Characterization of the martian surface by Pathfinder Mission
Matijevic et al (30 authors at 2 installations, US) report that Sojourner, the Mars Pathfinder rover, discovered pebbles on the surface and in rocks that may be sedimentary and not volcanic in origin. The authors suggest the surface pebbles may have been rounded by Ares flood waters or liberated by weathering of sedi- mentary rocks called conglomerates. These conglomerates imply that water existed elsewhere and earlier than the Ares flood. The data also indicate that most Martian soil-like deposits are similar to moderately dense soils on Earth, and that small amounts of dust are currently settling from the atmosphere.
QY: H. J. Moore firstname.lastname@example.org
Science5 Dec 97
MARS EXPLORATION EVIDENCE SUGGESTS ANCIENT MASSIVE FLOOD
The first photographs from the Mars Pathfinder mission to the
Ares Vallis region of Mars have been interpreted as evidence for
a huge flood hundreds of miles wide, hundreds of feet deep, and
thousands of miles in extent, that occurred 1 to 3 billion years
ago. Meanwhile, Sojourner, the minuscule ambulatory robot has
begun exploring a succession of rocks with its main instrument,
an alpha proton x-ray spectrometer, which bombards a rock with
radiation and records the radiation backscatter. From this information,
the chemical composition of a rock can be determined. The first
rock examined showed a preponderance of silicon, which suggests
quartz, which in turn suggests a likely origin in a volcanic eruption.
This first rock appears to be similar to the common terrestrial
volcanic rock called andesite.