Discovery of columnar jointing on Mars

Moses P. Milazzo, L. P. Keszthelyi, W. L. Jaeger, M. Rosiek, S. Mattson, C. Verba, R. A. Beyer, P. E. Geissler, A. S. McEwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report on the discovery of columnar jointing in Marte Valles, Mars. These columnar lavas were discovered in the wall of a pristine, 16-km-diameter impact crater and exhibit the features of terrestrial columnar basalts. There are discontinuous outcrops along the entire crater wall, suggesting that the columnar rocks covered a surface area of at least 200 km2, assuming that the rocks obliterated by the impact event were similarly jointed. We also see columns in the walls of other fresh craters in the nearby volcanic plains of Elysium Planitia-Amazonis Planitia, which include Marte Vallis, and in a well-preserved crater in northeast Hellas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-174
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 8 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

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    Milazzo, M. P., Keszthelyi, L. P., Jaeger, W. L., Rosiek, M., Mattson, S., Verba, C., Beyer, R. A., Geissler, P. E., & McEwen, A. S. (2009). Discovery of columnar jointing on Mars. Geology, 37(2), 171-174. https://doi.org/10.1130/G25187A.1