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Science. 2004 Aug 6;305(5685):807-10.

Surficial deposits at Gusev Crater along Spirit Rover traverses.

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  • 1Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560, USA. grantj@nasm.si.edu


The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has traversed a fairly flat, rock-strewn terrain whose surface is shaped primarily by impact events, although some of the landscape has been altered by eolian processes. Impacts ejected basaltic rocks that probably were part of locally formed lava flows from at least 10 meters depth. Some rocks have been textured and/or partially buried by windblown sediments less than 2 millimeters in diameter that concentrate within shallow, partially filled, circular impact depressions referred to as hollows. The terrain traversed during the 90-sol (martian solar day) nominal mission shows no evidence for an ancient lake in Gusev crater.

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