Astrogeology Science Center

Publications

Filter Total Items: 869
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Year Published: 2021

Advancing cave detection using terrain analysis and thermal imagery

Since the initial experiments nearly 50 years ago, techniques for detecting caves using airborne and spacecraft acquired thermal imagery have improved markedly. These advances are largely due to a combination of higher instrument sensitivity, modern computing systems, and processor-intensive analytical techniques. Through applying these...

Wynne, J. Judson; Jenness, Jeff; Sonderegger, Derek; Titus, Timothy N.; Jhabvala, Murzy D.; Cabrol, Nathalie A.

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Year Published: 2021

Geologic map of Olympus Mons caldera, Mars

The Mars volcano, Olympus Mons, is probably the best known extraterrestrial volcano. The summit forms a nested caldera with six overlapping collapse pits that collectively measure ~65 x ~80 kilometers (km). Numerous wrinkle ridges and graben occur on the caldera floor, and topographic data indicate >1.2 km of elevation change since the...

Mouginis-Mark, Peter J.
Mouginis-Mark, P.J., 2021, Geologic map of Olympus Mons caldera, Mars: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3470, 6 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:200,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3470.

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Year Published: 2021

A geologic field guide to S P Mountain and its lava flow, San Francisco Volcanic Field, Arizona

IntroductionWe created this guide to introduce the user to the San Francisco Volcanic Field as a terrestrial analog site for planetary volcanic processes. For decades, the San Francisco Volcanic Field has been used to teach scientists to recognize the products of common types of volcanic eruptions and associated volcanic features. The volcanic...

Gullikson, Amber L.; Rumpf, M. Elise; Edgar, Lauren A.; Keszthelyi, Laszlo P.; Skinner, James A.; Thompson, Lisa
Gullikson, A.L., Rumpf, M.E., Edgar, L.A., Keszthelyi, L.P., Skinner, J.A., Jr., and Thompson, L., 2021, A geologic field guide to S P Mountain and its lava flow, San Francisco Volcanic Field, Arizona: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1072, 37 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211072.

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Year Published: 2021

A review of the phyllosilicates in Gale Crater as detected by the CheMin Instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory, Curiosity Rover

Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, landed on Mars in August 2012 to investigate the ~3.5-billion-year-old (Ga) fluvio-lacustrine sedimentary deposits of Aeolis Mons (informally known as Mount Sharp) and the surrounding plains (Aeolis Palus) in Gale crater. After nearly nine years, Curiosity has traversed over 25 km, and the...

Tu, Valerie M.; Rampe, Elizabeth B.; Bristow, Thomas F.; Thorpe, Michael T.; Clark, Joanna V.; Castle, Nicholas; Fraeman, Abigail A.; Edgar, Lauren A.; McAdam, Amy; Bedford, Candice C.; Achilles, Cherie N.; Blake, David; Chipera, Steve J.; Craig, Patricia I.; Des Marais, David J.; Downs, Gordie W.; Downs, Robert T.; Fox, Valerie K.; Grotzinger, John P.; Hazen, Robert M.; Ming, Douglas W.; Morris, Richard V.; Morrison, Shaunna M.; Pavri, Betina; Peretyazhko, Tanya S.; Sarazin, Philippe C.; Sutter, Brad; Treiman, Allan H.; Vaniman, David T.; Yen, Albert S.; Bridges, Jon C.

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Year Published: 2021

A numerical model for the cooling of a lava sill with heat pipe effects

Understanding the cooling process of volcanic intrusions into wet sediments is a difficult but important problem, given the presence of extremely large temperature gradients and potentially complex water-magma interactions. This report presents a numerical model to study such interactions, including the effect of heat pipes on the cooling of...

Williams, Kaj E.; Dundas, Colin M.; Kestay, Laszlo P.
Williams, K.E., Dundas, C.M., and Kestay, L.P., 2021, A numerical model for the cooling of a lava sill with heat pipe effects: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 13, chap. B2, 14 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm13B2.

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Year Published: 2021

Brine-driven destruction of clay minerals in Gale crater, Mars

Mars’ sedimentary rock record preserves information on geological (and potential astrobiological) processes that occurred on the planet billions of years ago. The Curiosity rover is exploring the lower reaches of Mount Sharp, in Gale crater on Mars. A traverse from Vera Rubin ridge to Glen Torridon has allowed Curiosity to...

Bristow, T. F.; Grotzinger, John P.; Rampe, E.; Cuadros, J.; Chipera, S. J.; Downs, G.; Fedo, Christopher M.; Frydenvang, Jens; McAdam, A. C.; Morris, R. V.; Achilles, C. N.; Blake, D. F.; Castle, N.; Craig, P.; Des Marais, D. J.; Downs, R. T.; Hazen, R. M.; Ming, D. W.; Morrison, S. M.; Thorpe, M. T.; Treiman, A. H.; Tu, V.; Vaniman, D. T.; Yen, A. S.; Gellert, R.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Wiens, Roger C.; Bryk, A. B.; Bennett, Kristen Alicia; Fox, V. K.; Milliken, R. E.; Fraeman, Abigail A.; Vasavada, A. R.

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Year Published: 2021

Further adventures in Mars DTM quality: Smoothing errors, sharpening details

We have used high-precision, high-resolution digital terrain models (DTMs) of the NASA Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) and Mars 2020 rover landing sites based on mosaicked images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (MRO HiRISE) camera as a reference data set to evaluate DTMs based on Mars Express High...

Kirk, Randolph L.; Mayer, David; Redding, Bonnie L.; Galuszka, Donna M.; Fergason, Robin L.; Hare, Trent M.; Gwinner, Klaus

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Year Published: 2021

Asteroid impacts - downwind and downstream effects

For this abstract, we have selected an impact location, consistent with the PDC2021 initial scenario [1], in the San Juan Mountains, in southwestern Colorado. This is a low-density population area but is part of the watershed system within the Colorado River basin, a major source for water and power for the southwestern United States. Several...

Titus, Timothy N.; Robertson, D.G.; Sankey, Joel B.; Mastin, Larry G.

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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

The role of the Next Generation Lunar Scientists and Engineers (NextGen) group in lunar science and exploration

Founded in 2008, the Next Generation Lunar Scientists and Engineers (NextGen) is a group of students and early career professionals who have a vision and passion for lunar science and exploration. NextGen organizes professional development opportunities through workshops and networking events that are designed to provide resources and training for...

Watkins, Ryan; Ostrach, Lillian; Valencia, Sarah; Stadermann, Amanda; Bleacher, Lora; Petro, Noah E.; Caswell, Tess; Fagan, Amy; Jawin, Erica; Meyer, Heather; Phillips, Deanna; O'Brien, Hannah