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Cape York - Northern Havens, Sol 2780 - 2947
Matt Lenda
post Jan 14 2012, 02:08 AM
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QUOTE (Floyd @ Jan 13 2012, 11:45 AM) *
I would hope the mission explores the "notch" before we leave Cape York. Following the edge around CY would allow us to determine the frequency of gypsum veins and no doubt a few other interesting things...

Indeed. Give it until about... May of this year. We'll start boogeying. I don't know what the strategic plan is other than to go to the juicier bits to the south on the inboard side; who knows if we want to explore the northern apron or not. Would be great to see.
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ElkGroveDan
post Jan 14 2012, 03:15 AM
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Regardless of what created that notch, I would expect it would be like like having a road-cut cross-section to examine. Surely the pointy-heads won't want to pass that opportunity up (NPI).


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ngunn
post Jan 14 2012, 11:23 AM
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I'm not so sure that thinking of it as a notch (that is - something cut out) is helpful. Maybe we should think rather of its right hand side as an isolated spike of apron material and ask how that could have formed. Current thinking among the team seems to be that the apron consists of meridiani material altered by contact with groundwater with different chemistry originating from the ancient crater rim rocks. Could the influence of this groundwater extend a few metres farther out in one particular place to form a spike? Maybe, if the overdraped sediments cracked and slumped a little towards the centre of Endeavour and the noachian-flavoured groundwater exploited the crack. It seems to me that the orientation of the notch/spike roughly parallel to the crater rim is what you would expect for the alignment of a crack formed by downslope slumping.
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MarkG
post Jan 14 2012, 05:37 PM
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The possibility exists that the notch is just a rim slump crack filled in (long ago) by sediment.

(or the scar from an errant laser blast in a long-ago interstellar conflict...)
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PDP8E
post Jan 14 2012, 06:18 PM
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On 2820 the NAVCAM took a low angle shot of the notch/dagger
I straightened it up and stretched it 5x
Attached Image


MarkG: I like your thinking, but a laser blast might be a stretch, its probably something more mundane like Storm Drain Outflow Pipe - No. 23


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Stu
post Jan 14 2012, 10:06 PM
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Personally I really don't care that much at this point what the geological explanation for "the Notch" is. Be it magnificent or mundane, I just want to see it. Ever since I saw it for the first time, on the first HiRISE image of Cape York that I looked at with the IAS Viewer after the decision ws taken to head for Endeavour, this feature has called out to me. It just fascinates me. Oppy is a geologist, true, but she's also an explorer, and we're all - those of us that want to, anyway - walking alongside her as she explores this fascinating place just for the sake of exploration. I'm sure the MER team feel the same drive to peer around the next corner, and look over the horizon, just as we do.

We won't be this way again for a long, long time.

C'mon. Let's go look at cool stuff.

smile.gif


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PDP8E
post Jan 15 2012, 01:28 AM
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QUOTE (Stu @ Jan 14 2012, 05:06 PM) *
We won't be this way again for a long, long time.
C'mon. Let's go look at cool stuff.


I second that motion!
Let's see, Winter Solstice is March 30, 2012, so we can be mobile again by May 30th (?)


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CosmicRocker
post Jan 15 2012, 06:13 AM
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I'd have to agree with everyone that the notch would be an exciting place to visit with the rover, but we should remain aware of the responsibility that the MER team bears as they control this rather expensive scientific instrument. As much as many of us would like to see them have some fun with the vehicle, sight-seeing has clearly not been a priority on this mission.

Any target is going to have to offer a scientific return...period. I'd have to agree that Oppy is an explorer as well as a scientist, and that serendipity has always had much to do with scientific discovery.

The notch is certainly the only road-cut cross-section around (as EGD has pointed out). It appears to me that the notch should provide a rather nice, 3D view of the lower stratigraphic section of the sediments draped over the Noachian crater rim, and that section of rocks which has been locally altered by paleo groundwater.

It should be intereting to see if they head north or south after the seasons change. wink.gif


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Bill Harris
post Jan 15 2012, 12:34 PM
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And I'll agree with CR that the notch would provide an excellent road cut to peer into the past, although some features may be covered by the "QAL" type of deposits. Another good roadcut would be that fresh-ish crater on the NW side of the winterhaven area, giving a view into the onlap on the Meridiani side, with convenient hand specimens.

But the actively-eroding Eastern face of CY, which will give a good section through the upturned pre-Endeavour strata, will also give an excellent science return for our plucky explorer. We'll see what she does come Spring Thaw.

--Bill


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Stu
post Jan 15 2012, 12:38 PM
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Panorama taking shape nicely now... I'm not a skilled enough image mage to handle the job of combining everything in colour, I'll leave that to you James! smile.gif Instead, restricting myself to collecting and stitching L2s to make a sweeping bw panorama... too big to post here, so a link to my what-I've-got-so-far image on my blog:

http://roadtoendeavour.files.wordpress.com...2/01/jan-15.jpg


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ngunn
post Jan 15 2012, 02:09 PM
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Very impressive already. smile.gif The clarity of detail visible across the crater is magnificent now. Fredk can probably read my 3D thoughts.

On the upturned pre-Endeavour strata Bill mentioned: I was expecting to see those on Morris Hill but instead everything there looks draped downslope, more like a Victoria bay than a Victoria cape.
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CosmicRocker
post Jan 16 2012, 05:15 AM
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Yeah, these beds dipping into the crater have perplexed me for quite some time, now. We could even see them dipping off of Solander Point as Opportunity came around the south end of Cape York.

I have been mapping the dips of strata ever since we arrived at Cape York, expecting to see the upturned layers that were predicted from the HiRise imagery. I think we were seeing some westerly dips on the southern end of Cape York, but as we've come north on the cape, easterly dips have been more apparent. I'm not sure how to interpret these layers dipping into the crater, but my best guess is that they are rocks that are younger than Endeavour Crater. Perhaps they are the equivalent of the Burns Formation sulfate sands draped over the crater rim, or perhaps they are sediments eroded from the rim after it was uplifted.

These are questions that could be answered if Oppy could go back to investigate some of the outcrops she flew by on her rush to her winter haven. I'd sure like to get a closer look at those layers on Morris Hill.


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MarkG
post Jan 16 2012, 11:18 PM
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Those beds could be actually almost-overturned --A folded over flap of layers. I'm not sure we have been able to see which way is up in the strata yet...
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CosmicRocker
post Jan 17 2012, 06:03 AM
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It is certainly possible that the layers are overturned, and that is one reason why I would like to get a closer view of the rocks on Morris Hill. There are some hints of cross-lamination there which could point upward in the section, but it is really at the limit of the image resolution.

But I really have a hard time sketching a structure that includes such a tight fold, putting the easterly dipping rocks in such close proximity to the westerly dips we saw at the south end of Cape York. (see imagery from sols 2710-2735) Let's hope we eventually get some images that allow us to better elucidate the structure and stratigraphy here.


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Bill Harris
post Jan 17 2012, 10:23 AM
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There is something odd going on here. The observed (assumed?) dips aren't matching up to what "oughtabe". We did rush to get here and all we have are passing glimpses at interesting structure. Not to mention, we don't know what the undisturbed (pre-Endeavour) strata was like (structurally or lithologically)-- remember, we're a skip-hop-and-a-jump from Miyamoto. And from a terrestrial standpoint, we have little experience with the giga-ton impact energies and large impacts this (relatively) well preserved.

I know that beds can be overturned by high-energy impacts but I wonder if the beds can also be crumpled? Tis a mystery.

In an ideal world, we'd have a drilling traverse with core samples and beaucoup seismic imagery to drool over. In this real world, we have to wait for more puzzle-pieces to drift by.

I hope Oppy makes it to the points south of CY.

--Bill


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