Structural mapping of the Eagle Crater outcrop on Mars: New challenges for the extraterrestrial field geologist

Declan G. De Paor, B. M. Brenton, K. F. Cox, S. R. Duplantis, P. T. Egan, D. E. Kowalewski, P. J. Lancaster, C. A. Masaric-Johnson, H. Melanson, A. J. Orlando, Lauren Sauer, C. M. Witkowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We report the results of a structural analysis of the outcrop at Eagle Crater, Meridiani Planum, Mars, which was carried out as an undergraduate class project at Boston University. The outcrop exposes an approximately 20-meter-diameter, semi-circular section of the crater rim in the prevailing down-wind direction. Sedimentary units dip radially outwards on the whole, consistent with an impact origin, though there is some evidence of local folding. Many rock slabs are only slightly out of place, forming a quasi-broken formation that accounts for a sizable portion of the exposure. Geometric features in and around the crater include inclined bedding, cross bedding, undeformed "blueberry" concretions, fracture cleavage, faults, fractures, undeformed crystal vugs, and striations. Observed structures are consistent with an origin by impact cratering and/or wrinkle ridge tectonics. Oblique panorama imagery presented unusual challenges which we overcame with new analytical techniques. Our approach may prove useful for professors and students aiming to understand new forms of field data using the classical techniques of structural analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the Virtual Explorer
Volume14
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

outcrops
craters
Structural analysis
mars
crater
Mars
outcrop
structural analysis
Temazepam
Tectonics
cross-bedding
cratering
wind direction
striation
concretion
Rocks
Students
rims
imagery
students

Keywords

  • Cross bedding
  • Eagle Crater
  • Folding
  • Fracture cleavage
  • Impact crater
  • Mars
  • Structural geology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geology
  • Geophysics

Cite this

De Paor, D. G., Brenton, B. M., Cox, K. F., Duplantis, S. R., Egan, P. T., Kowalewski, D. E., ... Witkowski, C. M. (2004). Structural mapping of the Eagle Crater outcrop on Mars: New challenges for the extraterrestrial field geologist. Journal of the Virtual Explorer, 14.

Structural mapping of the Eagle Crater outcrop on Mars : New challenges for the extraterrestrial field geologist. / De Paor, Declan G.; Brenton, B. M.; Cox, K. F.; Duplantis, S. R.; Egan, P. T.; Kowalewski, D. E.; Lancaster, P. J.; Masaric-Johnson, C. A.; Melanson, H.; Orlando, A. J.; Sauer, Lauren; Witkowski, C. M.

In: Journal of the Virtual Explorer, Vol. 14, 2004.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

De Paor, DG, Brenton, BM, Cox, KF, Duplantis, SR, Egan, PT, Kowalewski, DE, Lancaster, PJ, Masaric-Johnson, CA, Melanson, H, Orlando, AJ, Sauer, L & Witkowski, CM 2004, 'Structural mapping of the Eagle Crater outcrop on Mars: New challenges for the extraterrestrial field geologist', Journal of the Virtual Explorer, vol. 14.
De Paor, Declan G. ; Brenton, B. M. ; Cox, K. F. ; Duplantis, S. R. ; Egan, P. T. ; Kowalewski, D. E. ; Lancaster, P. J. ; Masaric-Johnson, C. A. ; Melanson, H. ; Orlando, A. J. ; Sauer, Lauren ; Witkowski, C. M. / Structural mapping of the Eagle Crater outcrop on Mars : New challenges for the extraterrestrial field geologist. In: Journal of the Virtual Explorer. 2004 ; Vol. 14.
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