Structure, stratigraphy, and origin of Husband Hill, Columbia Hills, Gusev Crater, Mars

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Abstract

[1] The strike and dip of lithologic units imaged in stereo by the Spirit rover in the Columbia Hills using three-dimensional imaging software shows that measured dips (15–32°) for bedding on the main edifice of the Columbia Hill are steeper than local topography (∼8–10°). Outcrops measured on West Spur are conformable in strike with shallower dips (7–15°) than observed on Husband Hill. Dips are consistent with observed strata draping the Columbia Hills. Initial uplift was likely related either to the formation of the Gusev Crater central peak or ring or through mutual interference of overlapping crater rims. Uplift was followed by subsequent draping by a series of impact and volcaniclastic materials that experienced temporally and spatially variable aqueous infiltration, cementation, and alteration episodically during or after deposition. West Spur likely represents a spatially isolated depositional event. Erosion by a variety of processes, including mass wasting, removed tens of meters of materials and formed the Tennessee Valley primarily after deposition. This was followed by eruption of the Adirondack-class plains basalt lava flows which embayed the Columbia Hills. Minor erosion, impact, and aeolian processes have subsequently modified the Columbia Hills.

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