DPS 2001 meeting, November 2001
Session 48. Mars Surface
Oral, Chairs: N. Barlow, J. Bell III, Friday, November 30, 2001, 4:30-6:40pm, Regency E

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[48.09] Cassini Impact Basin (Mars) Ejecta Deposits Revealed by MOC and MOLA Data

J. D. King (Georgia Institute of Technology), E. F. Albin (Fernbank Science Center)

The Cassini impact structure is an intermediate-sized basin, with a diameter of 400-km, located in the Arabia Terra region of Mars. Preliminary geologic mapping of Cassini delineated ejecta deposits to the west and south of the basin's rim [1]. As discussed in a similar investigation of the Schiaparelli impact structure [2], the study of basin ejecta is important for at least two reasons: (a) the material in the ejecta deposit contains a sampling of Martian upper crust, that would otherwise not be exposed; and (b) basin ejecta forms a regional stratigraphic marker that can be utilized in relative age dating studies. In order to sample the geomorphic characteristics of the ejecta unit for Cassini, an area of one basin radius from the rim was investigated. This study only considers ejecta deposits situated to the west and south of the basin rim due to the superposition of Luzin crater and its deposits on the northern rim of Cassini. Prior to the Mars Global Surveyor mission, the highest resolution images (> 11 meters per pixel) of the region were rare or nonexistent. Our work with the Cassini basin has been expanded to include the much higher resolution (< 5 meters per pixel) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) images. Intricate details within the ejecta unit -- including radial ridges, dunes, yardangs, channels, and dark-slope streaks were identified. In addition, Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data for the basin and its ejecta deposit were complied in order to understand the feature's topographic expression. Current work on the Cassini ejecta blanket is being completed in conjunction with the mapping of the entire structure and will serve to assist in deciphering the geologic evolution of an ancient Martian basin.

[1] Albin, E.F., LPSC XXVIII, 17-18, 1997. [2] Edgett, K.S., Proc. Lunar and Planet. Conf., 21, 657-667, 1991.

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