Perseverance rover reveals an ancient delta-lake system and flood deposits at Jezero crater, Mars

N. Mangold, S. Gupta, O. Gasnault, G. Dromart, J. D. Tarnas, S. F. Sholes, B. Horgan, C. Quantin-Nataf, A. J. Brown, S. Le Mouélic, R. A. Yingst, J. F. Bell, O. Beyssac, T. Bosak, F. Calef, B. L. Ehlmann, K. A. Farley, J. P. Grotzinger, K. Hickman-Lewis, S. Holm-AlwmarkL. C. Kah, J. Martinez-Frias, S. M. McLennan, S. Maurice, J. I. Nuñez, A. M. Ollila, P. Pilleri, J. W. Rice, M. Rice, J. I. Simon, D. L. Shuster, K. M. Stack, V. Z. Sun, A. H. Treiman, B. P. Weiss, R. C. Wiens, A. J. Williams, N. R. Williams, K. H. Williford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Observations from orbital spacecraft have shown that Jezero crater on Mars contains a prominent fan-shaped body of sedimentary rock deposited at its western margin. The Perseverance rover landed in Jezero crater in February 2021. We analyze images taken by the rover in the 3 months after landing. The fan has outcrop faces, which were invisible from orbit, that record the hydrological evolution of Jezero crater. We interpret the presence of inclined strata in these outcrops as evidence of deltas that advanced into a lake. In contrast, the uppermost fan strata are composed of boulder conglomerates, which imply deposition by episodic high-energy floods. This sedimentary succession indicates a transition from sustained hydrologic activity in a persistent lake environment to highly energetic short-duration fluvial flows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA38
JournalScience
Volume374
Issue number6568
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 5 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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