Geological Characteristics and Targets of High Scientific Interest in the Zhurong Landing Region on Mars

Jiannan Zhao, Zijun Xiao, Jun Huang, James W. Head, Jiang Wang, Yutong Shi, Bo Wu, Le Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We used imaging, laser altimeter and thermal infrared data to map a 0.5 by 0.5° area containing the landing site of the Zhurong rover of the Tianwen-1 mission. We analyzed the regional topography and thermophysical characteristics, and identified and characterized cones, impact craters, polygonal troughs, ridges and aeolian bedforms. An absolute model age of 757 ± 66 Ma was obtained for the major unit dominating the study area, younger than previous geological mapping results. We propose several targets of high scientific interest for Zhurong and a stratigraphic model composed of five layers (from bottom to top: Noachian basement, Early Hesperian volcanic ridged plains, Vastitas Borealis Formation materials, rocky materials and loose materials). The geomorphic features identified, the proposed stratigraphy and the regional geological evolution scenario set the stage for the Zhurong rover to continue to carry out its exploration of Mars.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021GL094903
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume48
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • China
  • Mars
  • Tianwen-1
  • Utopia Planitia
  • Zhurong

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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