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Observations of the geology and geomorphology of the 1999 Marsokhod test site

DeHon, R. A. and Barlow, N. G. and Reagan, M. K. and Bettis III, E. A. and Foster Jr., C. T. and Gulick, V. C. and Crumpler, L. S. and Aubele, J. C. and Chapman, M. G. and Tanaka, K. L. (2001) Observations of the geology and geomorphology of the 1999 Marsokhod test site. Journal of Geophysical Research, 106 (E4). pp. 7665-7682. ISSN 0148-0227

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Publisher’s or external URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/1999JE001167


The Marsokhod rover returned data from six stations that were used to decipher the geomorphology and geology of a region not previously visited by members of the geomorphology field team. Satellite images and simulated descent images provided information about the regional setting. The landing zone was on an alluvial apron flanking a mountain block to the west and playa surface to the east. Rover color images, infrared spectra analysis of the mountains, and the apron surface provided insight into the rock composition of the nearby mountains. From the return data the geomorphology team interpreted the region to consist of compressionally deformed, ancient marine sediments and igneous rocks exposed by more recent extensional tectonics. Unconsolidated alluvial materials blanket the lower flanks of the mountains. An ancient shoreline cut into alluvial material marks a high stand of water during a past, wetter climate period. Playa sediments floor a present-day, seasonally, dry lake. Observations made by the rover using panoramic and close-up (hand specimens—scale) image data and color scene data confirmed the presence of boulders, cobbles, and fines of various provinces. Rover traverses to sites identified as geologically distinct, such as a fan, channel, shoreline, and playa, provided useful clues to the geologic interpretations. Analysis of local rocks was given context only through comparison with distant geologic features. These results demonstrated the importance of a multifaceted approach to site interpretation through comparison of interpretations derived by differing geologic techniques.

Item Type: Article
Publisher’s Statement: Copyright 2001 by the American Geophysical Union.
ID number or DOI: 10.1029/1999JE001167
Keywords: Marsokhod, test, site, geology, geomorphology, Mars, rover
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QE Geology
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Faculty/Staff
Department/Unit: College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Science > Physics and Astronomy
Date Deposited: 04 May 2017 16:25
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/2597

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