Paper No. 225-1
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM
GEOLOGIC MAPPING OF THE MARS SCIENCE LABORATORY LANDING ELLIPSE
The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) project “crowd sourced” a geologic mapping effort of the nominal landing ellipse in preparation for tactical and strategic mission operations. The map will be published at 1:24000. Minimal mapping area is set at 4002 m (20 x 20 m), which is the approximate size of individual outcrops MSL has visited while remaining visible at the map scale. The geologic map contains 6 major units mapped from orbit with most investigated insitu by the Curiosity rover: a texturally smooth unit that makes up the Peace Vallis alluvial fan unit (AF) with many inverted channels that are several meters vertical, the bedded fracture unit (BF) with sub-meter width fractures of variable length and spacing in sandstone and mudstone facies (i.e. Yellowknife Bay), several flat-lying more heavily cratered surfaces (CS) that appear to be a fine-grained/massive facies, tonally-smooth though topographically hummocky plains unit (HP) consisting of a pebbly lag and occasional conglomerate outcrops (e.g. Hottah), a bright-toned topographically variable ‘rugged’ unit (RT) composed of several fluvial deposits in mesa-like outcrops, and a light-toned ‘striated’ unit (SR) made up of crossbedded sandstones. Units for eolian fill/bedforms and obvious continuous ejecta blankets that occasionally covered the major units were also designated, though they are minor components. With our initial mapping complete, we continue to refine mapped terrains along the rover traverse to Murray Buttes at the lower reaches of Mt. Sharp.