Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Inverted channel deposits on the floor of Miyamoto crater, Mars

January 1, 2010

Morphological features on the western floor of Miyamoto crater in southwestern Meridiani Planum, Mars, are suggestive of past fluvial activity. Imagery from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) gives a detailed view of raised curvilinear features that appear to represent inverted paleochannel deposits. The inverted terrain appears to be capped with a resistant, dark-toned deposit that is partially covered by unconsolidated surficial materials. Subsequent to deposition of the capping layer, erosion of the surrounding material has left the capping materials perched on pedestals of uneroded basal unit material. Neither the capping material nor the surrounding terrains show any unambiguous morphological evidence of volcanism or glaciation. The capping deposit may include unconsolidated or cemented stream deposits analogous to terrestrial inverted channels in the Cedar Mountain Formation near Green River, Utah. In addition to this morphological evidence for fluvial activity, phyllosilicates have been identified in the basal material on the floor of Miyamoto crater by orbital spectroscopy, providing mineralogical evidence of past aqueous activity. Based on both the morphological and mineralogical evidence, Miyamoto crater represents an excellent site for in situ examination and sampling of a potentially habitable environment.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2010
Title Inverted channel deposits on the floor of Miyamoto crater, Mars
DOI 10.1016/j.icarus.2009.03.030
Authors Horton E. Newsom, Nina L. Lanza, Ann M. Ollila, Sandra M. Wiseman, Ted L. Roush, Giuseppe A. Marzo, Livio L. Tornabene, Chris H. Okubo, Mikki M. Osterloo, Victoria E. Hamilton, Larry S. Crumpler
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Icarus
Index ID 70034029
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Astrogeology Science Center

Related Content