A closer look at water-related geologic activity on Mars

A. S. McEwen, C. J. Hansen, W. A. Delamere, E. M. Eliason, K. E. Herkenhoff, L. Keszthelyi, V. C. Gulick, R. L. Kirk, M. T. Mellon, J. A. Grant, N. Thomas, C. M. Weitz, S. W. Squyres, N. T. Bridges, S. L. Murchie, F. Seelos, K. Seelos, C. H. Okubo, M. P. Milazzo, L. L. TornabeneW. L. Jaeger, S. Byrne, P. S. Russell, J. L. Griffes, S. Martínez-Alonso, A. Davatzes, F. C. Chuang, B. J. Thomson, K. E. Fishbaugh, C. M. Dundas, K. J. Kolb, M. E. Banks, J. J. Wray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

118 Scopus citations

Abstract

Water has supposedly marked the surface of Mars and produced characteristic landforms. To understand the history of water on Mars, we take a close look at key locations with the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, reaching fine spatial scales of 25 to 32 centimeters per pixel. Boulders ranging up to ∼2 meters in diameter are ubiquitous in the middle to high latitudes, which include deposits previously interpreted as fine-grained ocean sediments or dusty snow. Bright gully deposits identify six locations with very recent activity, but these lie on steep (20° to 35°) slopes where dry mass wasting could occur. Thus, we cannot confirm the reality of ancient oceans or water in active gullies but do see evidence of fluvial modification of geologically recent mid-latitude gullies and equatorial impact craters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1706-1709
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume317
Issue number5845
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 21 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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