Geology, Geographic Information Science
Christopher G. Hughes
The structural geology of Xanthe Terra, Mars is unique due to its proximity to certain features. It is located on the Martian Dichotomy, the boundary between the Northern “Lowlands” and Southern “Highlands” with an elevation difference of 1-3km, allowing for the study of both hemispheres. Xanthe Terra is also located North of the equator near Valles Marineris, a large canyon that indicates a history of structural change.
We used the program JMars to map linear features within a small area of Xanthe Terra using Context Camera (CTX) imagery collected by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. CTX imagery has high spatial resolution that covers a large area of Mars, this allows for the mapping of small structural features with high detail images for identification. Linear features were mapped and attributes of the features such as length were collected. The features were then attributed a stress type (compressional or extensional) and were further identified by type of deformation using stress type and imagery. The 586 Linear features mapped were caused by both extensional and compressional stress.
By studying structural features within Xanthe Terra’s unique location we have found a rich structural history in the area. This has given insight to the structural history of Xanthe Terra, the surrounding areas, and of Mars itself. This contributes to our overall understand of the geology of Mars.