Astrogeology Science Center


Serving the nation, the international science community, planetary scientists and the general public in the pursuit of new knowledge about our Solar System.


This HiRISE image cutout shows Recurring Slope Lineae in Tivat crater on Mars in enhanced color.
November 20, 2017

Dark features previously proposed as evidence for significant liquid water flowing on Mars have now been identified as granular flows, where sand and dust move rather than liquid water, according to a new article published in Nature Geoscience by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Full-Circle Vista from Naukluft Plateau on Mars
July 3, 2017

Billions of dollars and a decade worth of research are on the line in the instant that a spacecraft touches down on Mars. When deciding where to land on the planet’s rocky surface, it is essential to analyze potential landing sites and their surface characteristics.

Three-dimensional view of the west Ceti Mensa area looking toward the southeast.
May 12, 2017

A new set of high-resolution geologic maps reveal complex geologic processes that suggest a dynamic, wet environment once existed on early Mars, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.


Year Published: 2018

Shaler: in situ analysis of a fluvial sedimentary deposit on Mars

This paper characterizes the detailed sedimentology of a fluvial sandbody on Mars for the first time, and interprets its depositional processes and palaeoenvironmental setting. Despite numerous orbital observations of fluvial landforms on the surface of Mars, ground-based characterization of the sedimentology of such fluvial deposits has not...

Edgar, Lauren; Gupta, Sanjeev; Rubin, David M.; Lewis, Kevin W.; Kocurek, Gary A.; Anderson, Ryan; Bell, James F. ; Dromart, Gilles; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Grotzinger, John P.; Hardgrove, Craig; Kah, Linda C.; LeVeille, Richard A.; Malin, Michael C.; Mangold, Nicholas; Milliken, Ralph E.; Minitti, Michelle; Palucis, Marisa C.; Rice, Melissa; Rowland, Scott K.; Schieber, Juergen; Stack, Kathryn M.; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Rebecca M.E.; Williams, Amy J.
Edgar, L. A., Gupta, S., Rubin, D. M., Lewis, K. W., Kocurek, G. A., Anderson, R. B., Bell, J. F., Dromart, G., Edgett, K. S., Grotzinger, J. P., Hardgrove, C., Kah, L. C., Leveille, R., Malin, M. C., Mangold, N., Milliken, R. E., Minitti, M., Palucis, M., Rice, M., Rowland, S. K., Schieber, J., Stack, K. M., Sumner, D. Y., Wiens, R. C., Williams, R. M.E. and Williams, A. J. (2017), Shaler: In situ analysis of a fluvial sedimentary deposit on Mars. Sedimentology. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/sed.12370

Year Published: 2017

Evidence for the interior evolution of Ceres from geologic analysis of fractures

Ceres is the largest asteroid belt object, and the Dawn spacecraft observed Ceres since 2015. Dawn observed two morphologically distinct linear features on Ceres's surface: secondary crater chains and pit chains. Pit chains provide unique insights into Ceres's interior evolution. We interpret pit chains called the Samhain Catenae as the surface...

Scully, Jennifer E. C.; Buczkowski, Debra; Schmedemann, Nico; Raymond, Carol A.; Castillo-Rogez, Julie C.; Scott King; Bland, Michael; Ermakov, Anton; O'Brien, D.P.; Marchi, S.; Longobardo, A.; Russell, C.T.; Fu, R.R.; Neveu, M.
Scully, J. E. C., Buczkowski, D. L., Schmedemann, N., Raymond, C. A., Castillo-Rogez, J. C., King, S. D., … Neveu, M. (2017). Evidence for the interior evolution of Ceres from geologic analysis of fractures. Geophysical Research Letters, 44, 9564–9572.

Year Published: 2017

CO2 cycle

This chapter discusses the use of models, observations, and laboratory experiments to understand the cycling of CO2 between the atmosphere and seasonal Martian polar caps. This cycle is primarily controlled by the polar heat budget, and thus the emphasis here is on its components, including solar and infrared radiation, the effect of clouds (water...

Titus, Timothy N.; Byrne, Shane; Colaprete, Anthony; Forget, Francois; Michaels, Timothy I.; Prettyman, Thomas H.