Initial Publication Date: March 11, 2009

Ideas for Integrating Mars Data into Undergraduate Courses: Structural Geology and Tectonics

Determining nature and origin of structures on Mars

  • Determine whether Cerberus Fossae on the flanks of Elysium Mons might be the surface expression of a subsurface dike by using THEMIS IR images of features with positive relief cut by extensional fractures plus the criterion that width of dike-induced fracturing is twice the depth to the top of the dike (structural geology, intro).
  • Evaluate the model of pit crater chains as forming in unconsolidated material over dilational faults at depth (e.g., Ferrill et al, 2004, GSA Today), including conducting simple analog experiments and using Mohr circles and calculations to determine whether the model is consistent with features of pit crater chains on Mars and what causes similarities/differences with pit crater chains on Earth (structural geology).
  • Map the orientation of wrinkle ridges in a region on Mars and correlate orientations with regional features and likely origins of crustal stresses (structural geology).