Slope activity in Gale crater, Mars

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High-resolution repeat imaging of Aeolis Mons, the central mound in Gale crater, reveals active slope processes within tens of kilometers of the Curiosity rover. At one location near the base of northeastern Aeolis Mons, dozens of transient narrow lineae were observed, resembling features (Recurring Slope Lineae) that are potentially due to liquid water. However, the lineae faded and have not recurred in subsequent Mars years. Other small-scale slope activity is common, but has different spatial and temporal characteristics. We have not identified confirmed RSL, which Rummel et al. (Rummel, J.D. et al. [2014]. Astrobiology 14, 887–968) recommended be treated as potential special regions for planetary protection. Repeat images acquired as Curiosity approaches the base of Aeolis Mons could detect changes due to active slope processes, which could enable the rover to examine recently exposed material.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Slope activity in Gale crater, Mars
Series title Icarus
DOI 10.1016/j.icarus.2015.04.002
Volume 254
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher American Astronomical Society
Publisher location San Diego, CA
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description 6 p.
First page 213
Last page 218
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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