Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mars Sedimentary Structures Attack!!'s Sunday night and I'm finally editing a post that was supposed to be finished Friday.

Yes it is Friday night and I am at home, watching SNL from the 70's with PBF, playing Words with Friends and finally getting around to my expanded post about Mars.  This is the topic I would love to research and study.  It is the part of the reason I came back to school for Geology.  This post is basically a summary of the presentation I gave a few weeks ago. ( By summary I mean lots of pretty pictures!) Relating structures seen on Earth is a great way to start gaining understanding of what we see on Mars. Well, at least we can tell that our planet and Mars has some similarities.

Exhibit 1!  Here is an arial photo of the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.   This is a high altitude sand dune field in the San Luis Valley, Colorado.  The dunes are backed up against the Sangre De Cristo Mountains to the east.
Duney goodness in Colorado!

This is a satellite photo from the Mars Global Surveyor in orbit around Mars.
It's a dune field blown up at the base of a chasm in the Valles Marineris system. Instead of the silt, sand an soil that makes up the Sand Dunes National Park, these are made mostly out of volcanic ash!

Volcanic ash duney goodness on Mars!

Exhibit 2!!
 A close up of the a section of the Grand Canyon. In the upper region, you can see various layers which make up the canyon walls.  This photo is lit from the south west..

A very small part of the Grand Canyon.

Here is a close up of the Terby Basin on Mars.  You can see layers of sedimentary rocks eroded by some force of nature (wind, water, or something).  


Exhibit 3!!
Alluvial fans in Death Valley, CA. Think of them as the mountain shedding.

Erosion from the Panamint Range to the west of Death Valley

Alluvial Fans on Mars! These are in the East Candor Chasma in the Valles Marineris of Mars. Notice the falls are more linear. This is because they are not water driven like the ones in Death Valley.

Fans on Mars!

Exhibit 4!!
Mississippi River Delta System! This is in the process of dumping millions of tons of sediment in the Gulf of Mexico each year.
The long "bird's foot" look of the delta is due to the Army Corps of Engineers keeping the channel  clear for ships.

If the sediments above are buried deep enough, they can become lithified.  That is what we see hear in Holden Crater on Mars!
"Fossilized" deltaic system on Mars.

Well, this post was quite a bit less wordy that I can be, the pictures are pretty to look at!  Hehe :)

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