Constraints on the origin and evolution of the layered mound in Gale Crater, Mars using Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter data. B.J. Thomson et al., 2011; via Ben Tweed. Gale Crater: What ‘n’ where. Curiosity landing site 152 km diameter Quite large, as craters go 5.3 deg S, 222.3 deg W
B.J. Thomson et al., 2011; via Ben Tweed
Average height of 3.8 km, max relief of about 5.2 km
So what’s the big deal, anyway?
Other similar mounds
Reuyl (86 km dia, 9.8 deg S, 193.2 deg W)
Nicholson (103 km dia, 0.2 deg N, 164.6 deg W)
Similar spectra, similar surface geometry (yardangsetc) => larger MFF?
How’d they get there anyway?
Low thermal inertia: Wind
Dust + ice
Southern rim channels, layering and terraces, other channels: Water
No terraces, deltas or fans: Hot spring
Buried evaporite=>thermal anomalies=>sustained hydrologic activity
Divided into upper/lower mound, then given additional morphological descriptors