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Science. 2007 May 4;316(5825):738-42.

Pyroclastic activity at Home Plate in Gusev Crater, Mars.

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  • 1Department of Astronomy, Space Sciences Building, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Home Plate is a layered plateau in Gusev crater on Mars. It is composed of clastic rocks of moderately altered alkali basalt composition, enriched in some highly volatile elements. A coarsegrained lower unit lies under a finer-grained upper unit. Textural observations indicate that the lower strata were emplaced in an explosive event, and geochemical considerations favor an explosive volcanic origin over an impact origin. The lower unit likely represents accumulation of pyroclastic materials, whereas the upper unit may represent eolian reworking of the same pyroclastic materials.

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