NASA TV NASA TV Web Mission Control Web Cam NASA TV on the Web NASA home page Mars Home JPL Home Page California Institute of Technology NASA JPL Home JPL Earth JPL Solar System JPL Stars & Galaxies JPL Technology JPL Home California Institute of Technology '03 Rover Home Mars Home Mars Fun Zone Mars Gallery MER Search

Human-Rover Partnership
sol 1-6
sol 7
sol 8
sol 9
sol 10
sol 11
sol 12
sol 13
sol 14
sol 15
sol 16
sol 17
sol 18
sol 19
sol 20
sol 21
sol 22
sol 23
sol 24
sol 25
sol 26

SOL:   1-6    7    8    9    10    11    12    13    14    15    16    17    18    19    20    21    22    23    24    25    26   

Cross-bed Kaibab tells Scientists the Same "Old" Story

View a larger image (30 kB) or learn about other sol 11 images.

Today FIDO is on its way to a cross-bedded outcrop named Kaibab that scientists have been interested in visiting since they received their first Pancam picture of it on sol 7. The intriguing cove-like rock could provide information about ancient water or wind flows.

Tim Parker

Cross-beds like the ones in Kaibab are particularly appealing to scientists because they are essentially rock-hardened sand dunes formed by either wind or water. In the constant search for evidence of water on Mars, cross-bedded landforms will be places of high priority for investigation. "If we saw a landform like Kaibab on Mars we would definitly want to investigate and determine if it was aeolian (wind) or fluvial (water) in origin," says scientist Tim Parker.

Cross-beds are formed when either wind or water carries particles up the gentle side of a dune and deposits them into layers on the steep side. Over time, this process forms angular beds with many different layers. The layers are usually all the same material, but they contain particles of different sizes and different quantities that will answer the question of their formation. Coarse, larger particles will indicate that they were deposited by water while finer material will indicate that they were blown by wind.

When FIDO gets to Kaibab it will image the area with the Pancam. Then, it will get closer and attempt to take a picture with the Microscopic Imager housed on the robotic arm. "This is like hedging your bets. We might get all the answers out of the Pancam image, but we have the instruments available so we'll take as much advantage of them as we can," explains Parker. "Our goal is to get as many pieces of evidence as possible to answer the question - water or wind - as we can."

Will scientists get the data they're looking for? What story will Kaibab tell us? Tune in to sol 13 for the continuation of this story.

'03 Rover Home | Mars Home | Mars Fun Zone! | Mars Gallery | Search

Last Updated: 18 August 2002

Credits | Feedback | NASA Privacy Statement | Sitemap