Northeastern Section - 51st Annual Meeting - 2016

Paper No. 24-1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


DUNKEL, Caroline A.1, WARNER, Nathaniel W.1, HUGHES, Christopher G.2 and GRAETTINGER, Alison3, (1)Clarion University, 840 Wood St, 389 STC, Clarion, PA 16214, (2)Biology and Geosciences, Clarion University, 840 Wood St, 389 STC, Clarion, PA 16214, (3)Center for Geohazards Studies, University at Buffalo, 411 Cooke Hall, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260,

Any evidence of possible water on Mars gives us a better understanding of what happened on the planet and the possibility of life on Mars. In our research, we are actively looking at processes that happen on Earth and applying them to what we see in the northern polar region of Mars, between 69°N-81°N and 197°E-330°E. Using Context Camera (CTX) data to examine the morphology of the planet in a program called JMars, we are searching for evidence of maars craters. A maar is a type of volcano that forms when hot magma meets groundwater. This interaction leads to a series of explosions, cutting a crater into the surface. Finding one of these craters would be an indication that there was liquid or frozen ground water on Mars. As we can see on Earth, maars are craters that are not perfectly round and are sometimes elongated. This is because multiple explosions or eruptions can happen in any given area. There are many craters on the surface of Mars; however, they are usually very round in shape, implying that they are impact craters. What we are looking for is anything that is irregular in shape, elongated, and between the size of 3km-10km in diameter. If we find anything that meets these criteria then we will further investigate it, using CTX and other data, to find out if it is a maar. If after all of our searching, we still do not find a maar then we will still learn something about the conditions below the Martian surface.