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The Galaxias region (MTM 35217) is one of a series of 1:500,000-scale science study areas on Mars sponsored by NASA's Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program. Situated near the northern limit of lava flows associated with Elysium Mons, this region includes a mixture of volcanic and nonvolcanic terrains. The region is also of interest for the fluvial systems that originate along the distal margins of the Elysium lava flows. Resolution of Viking Orbiter images used to prepare the base map ranges from 40 to 160 m/pixel. High-resolution frames (40 to 80 m/pixel) are found in the southeastern part of the map area and along the north edge of the quadrangle, but over half the quadrangle is included in medium-resolution frames (150 m/pixel). Two 8 m/pixel, very high resolution scenes are available (see fig. 1). Interpretation is complicated by variable resolution and sun angles that vary from east to west illumination on different images. Mapping methods and principles are adapted from those developed for lunar photogeologic mapping by Shoemaker and Hackman (1962), refined by Wilhelms (1972), and successfully applied by many workers to a variety of planetary surfaces. Mapping units are distinguished by topography and texture and are ranked by relative age on the basis of superposition and transection relations. Material units are assigned to time-stratigraphic systems defined by Scott and Carr (1978) and Tanaka (1986). This area is included within earlier maps that used Mariner 9 images at 1:5,000,000 scale (Elston, 1979) and globally at 1:25,000,000 scale (Scott and Carr, 1978). Regional maps based on the much higher resolutions of Viking Orbiter allowed more detailed discrimination of materials by Greeley and Guest (1987) at 1:15,000,000 scale and Tanaka and others (1992) at 1:5,000,000 scale. Some map units on this 1:500,000-scale map correspond to, or are partially equivalent to, units on the larger scale maps of Greeley and Guest (1987) and Tanaka and others (1992). Established terminology is used where feasible, but the scale of this map requires that some new units be introduced and that some previous terminology be redefined. Photogeologic methods are limited; therefore, more than one geologic explanation is given for some material units that do not readily lend themselves to an unequivocal interpretation.
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Geologic map of the Galaxias quadrangle (MTM 35217) of Mars