Paper No. 132-0
CARR, Christopher E., Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Room 37-219, Cambridge, MA 02139, and NEWMAN, Dava J., Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Room 33-307, Cambridge, MA 02139

Field geology is a highly exploratory, often unstructured activity, involving a great deal of observation, interaction, and information synthesis, continual development and testing of hypotheses, and rapid decision-making and movement. This paper will focus on the basic everyday aspects of field geology in the context of Mars surface exploration.

Maximizing the value of Martian field geology will require extravehicular activity systems that support the planning, mobility, sensing, and communication requirements of field geology. The set of challenges caused by the Martian environment and the physical barrier between future human explorers and that environment are discussed in terms of their interference with, and possible enhancements of, the process of field geology.

Qualitative and quantitative observations of the process of field geology were made during a three-week geologic mapping project in the Bird Spring Mountains, Nevada. Analogies between this experience and Martian field geology were drawn. The challenges encountered and observations made during this mapping project suggest that visual interpretation and recording of information are likely to be significant challenges during Martian field geology. In the Martian environment, the costs of mobility and inadequate planning may be very high, and may require the support of physiological modeling and monitoring. Suggestions for coping with these challenges are discussed, and recommendations for further study are made.

GSA Annual Meeting, November 5-8, 2001
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 132--Booth# 15
Planetary Geology (Posters)
Hynes Convention Center: Hall D
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Wednesday, November 7, 2001

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