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A unit map of Gale Crater, showing fluvial channels and canyons in red.
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Geologic mapping and characterization of Gale Crater and implications for its potential as a Mars Science Laboratory landing site

1Ryan B. Anderson and 1James F. Bell III

1Department of Astronomy, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

Mars 5, 76-128, 2010 | doi:10.1555/mars.2010.0004
Received November 15, 2009 | Accepted July 13, 2010 | Published September 14, 2010

We mapped the geomorphologic units of the Gale crater central mound and the proposed Mars Science Laboratory landing site, developed an inferred stratigraphy, and assessed hypotheses for the origin of the mound. Key findings include: sinuous inverted channels in the landing ellipse, cemented fractures in the lower mound, and possible cross-beds in the upper mound unit suggesting an aeolian origin for the upper mound.

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