Morphological features on the western floor of Miyamoto crater in southwestern Meridiani Planum, Mars, are suggestive of past fluvial activity. Imagery from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) gives a detailed view of raised curvilinear features that appear to represent inverted paleochannel deposits. The inverted terrain appears to be capped with a resistant, dark-toned deposit that is partially covered by unconsolidated surficial materials. Subsequent to deposition of the capping layer, erosion of the surrounding material has left the capping materials perched on pedestals of uneroded basal unit material. Neither the capping material nor the surrounding terrains show any unambiguous morphological evidence of volcanism or glaciation. The capping deposit may include unconsolidated or cemented stream deposits analogous to terrestrial inverted channels in the Cedar Mountain Formation near Green River, Utah. In addition to this morphological evidence for fluvial activity, phyllosilicates have been identified in the basal material on the floor of Miyamoto crater by orbital spectroscopy, providing mineralogical evidence of past aqueous activity. Based on both the morphological and mineralogical evidence, Miyamoto crater represents an excellent site for in situ examination and sampling of a potentially habitable environment. ?? 2009 Elsevier Inc.
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Inverted channel deposits on the floor of Miyamoto crater, Mars