Journal Highlights

Radar used to survey enigmatic region of Mars

Editor’s Highlight—

 

The Medusae Fossae Formation on Mars is important because it is a voluminous unit that likely contains a well-preserved record of the transition between the eras of fluvial incision, erosion and deposition and the more arid geological processes observed today. Previous research has also indicated that this region contains significant hydrogen – likely as water ice – beneath the surface. The origin of this enigmatic region is an open question with suggestions that the materials are due to accumulations of volcanic ash, atmospheric dust, or the remnants of a former polar ice cap. This study uses radar capable of penetrating beneath the surface to determine how the materials in the Lucas Planum region of the Medusae Fossae region are layered and their properties. The authors find that materials vary with location. At least some areas within Lucas Planum are composed of volcanic ash deposits, while others are less clear, including a region where the radar was unable to sense to a significant depth.

Article Category
Research Articles

Radar sounding of Lucus Planum, Mars, by MARSIS

Roberto Orosei, Angelo Pio Rossi, Federico Cantini, Graziella Caprarelli, Lynn M. Carter, Irene Papiano, Marco Cartacci, Andrea Cicchetti, Raffaella Noschese
First Published:
| Vol:
122,
Pages
1405–1418
| DOI:
10.1002/2016JE005232