Mars for Earthlings > Lesson Modules > Homework 1- It's All Relative

It's All Relative

Homework 1_Age & Times of Mars vs. Earth

Julia Kahmann-Robinson PhD and Marjorie Chan PhD, University of Utah Department of Geology & Geophysics


Apply relative dating laws, interpret block diagrams, Earth road cuts, and Mars imagery in with relative dating techniques.

Just Pretend

Observe Figure 1 and answer the following:

  1. How many unconformities are there? Name each kind and why you named it such.
  2. What law did you use to determine the relative ages of the Ten Mile Sandstone and Appian Sandstone?
  3. List the order of geologic events by name from oldest to youngest below (i.e. Surface A, Rhyolite Dike C, Ten Mile Sandstone etc.):

Road Cuts on Earth

Navigate to the website: to view the Moab Fault Zone in Utah.

  1. How many faults can you observe?
  2. How many geologic units would you break out? What criteria are you using to differentiate your geologic units?
  3. What principle of relative dating is most useful when you are interpreting this image?
  4. Are there any unconformities? If so, how many and what are they?

Tractus Catena on the south of Alba Mons

Figure 2 is an image taken by THEMIS of a fracture zone on Mars. Observe the image and answer the following questions:

  1. Order the geologic events from oldest to youngest. Make sure you note the entire image as you make your decisions.
  2. What makes this image difficult to interpret?
  3. What law(s)/principles of relative dating are you using to interpret the image?
  4. Since you are already familiar with tectonics, what created features B. and D.