Crater, Mars

Lithified aeolian strata encode information about ancient planetary surface processes and the climate during deposition. Decoding these strata provides insight regarding past sediment transport processes, bedform kinematics, depositional landscape, and the prevailing climate. Deciphering these signatures requires a detailed analysis of sedimentary...

Banham, Steve G.; Gupta, Sanjeev; Rubin, David M.; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Barnes, Robert; Van Beek, Jason K.; Watkins, Jessica A.; Edgar, Lauren A.; Fedo, Christopher M.; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Stack, Kathryn M.; Grotzinger, John P.; Lewis, Kevin; Ewing, Ryan C.; Day, Mackenzie D.; Vasavada, Ashwin R.

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Year Published: 2021

Airborne dust plumes lofted by dislodged ice blocks at Russell crater, Mars

Linear dune gullies on poleward‐facing Martian slopes are enigmatic. Formation by CO2‐ice block or snow cornice falls has been proposed based on optical imagery of bright, high‐albedo features inside gully channels. Because these features often resemble patchy frost residue rather than three‐dimensional blocks, more evidence is needed to support...

Dinwiddie, Cynthia; Titus, Timothy N.

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Year Published: 2021

The Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mast camera zoom (Mastcam-Z) multispectral, stereoscopic imaging investigation

Mastcam-Z is a multispectral, stereoscopic imaging investigation on the Mars 2020 mission’s Perseverance rover. Mastcam-Z consists of a pair of focusable, 4:1 zoomable cameras that provide broadband red/green/blue and narrowband 400-1000 nm color imaging with fields of view from 25.6° × 19.2° (26 mm focal length at 283 ...

Bell, J. F.; Maki, J. N.; Mehall, G. L.; Ravine, M. A.; Caplinger, M. A.; Bailey, Z. J.; Brylow, S.; Schaffner, J. A.; Kinch, K. M.; Madsen, M. B.; Winhold, A.; Hayes, A. G.; Corlies, P.; Tate, C.; Barrington, M.; Cisneros, E.; Jensen, E.; Parise, Katy L.; Crawford, Kelon; Rojas, C.; Mehall, L.; Joseph, J.; Proton, J. B.; Cluff, N.; Deen, R. G.; Betts, B.; Cloutis, Edward A.; Coates, A. J.; Colaprete, Anthony; Edgett, K. S.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Fagents, Sarah A.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Hardgrove, C.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Horgan, Briony H. N.; Jaumann, R.; Johnson, J. R.; Lemmon, M. T.; Paar, G.; Caballo-Perucha, M; Gupta, S.; Traxler, C; Preusker, F.; Rice, M. S.; Robinson, M. S.; Schmitz, N.; Sullivan, R.; Wolff, M. J.

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Year Published: 2021

Modern Mars' geomorphological activity, driven by wind, frost, and gravity

Extensive evidence of landform-scale martian geomorphic changes has been acquired in the last decade, and the number and range of examples of surface activity have increased as more high-resolution imagery has been acquired. Within the present-day Mars climate, wind and frost/ice are the dominant drivers, resulting in large avalanches of material...

Diniega, Serina; Bramson, Ali M; Buratti, Bonnie J.; Buhler, Peter; Burr, Devon M; Chojnacki, Matthew; Conway, Susan J.; Dundas, Colin M.; Hansen, Candice J.; McEwen, Alfred S.; Lapotre, Mathieu G.A.; Levy, Joseph S.; McKeown, Lauren; Piqueux, Sylvain; Portyankina, Ganna; Swann, Christy; Titus, Timothy N.; Widmer, Jacob

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Year Published: 2021

Widespread exposures of extensive clean shallow ice in the mid-latitudes of Mars

Although ice in the Martian midlatitudes is typically covered by a layer of dust or regolith, it is exposed in some locations by fresh impact craters or in erosional scarps. In both cases, the exposed ice is massive or excess ice with a low lithic content. We find that erosional scarps occur between 50° and 61° north and south latitude and that...

Dundas, Colin M.; Mellon, Michael T.; Conway, Susan J.; Daubar, Ingrid J.; Williams, Kaj; Ojha, Lujendra; Wray, James J.; Bramson, Ali; Byrne, Shane; McEwen, Alfred S.; Posiolova, Liliya; Speth, Gunnar; Viola, Donna; Landis, Margaret E.; Morgan, Gareth A; Pathare, Asmin V

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Year Published: 2021

Exposure of an early to middle Noachian valley network in three dimensions on Mars

We document a set of channels in a section of the Martian cratered highlands located between crustal massifs northeast of Hellas Planitia that are visible in cross section and planview >200 m below the surface. The morphometry and spatial distribution of the outcrops provide concrete geological evidence of a dynamic aqueous system in a...

Skinner, James A.; Fortezzo, Corey M.; Mouginis-Mark, Peter J.

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Year Published: 2020

Geologic map of Jezero crater and the Nili Planum region, Mars

The cratered highlands located northwest of Isidis Planitia have been recognized as one of the best preserved Noachian landscapes currently exposed on Mars; the area hosts a record of diverse surface processes, diagenesis, and aqueous alteration. This region has consistently been considered a high priority for landed-mission exploration and...

Sun, Vivian Z.; Stack, Kathryn M.
Sun, V.Z., and Stack, K.M., 2020, Geologic map of Jezero crater and the Nili Planum region, Mars: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3464, pamphlet 14 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:75,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3464.

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Year Published: 2020

Planetary cave exploration progresses

Planetary caves have been identified on the Moon and on Mars, and are likely to occur across the Solar System. They present a new frontier for planetary science, subsurface astrobiology, geology and human exploration. The fourth in a series of scientific meetings focusing on the science and exploration of planetary caves brought together 55...

Titus, Timothy N.; Phillips-Lander, C. M.; Boston, P. J.; Wynne, J. J.; Kerber, L.

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Year Published: 2020

Lava–water interaction and hydrothermal activity within the 2014–2015 Holuhraun Lava Flow Field, Iceland

Lava that erupted during the 2014–2015 Holuhraun eruption in Iceland flowed into a proglacial river system, resulting in aqueous cooling of the lava and an ephemeral hydrothermal system. We carried out a monitoring study of this system from 2015 to 2018 to document the cooling of the lava over this time, using thermocouple measurements and data-...

Dundas, Colin M.; Keszthelyi, Laszlo P.; Lev, Einat; Rumpf, Mary (Elise); Hamilton, Christopher W.; Hoskuldsson, Armann; Thordarson, Thorvaldur

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Year Published: 2020

Mars orbiter for resources, ices, and environments (MORIE)

The MORIE mission concept study examined the science and technical trade space to address high priority questions related to ice reservoirs and environmental transitions. The study team converged on a medium-class SEP-enabled orbiter with seven instruments to unlock the extent and volume of subsurface ice and geologic sequence stratigraphy through...

Calvin, Wendy M.; Putzig, Nathaniel E.; Holt, John W; Bramson, Ali M; Dundas, Colin M.; Ehlmann, Bethany L.; Horgan, Briony H. N.; Morgan, Gareth A; Murchie, Scott L.; Patterson, G Wesley; Seelos, Kimberly D.; Sizemore, Hanna G; Matousek, Steve; Woolley, Ryan; Brinoccolo, Carlos; Scott, Valerie; Stuurman, Cassie; Wheeler, Kevin; Sutin, Brian; Lane, Marc; Barba, Nathan; Gontijo, Ivair; Park, Katherine; Burgin, Mariko; Hensley, Scott; Martin, Jan; Biancone, Jean; Hinkle, David; Insua, Barbara