GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 66-6
Presentation Time: 3:05 PM


GULLIKSON, Amber L.1, EDGAR, Lauren A.1, RUMPF, M. Elise1, SKINNER Jr., James A.1 and SKINNER, Lisa A.2, (1)U.S. Geological Survey, Astrogeology Science Center, 2255 N. Gemini Drive, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, (2)School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, Geosciences Division, Northern Arizona University, PO Box 4099, Flagstaff, AZ 86011

Earth is the training ground for human and robotic planetary exploration. The USGS Astrogeology Science Center (ASC) is in a unique geographic position to access a range of field analogs for planetary research and technology development. As such, the ASC is re-committing to a historical pillar of expertise: providing the planetary science and engineering community with datasets, sample collections, and other resources for terrestrial analog fieldwork and testing. ASC is taking initial steps towards establishing a Terrestrial Analog Program. One of our primary goals for this program is the development of terrestrial analog sites as training grounds and resources for the broader science and engineering community through the creation of “multipurpose” field guides.

These field guides will be a standardized, rubric-based format that can be easily adapted for a variety of audiences including, but not limited to: undergraduate and graduate field trips, NASA mission field trips, technology testing, traverse planning, manager training, and field simulations. The purpose of the guides is to consolidate a wide range of information for the analog sites, combining remote-sensing and field data in a standardized format for use in academia, research, and technology testing. Ultimately, we intend for these guides to form the basis of a catalog of planetary analogs, developed in collaboration with other NASA centers and academic partners. The field guides will be online repositories that can be regularly updated with additional information as it becomes available.

To establish and test a standard field guide, we used SP Crater, located 40 miles north of Flagstaff, Arizona. Used as a lunar counterpart, SP Crater has been the focus of numerous field and analog studies. The guide will include a brief geologic history of the San Francisco Volcanic field, details on eruption mechanisms, cinder cone formation, lava flow emplacement, and associated features that can be identified in the field and (or) through remote sensing. It will be tested and ultimately refined by different audiences (e.g., researchers, students, etc.) prior to making it available on the USGS Astrogeology website to ensure content and learning outcomes are scaled appropriately. Here, we present a preliminary version of the SP Crater field guide.