February 2019 

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Unraveling the Martian Fluvial History from Two-Decades of Orbital and Surface Observations: Insights from Utah Analogs

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Resource details

Resource ID

596

Access

Open

Contributed by

Admin User

Volume

51

Keywords

Planetary Science Institute

Named person(s)

Rebecca M. E. Williams

Date

11 February 19

Number

2

Abstract

Ancient Martian rivers were first suggested by
researchers examining Mariner 9 images in
1972. Valley networks were discovered globally
during the Viking mission. However, the record of
fluvial processes and the complexity of the
sedimentary record on Mars were not
fully appreciated until the acquisition of high
resolution orbital images beginning in 1997 with Mars
Global Surveyor, which ushered in the golden age of
Martian exploration. Recent ground-based
observations with the Curiosity rover have enhanced
our understanding of the fluvio-lacustrine
environments that were undoubtedly not unique to
Gale crater, but are a representative history of past warmer and wetter climate
conditions globally. This presentation will review developments in the Martian fluvial
history, highlighting Utah geological sites that served as a natural laboratory to (a)
understand the geomorphological expression of Martian fluvial deposits, and (b) assess
rover operational strategies including for the upcoming Mars 2020 mission to Jezero
crater.

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