Stratigraphic relationships in Jezero Crater, Mars: Constraints on the timing of fluvial-lacustrine activity from orbital observations

S. Holm-Alwmark, K.M. Kinch, M.D. Hansen, S. Shahrzad, K. Svennevig, W.J. Abbey, R.B. Anderson, F.J. Calef, S. Gupta, E. Hauber, B.H.N. Horgan, L.C. Kah, J. Knade, N.B. Miklusicak, K.M. Stack, V.Z. Sun, J.D. Tarnas, C. Quantin-Nataf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

On February 18, 2021 NASA's Perseverance rover landed in Jezero crater, located at the northwestern edge of the Isidis basin on Mars. The uppermost surface of the present-day crater floor is dominated by a distinct geologic assemblage previously referred to as the dark-toned floor. It consists of a smooth, dark-toned unit overlying and variably covering light-toned, roughly eroded deposits showing evidence of discrete layers. In this study, we investigated the stratigraphic relations between materials that comprise this assemblage, the main western delta deposit, as well as isolated mesas located east of the main delta body that potentially represent delta remnants. A more detailed classification and differentiation of crater floor units in Jezero and determination of their relative ages is vital for the understanding of the geologic evolution of the crater system, and determination of the potential timeline and environments of habitability. We have investigated unit contacts using topographic profiles and DEMs as well as the distribution of small craters and fractures on the youngest portions of the crater floor. Our results indicate that at least some of the deltaic deposition in Jezero postdates emplacement of the uppermost surface of the crater floor assemblage. The inferred age of the floor assemblage can therefore help to constrain the timing of the Jezero fluviolacustrine system, wherein at least some lake activity postdates the age of the uppermost crater floor. We present hypotheses that can be tested by Perseverance and can be used to advance our knowledge of the geologic evolution of the area.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021JE006840
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Volume126
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Jezero crater
  • Mars
  • stratigraphy

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 5: Nature and Climate

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