The rock abrasion record at Gale Crater: Mars Science Laboratory results from Bradbury Landing to Rocknest

Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets
By: , and 

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Abstract

Ventifacts, rocks abraded by wind-borne particles, are found in Gale Crater, Mars. In the eastward drive from “Bradbury Landing” to “Rocknest,” they account for about half of the float and outcrop seen by Curiosity's cameras. Many are faceted and exhibit abrasion textures found at a range of scales, from submillimeter lineations to centimeter-scale facets, scallops, flutes, and grooves. The drive path geometry in the first 100 sols of the mission emphasized the identification of abrasion facets and textures formed by westerly flow. This upwind direction is inconsistent with predictions based on models and the orientation of regional dunes, suggesting that these ventifact features formed from very rare high-speed winds. The absence of active sand and evidence for deflation in the area indicates that most of the ventifacts are fossil features experiencing little abrasion today.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The rock abrasion record at Gale Crater: Mars Science Laboratory results from Bradbury Landing to Rocknest
Series title Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets
DOI 10.1002/2013JE004579
Volume 119
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description 15 p.
First page 1374
Last page 1389
Other Geospatial Bradbury Landing, Gale Crater, Mars, Rocknest
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N