KATMAI AND THE VALLEY OF TEN THOUSAND SMOKES AS A MARS ANALOGUE
In 1912 Katmai Volcano and Novarupta Dome on the Alaska Peninsula experienced a catastrophic eruption that covered 120 km2 in up to two hundred meters of pumice and ash. Now designated as a National Park, the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes (VTTS) is still a barren volcanic landscape devoid of vegetation nearly a hundred years later. On the University of Alaska, Fairbanks 2004 International Volcanology Field School trip, digital images were taken of geologic features in the VTTS similar to those seen on Mars. Features of interest include pyroclastic bedding, phreatic crater deposits, wind abrasion of boulders, volcanically induced outburst flood deposits and dust devils. These Martian-like features were then compared to criteria used to establish current Martian analogue sites, allowing an assessment of the VTTS as a potential analogue. Initial results suggest the VTTS is a good geomorphic analogue and warrants future detailed study to understand Martian surface processes.