ROCK TEXTURES: UNDERSTANDING THE JEZERO CRATER FLOOR IN THE REGION OF THE PERSEVERANCE ROVER LANDING SITE (Invited Presentation)
Here we use high-resolution images taken by the Mastcam-Z, Supercam RMI, and WATSON imaging systems on board the Perseverance rover to provide an overview of the dark-toned crater floor unit in the landing site region. We describe the macro-scale morphological features and distribution of primary rock morphotypes, and we explore the range of meso-scale and micro-scale textural features observed in these rocks. Despite the challenges of interpreting lithology of materials that have undergone substantial surface modification (e.g., sculpting and polishing) by wind, and that often have dust coverage that obscures surface textures, we provide evidence that rocks of the dark-toned crater floor are composed primarily of granular materials that vary in both grain size and in the thickness of discrete beds. We suggest that emplacement occurred primarily via hydrodynamically driven sedimentary deposition—although tephra deposition into subaqueous or subaerial environments cannot be ruled out for certain morphotypes—and explore the extent to which differences in surficial modification can obscure depositional signals.