Slope activity in Gale crater, Mars

Colin M. Dundas, Alfred S. McEwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

High-resolution repeat imaging of Aeolis Mons, the central mound in Gale crater, reveals active slope processes within tens of kilometers of the Curiosity rover. At one location near the base of northeastern Aeolis Mons, dozens of transient narrow lineae were observed, resembling features (Recurring Slope Lineae) that are potentially due to liquid water. However, the lineae faded and have not recurred in subsequent Mars years. Other small-scale slope activity is common, but has different spatial and temporal characteristics. We have not identified confirmed RSL, which Rummel et al. (Rummel, J.D. et al. [2014]. Astrobiology 14, 887-968) recommended be treated as potential special regions for planetary protection. Repeat images acquired as Curiosity approaches the base of Aeolis Mons could detect changes due to active slope processes, which could enable the rover to examine recently exposed material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-218
Number of pages6
JournalIcarus
Volume254
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

Keywords

  • Geological processes
  • Mars
  • Mars, surface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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