GEOSCAN Search Results: Fastlink


TitleComparative geological studies of volcanic terrain on Mars: Examples from the Isachsen Formation, Axel Heiberg Island, Canadian High Arctic
AuthorWilliamson, M -C; Smyth, H R; Peterson, R C; Lavoie, DORCID logo
SourceAnalogs for Planetary Exploration; Geological Society of America, Special Paper no. 483, 2011 p. 249-261,
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20100043
PublisherGeological Society of America
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
NTS49G/01; 49G/02; 49G/03; 49G/04; 49G/05; 49G/06; 49G/07; 49G/08
AreaAxel Heiberg Island; Mars
Lat/Long WENS-88.0000 -84.0000 79.5000 79.0000
Subjectsigneous and metamorphic petrology; extraterrestrial geology; igneous rocks; volcanic rocks; terrain analysis; carbonate rocks; evaporites; alteration; diapirs; Isachsen Formation; Sverdrup Basin
Illustrationslocation maps; photographs
Released2012 03 05
AbstractRecent orbital and rover missions to Mars have returned high-resolution images that show complex surface landforms in unprecedented detail. In addition, the spectral data sets from mission instruments reveal the presence of a wide array of mineral species on the surface of Mars. These discoveries are changing the analog science requirements of projects targeting exploration missions to Mars. Mission managers now expect fi eld deployments to include complementary investigations of surface processes, rock types, mineral species, and microbial habitats. Earth-based analog sites are selected according to their potential for integrated geological and biological studies, wherein a central theme is the search for life. Geological fi eld studies on Axel Heiberg Island, in the Canadian Arctic, demonstrate that the Isachsen Formation represents a high-fi delity analog for comparative studies of volcanic terrain on Mars. The two sites of interest are located in structurally complex zones (chaotic terrain) where basaltic lava fl ows, mafi c dikes, and sandstone beds of Early Cretaceous age intersect evaporite outliers at the periphery of the diapirs. At the North Agate Fiord diapir and Junction diapir, remnant blocks of basaltic rock are pervasively altered and contain copper and iron sulfi des, as well as the secondary sulfates copiapite, fi broferrite, and jarosite (North Agate Fiord diapir). Alteration zones within poorly consolidated quartzitic sandstone consist of thin layers of goethite, hematite, illite, and jarosite. The sites are morphologically different from Martian patera, but they provide access to volcanic successions and evaporites in areas of permafrost, i.e., conditions that are invoked in conceptual models for hydrothermal systems and groundwater flow on Mars.

Date modified: